Saturday, April 26, 2008

Haydn at San Francisco Symphony

Bernard Labadie's all-Haydn program at SFS is a winner: three terrific pieces, mostly executed with brilliance. The music is within his comfort range, best when performed briskly even at slow tempos, if that makes any sense. You rarely try to float Haydn.

The rough spots in the chorus detected by Joshua Kosman weren't in evidence; the chorus sounded gorgeously transparent and sang with splendid attack and commitment.

I wonder a bit about Labadie, because this is not especially complicated music to conduct, and yet there were several noticeable minor bobbles at the openings of movements or at transition points, where he apparently didn't communicate his intentions clearly enough to the orchestra and chorus.

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