Thursday, December 26, 2013

In Review

I was holding off on my review of 2013 and then realized that I don't have any tickets before the end of January. Well, duh! I can talk about this year right now.

Because of a combination of factors, especially including my Sunday afternoon jujitsu classes, my concert attendance was spotty this year. I missed many programs I would have liked to see, especially of choral music and at Cal Performances. If only I could drag myself to SF on more Friday nights!

Still, I saw more than a few highly memorable programs and performances. In no particular order:
  • Pacifica Quartet with Marc-Andre Hamelin, in Shostakovich, Ornstein, Dvorak
  • Die Frau ohne Schatten at the Metropolitan Opera
  • Christine Goerke's Dyer's Wife in Frau. OMGoerke! as Steve Smith put it.
  • Charles Dutoit's Poulenc/Berlioz program at SFS
  • Les Noces, with the amazing Dmitri Pokrovsky Ensemble, MTT conducting, at SFS
  • Semyon Bychkov's War Requiem at SFS
  • Alexander Quartet's Britten
  • Pablo Heras-Casado leading excerpts from Thomas Ades's The Tempest, at SFS
  • David Robertson's Carter/Ravel/Gershwin program at SFS, with the mighty Marc-Andre Hamelin in two, two, two piano concertos. Or one-and-a-half, depending on how you count the Ravel Piano Concerto for Left Hand.
  • Dolores Claiborne at San Francisco Opera; a gripping work, not to mention...
  • ...Patricia Racette saved the day and entered operatic history by learning the difficult title role of Dolores in three weeks.
Then there were the musical lowlights:
  • Mark Adamo's The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, about which plenty of ink has been spilled
  • Nicola Luisotti's dreadful conducting in Cosi fan tutte
  • The demise of New York City Opera, following years of terrible decisions by its board of directors
  • The ongoing destruction of the Minnesota Orchestra by its management and board
Just plain sad:
  • The death of Bill Bennett, SFS's principal oboist, who collapsed on stage while performing the Strauss oboe concert and died several days later
  • And the loss of many others over the course of the year


ken nielsen said...

A good year. We must catch the SFS on a trip some time.
Perhaps worth a detour, at least.

Lisa Hirsch said...

With the right conductor, definitely.