The symphony was great again tonight. We’ve discovered an amazing new violinist–Julia Fischer of Germany, only nineteen years old but an absolutely astounding talent. I can say this with certainty because I don’t like violin music, as a general rule, but I loved Fischer’s playing. She plays smoothly and cleanly, and her physical movements are as clean as her technique–I’m not a huge fan of Sarah Chang in concert just because she moves around a great deal and I find it distracting (I have nothing against performers who move around, but I think it’s certainly possible to overdo it). I hope she performs frequently in this area; I’d love to hear her again. As far as I know she doesn’t have any recordings out. The orchestra also played Copland’s Third Symphony, the last movement of which contains his celebrated Fanfare for the Common Man. I have a horrible version of that on my computer right now, conducted by John Williams for the Olympics, and I’ve heard it in concert before by the San Jose Symphony, but this one was the best. I love Michael Tilson Thomas. I think he’s a fabulous conductor and a wonderful communicator and teacher. And he’s funny, which always helps!
The symphony will be playing this program again tomorrow night (unless Livejournal decides it’s already Saturday): Saturday, 15 March, at 8pm at Davies Symphony Hall. You can buy tickets at the very first link I gave, or, I think, at the door, though you might want to call for availability. If you have no plans for the evening, and you like violin music or just live music in general, I would urge you to go. The first piece on the program, Lukas Foss’s Phorion, is a very fun ‘sixties-seventies hallucination’ (that’s what the conductor said!) on a famous theme of Bach. Poor Bach, I’m sure he wouldn’t have known how to respond, it’s so different from what he would have known! Then there’s Julia Fischer, who would be incredible enough by herself, but as an added treat she’s playing a really beautiful piece–Sibelius’s Violin Concerto. Unlike with Han-Na Chang, the symphony actually did a lovely job of backing her up. And everyone always seems to enjoy Copland; I must say, the Fanfare for the Common Man is really something played live. It’s the loudest thing I’ve ever heard in concert, and the momentum is fantastic. It practically pushes you out of your seat. It’s an experience.
And then you can go get cake afterward like Erik and I did. 😀 Citizen Cake, as usual. Well, strictly speaking, we didn’t get cake–it was a pudding, but it had some cake on the bottom! Banana pudding. I’m getting to be quite a fan of banana in desserts. The pudding was very creamy, full of banana pieces, topped with delightfully sticky peaks of brown sugar meringue, into which was plopped a rolled honey cookie. Not only sweet and yummy, but tremendous fun to eat. I haven’t had anything that sticky in a while. They also had samples of a wonderful bread, a focaccia flatbread with sea salt, thyme and lemon zest; the flavor combination is surprising and spirited. Evening isn’t a great time to buy bread, but next time I go (which will be Sunday! 😀 😀 😀 ) I’m hoping they’ll have it again.
Now to delete that awful John Williams Fanfare and download a better one!
[This post was imported on 4/10/14 from my old blog at satsumabug.livejournal.com.]