Friday, October 30, 2015

SFS: Program Change, Dutoit

Don't look so glum, Hector; we're still playing your music.

Okay, this is a head-scratcher: San Francisco Symphony had announced that Charles Dutoit would conduct the mighty Berlioz Grande Messe des Mortes (aka Requiem), Paul Groves, tenor soloist, for three performances, on March 17, 18, and 19, 2016. An announcement from SFS conveys the news that this program is postponed until May, 2017, and replaced with the following:

Berlioz: Waverly Overture
Berlioz: Harold in Italy (Italie! Italie!), Jonathan Vinocour, viola solo
Haydn: Symphony No. 104, London

What on earth could have prompted this? Not enough chorus rehearsal time? (Doubtful.) Dutoit doesn't have enough study time? (Doubtful, as he has already recorded the score.) Groves doesn't have enough study time? (Doubtful.)

Scratching my head and squinting at the monitor, I am. Also banging my head against the wall, because this was among the SFS programs I was most looking forward to in a somewhat cheerless season.


Michael Strickland said...

Well, that's certainly depressing news. Heard Vinocour playing Harold in Italy back in 2010 and it was great, but have been waiting for the Berlioz Requiem ever since it was announced.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Exactly the same reaction here.

Patrick J. Vaz said...

Maybe they're planning a big Berlioz festival in 2017 and they thought it would work better there? We can hope, anyway

Robert Gordon said...

Cash flow problems? This is an expensive show: augmented chorus, lots of extra brass and percussion.

Lisa Hirsch said...

I don't know - it's not like any of that was a secret when they programmed it and hired Dutoit. SFS is in good financial shape, too.

JSC said...

I too was SO looking forward to the Berlioz Requiem but now we have to wait about another 18 months for it. This new program they're replacing it with does not interest me so they're letting me exchange my ticket for another performance in the season. I think I am going to go for the Emanuel Ax Beethoven & Dvořák program in January.

Lisa Hirsch said...