Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Happy Birthday, Baby!

Back in December, San Francisco Symphony released a few details of the upcoming centennial season (2011-12). I posted a bit, just a bit, because while the scheduled visits by other great American orchestras were certainly enticing, the two commissions (Adams, Bates) and return of American Mavericks seemed...well...ho-hum.

Now I must eat my words. The schedule has been released, and it is absolutely staggering. You can see the full schedule on the SFS web site; I'd like to list the whole season, because there is something great on almost every program, but...well, if you're reading this, click the link.

There are a few items of little interest to me (Pinchas Zukerman's all-Mozart program, the odd Baroque program...not my thing in the vastness of Davies; the opening concert, repertory TBD, with Lang Lang), but, seriously, I'm glad I decided to stick with my balcony subscription to the opera: more money to spend on SFS concerts.

There's a cornucopia of new music, by Adams and Gubaidulina, Lindberg and Ades, Saariaho and Carter and more; a pair of programs each by the six visiting American orchestras (Chicago, NY, Philadelphia, Boston, LA, Cleveland), fabulous guest appearances by many conductors, visiting singers galore, masterpieces rare and not so rare (Organ Symphony! more than one, in fact) and, finally, a local great-orchestra presentation of Duke Bluebeard's Castle. American Mavericks turns out to be anything but ho-hum. If you're looking for standards, they're there as well, but for me this mostly a season of the new and exciting.

After the jump, I'm listing the programs that most excite me. There's plenty I didn't list that's worth seeing, so look for the full schedule at the SFS web site.

MTT; Leonora 3, Brahms 1, Hindemith cello concerto (Ma)

MTT: Mahler 3 (Katerina Karneus)

MTT: Mozart Haffner Symphony, Ades/Rosner Polaris, Stravinsky Petrouchka

Petrenko: Glazunov violin concerto (Bell), Elgar First Symphony

Conlon: Shostakovich 14th (Guryakova, Leiferkus), Pictures at an Exhibition

Luisi: Verdi Requiem (Radvanovky (!), Zajick (!!), Loparo, Anger)

LAPO: Dudamel: Adams, Tromba Lontana, Chapela, Concerto for Electric Cello, Prokofiev 5th

LAPO: Dudamel: Adams, Short Ride in a Fast Machine, Stravinsky, Symphony in C; Berlioz, Symphonie Fantastique

Gilbert: Beethoven 8th, Dutilleux L'arbre des songes; Haydn 99th (Yes, this is with SFS, not his own band - I'm glad to see him on board as a guest conductor.)

MTT: weird all-Schubert program that includes the Trout Quintet and Mahler's arrangement of the Death and the Maiden quartet for string orchestra - a great arrangement, but in Davies?? I heard a terrific performance of this by NCCO a few years back in St. John's in Berkeley. That was correctly scaled.

MTT: Gubaidulina new work plus Brahms German Requiem. (Not everybody likes his Brahms, but I do.)

BSO: Levine: Berlioz, Roman Carnival Overture, Mozart, K. 503 piano concerto (one of my favs, with Goode), Carter Flute Concerto!!!, Bartok, Suite from the Miraculous Manderin.

BSO: Levine, Harbison Fourth, Ravel Daphnis & Chloe no. 2, Mahler 1st

(Jimmy, heal that back! I want to see these two programs with YOU YOU YOU conducting.)

Salonen: Sibelius, Pojhola's Daughter, Salonen violin concerto (Josefowicz), excerpts from the Ring

MTT: Liszt, Prometheus, Ligeti violin concerto (Tetzlaff), Tchaikowsky 1st  (For this one, yeah, the Ligeti and Tetzlaff are undoubtedly worth the price of admission)

MTT: Janacek Sinfonietta (!!!), Debussy, Le martyr de Saint Sebastien (!!!!!), Gauvin/Cooke/Wool; Flicka narrates (?)

Heras-Casado: Stravinsky, Dumbarton Oaks concerto, Ravel piano concerto in G major, Dallapiccola, Piccola musica notturna, Falla, El amor brujo (complete)

CSO: Muti: Honneger, Pacific 231, Bates, Alternative Energy, Franck, Symphony in D minor (!) (The other CSO concert has a new work by Anna Clyne and, sigh, two pieces by Schubert.)

de Waart: Schreker, Prelude to Die Gezeichneten, Rach 4, Saint-Saens, Organ Symphony (Joshua can send me to review this one for him. :)

Alessandrini: Mozart 39th, Mozart, PC K 503 (also elsewhere on the schedule!), Haydn 104th

MTT: American Mavericks Festival. Okay, more eating of the words. Most of it is great!

