Sunday, August 05, 2007

Marin Alsop

To Santa Cruz last night for the second Cabrillo Festival concert, at which I heard Marin Alsop conducting for the first time. (More about the concert in Tuesday's SFCV issue.)(The review can now be read here).

Alsop is the real deal, a conductor of enormous power and depth; I was more impressed with her than I have been with Alan Gilbert.

I am dying to hear her in Wagner, because she's got the grasp of large-scale form, proportion, and drama that he needs. The Baltimore Symphony is extremely lucky to have her, and I hope it's not long before the San Francisco Symphony joins the impressive list of orchestras where she has been a guest conductor.


HE Elsom said...

I don't go out of my way for anything from the nineteenth century, except Berlioz, Offenbach and G&S in good performances. (That includes Wagner and Puccini, but you don't normally have to go out of your way to see them in London.) But I don't really hate anything on principle. I think I have more of a problem with the whole opera-house setup, and especially the part of the audience who smells of mothballs and the connoiseurs who hold forth on the finer points of vocal fetishism in the interval. I even quite enjoyed a concert performance of I Capuleti a few years ago at the Barbican.

The one exception to my general tolerance (and curiosity) is Massenet. The audience is part of the problem there as well, but he wrote precisely for them. You can tell from Manon that he knew what he was doing, but most of his later work reminds me of the opera in Charlie Chan at the Opera -- a string of bits of stuff for singers, but without the jokes or Boris Karloff. I think Thais is the most putrid thing I've ever heard.

David Bratman said...

Well, I expect that we both shall be hearing her in Philip Glass, because I'm planning to go down to SCz and pick up a ticket at the door. (I've never had problems doing this at Cabrillo before.)

Lisa Hirsch said...


I think you meant to comment on the "Chacun a son gout" posting!