San Francisco Symphony, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011
Shostakovich; Tchaikovsky (arr. Glazunov); Glazunov; Elgar
- Joshua Kosman in the Chron (Bell delightful; Elgar best of all, described as "majestic breadth and emotional force")
- Jeff Dunn in SFCV (Bell gorgeous; deeply flawed Elgar: ponderous and see-saw)
- Calimac at his LiveJournal (Bell all butter and no sinew; Elgar "won me over")
I told a friend the day of the concert that I didn't know any of the works on it. This turned out to be wrong. I am sure I played the Shostakovich Festival Overture in a band back in the 1970s, most likely the Teaneck Summer Band under the late Fred Streckfuss. I am even more sure that we played it at maybe two-thirds the speed that Petrenko took. With a band like the San Francisco Symphony, anything is possible.
As for the Elgar, this was my first-ever hearing of the piece, so I have absolutely no basis for comparison. But I liked it fine; the grandeur of the work and its Mahlerian mood certainly came across firmly. Jeff Dunn knows it rather better than I do, though, and perhaps I'd be closer to his viewpoint with his knowledge.