MTT: Copeland, Orchestra Variations; Harrison, Concerto for Organ with Percussion Orchestra; Ives/Brant: A Concord Symphony

MTT: Foss, Phorion; Cowell, Piano Concerto (Denk), Cage, Song Bird (Norman, yes, Jessye - plus Meredith Monk and Joan LaBarbara!!)

MTT: Bates, Mass Transmission (World Premier, SFS commission); Adams, Absolute Jest for String Quartet & Orchestra (St. Lawrence SQ), Feldman, Piano & Orchestra (Ax), Varese, Amerique

American Mavericks also has a couple of TBD chamber music programs. Guys - there are a few women who compose too, y'know.

The orchestra then tours the American Mavericks Festival around the country, and the programs include a Monk commission (!) and sundry items apparently not scheduled for SF.

Cleveland: Welser-Most: Mendelssoh, Scottish Symphony; Saariaho, Orion; Shostakovich 6th

The other Cleveland SO program has some Ades (yay!) and is otherwise just an opportunity to hear one of the world's greatest orchestras. :)

Malkki: Grisey, a movement from Les espaces acoustiques, Prokofiev Third Piano Concerto (Gutierrez), Sibelius 1st

(Early May brings a lot of Beethoven, Bach, and Handel, under Joshua Bell, Jane Glover, and Alexander Barantschik.)

MTT: Barbary Coast and Beyond: Music from the Gold Rush to the Panama-Pacific Exhibition (Claycomb). This sounds like great fun, and I'm always happy to see Laura Claycomb singing.

NYPO:Gilbert: Berlioz, Le Corsaire Overture, Lindberg Second Piano Concerto (Bronfman), Tchaikowsky Fourth

MTT: Mahler, Blumine, Schnittke, Violin Concerto No. 4 (Barantschik), Beethoven Sixth

Vanska: Aho, Minea (wish it were the Insect Symphony!), Prokofiev Violin Concerto 1 (Hahn), Shostakovich Sixth

Robertson: Britten, Les Illuminations (Upshaw), Dvorak Seventh

Philly: Dutoit: Hindemith, Symphonic Metamorphosis, Ravel, Concerto for Piano, Left-Hand (Lortie), Shostakovich 5th

(Yes, there's a second Philly program, not quite as tasty.)

MTT: Liszt Piano Concerto No. 1 (Denk), Duke Bluebeard's Castle (Held, DeYoug). HALLELUJAH!!!! Well, I'd like to think that somebody was listening to me, but honestly, it's just in the air these days. I'm going to get good seats for this, because I want to feel the power when that fifth door opens.

And the season closes with the pairing of A Survivor in Warsaw and Beethoven's Ninth!

Way to celebrate, SFS!!!


John Marcher said...

Yes, they really came through with a fantastic schedule for next year!

Henry Holland said...

de Waart: Schreker, Prelude to Die Gezeichneten, Rach 4, Saint-Saens, Organ Symphony (Joshua can send me to review this one for him. :)

I'll take the chaff with the wheat that is the Schreker! de Waart's recording of the full opera is fantastic, ruined only by a tenor who shouldn't have been let near the mics his wobble is so bad and the usual disfiguring cuts in Act III.

Lots of good stuff, a much more interesting season that LAP.

Anonymous said...

I think the Mahler version of Death and the Maiden can work in Davies. It is a full string orchestra arrangement and not a chamber orchestra. It's the Trout Quintet, a full-bodied chamber work but not full enough, that worries me.

Even if this half of the concert doesn't excite you, I've heard MTT conduct the Tchaikovsky First before. He's a dab hand with such music, which has charm even when less than inspired, and at least this one isn't overplayed.

And I've heard Janacek's Sinfonietta in Davies before, too. Antiphonal, with brass choirs spread all over the hall. More Gabrieli than Brant, it was great. I hope they do that again.

Lisa Hirsch said...

The Schubert/Tchaikowsky program doesn't do it for me, but it's a season of great depth. There's plenty I'm thrilled about.

The Janacek Sinfonietta has been on my "must-hear-live" list for years, and paired with the Debussy....!

doug said...

I'm stunned by the beauty, relative daring, and diversity of this season. I may have to become a subscriber again!