We're variously weighing in. JK and I called it pretty much the same way, though everybody liked the soloists better than I did.
- Joshua Kosman, Chron, loved the performances and works and agrees me with about the craziness. Pleased to see that the adjective Beethovenian came to mind for both of us.
- Lisa Hirsch, SFCV
- John Marcher, A Beast in a Jungle. But isn't the Poulence pretty compact and understated compared to the Berlioz?
- kalimac. I would not expect someone who thinks Mahler is a bad composer to like the Berlioz, no, I would not.
- Axel Feldheim, NFFO, happy to have heard these pieces.
- Richard Scheinin, Mercury-News, preferred the Poulenc.
- SF Mike rhapsodizes, and who can blame him? I agree with every word.
- Janos Gereben, SFCV Music News, bids the program a fond farewell.
Paul Groves has seemed overparted and miscast in almost everything I've seen him in. He was lovely some years ago in Stravinsky's Le Rossignol (I looked up my review....), but sounded over his head in Iphegenie and again this week in the Berlioz, which really does call for a heroic French tenor. Honestly, every time I hear him I think it's a part Ben Heppner should be singing or should have sung.
What's next for him? Enee in Troyens? Oh, look: here's a press release from LOC. Not Enee, but Parsifal. I don't buy it for a second.