Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Esa-Pekka Salonen Replaces Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla

I know, I know, it's been almost a week and my OMG IT'S ESA-PEKKA SALONEN post is not yet live. Sorry! But here's some news that was announced with the big news, which is that program that Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla was supposed to conducted, which was TBA for some time, will be taken by the music director designate. 

Let me say that I bought tickets as fast as I could because who wouldn't want to see him!!!! and hear the cheering!

At the time that MGT canceled, the announcement said that Gabriela Montero would still be playing one of the Tchaikovsky piano concertos, don't ask me which. Apparently this was a no-go when Salonen took the concert, but oh boy, it's a much more interesting program than it would have been with the concerto:


Anna THORVALDSDOTTIR
Metacosmos [West Coast Premiere]

R. STRAUSS
Also sprach Zarathurstra, Opus 30

SIBELIUS
Four Legends from the Kalevala, Opus 22

Note that the original did include the Sibelius, and I'm so happy to see it back on the program. Among other things, hearing a big solo from Russ deLuna is always a pleasure, and of the four Legends, I've only heard "The Swan of Tuonela" live.

There's a special note from SFS in the press release that just dropped:
To ensure the San Francisco Symphony’s place as an Orchestra for all, 200 $20 tickets will be made available to students for each of the January 18–20 concerts, offering students an unparalleled opportunity to witness these historic performances. Salonen will return as Music Director Designate in the 2019–20 season to conduct at least two weeks of concerts before beginning as Music Director in September 2020.

Previously: MGT Out, ?? In

16 comments:

JSC said...

I had this concert as part of my subscription for the Tchaikovsky and MGT's debut and glad I kept it after the conductor change! Now I think I am looking forward to it more.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Oh hell yes. His Sibelius was wonderful a decade ago when I attended the Sibelius Unbound festival in LA. I am sooooo excited.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Forgot to say that he is conducting the CSO in march in a program of Also sprach and Bluebeard's Castle...during a week when I WILL BE IN CHICAGO. So I am getting a ticket to that and will hear him do the Strauss with two very different orchestras. I love the Bartok beyond all reasons, so.

Henry Holland said...

I loved EP-S's tenure here in Los Angeles, I still remember a routine Sunday matinee concert where he conducted the complete version of The Firebird so well that it was just incredible. That kind of thing was common. Sure, we were also the crowds that had to listen to him learn how to conduct the core 19th century German rep that he'd kind of ignored, but still. :-)

It really is good news that he will be with SFO, really looking forward to what his programming will be.

Henry Holland said...

Also, I hope he conducts at the San Francisco Opera, one of my very favorite times at the opera was hearing him conduct an incredible Pelleas et Melisande in Peter Sellar's "Malibu Beach House" production. He just *got* it.

Lisa Hirsch said...

You mean, "With SFS," I know. :)

Lisa Hirsch said...

I doubt he will have time for SFO, because rehearsing and conducting performances of an opera is six to eight weeks out of your life. MTT is a terrific opera conductor, but he did semi-staged productions at SFS because he didn't have six to eight weeks. I'm hoping MTT will conduct at SFO when he's no longer the MD of SFS.

Henry Holland said...

D'oh! Of course, SFS. Good point too about how time-consuming doing an opera production is.

Dave Nee said...

Per the season brochure, still available in the lobby, Montero had been slated to play the First Tchaikovsky. Big yawn.

As for learning "how to conduct the core 19th century German rep", we had to live with that with Blomstedt. And we had to be guinea pigs for MTT learning Schumann, which he should have lived with a little longer before setting down "permanent" records.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Yeah, I couldn't recall which concerto because it did not matter.

Blomstedt, really? H didn't know how to conduct core German rep when he arrived?

I attended one of the concerts where MTT and SFS were recording the Rhenhish, and I was not impressed and won't be buying that set.

Dave, I don't know whether you heard any of MTT's performances of the Missa Solemnis. I heard, and reviewed, the first, in June, 2011, and it was....pretty bad. Joshua Kosman's review was more negative than mine, ISTR.

By 2015, when he did it the third time, it was fantastic - he had really wrestled the piece to the mat and learned what was going on with it. Everything that was wrong in 2011 was just...gone. I was impressed, because the piece is an impossible monster in every way.

Here's my review from 2011. Note that the male singer in the photo labeled Ain Anger is Gregory Kunde, not Anger.

SFS, MTT, Missa Solemnis

David Bratman said...

I expect what Dave meant was that we got more than enough of the core Germanic repertoire from Blomstedt. Even I got a little tired of his programming as a full-time thing. But I do find having him come one or two weeks a year to do what he does best is a treat.

Much as I'd have liked to hear MGT, I hadn't gotten a ticket for this concert because I really didn't want to have to sit through Tch PfCo 1 again (still less either of his others). But with a first opportunity to hear the new MD - whom I haven't heard conduct since 2003 - I'm more interested, and I can sit through Also Sprach for that. It's shorter than the Tchaikovsky. So I got a ticket.

Lisa Hirsch said...

I'm seeing Salonen conduct Also Sprach here AND with the CSO, in March, when I will be in Chicago for jujitsu. That'll be interesting. The pairing there is Bluebeard's Castle, which I am always happy to see.

David Bratman said...

Please write a comparative review of the two Also Sprachs. That'll be really interesting.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Planning to.

I've heard the CSO live only once, under Jaap van Zweden, playing Mozart (Masonic Funeral Music), Wagner (Prelude & Liebestod for orchestra only), and Brahms Requiem, and I was shocked at how sloppily the orchestra played. I got into a conversation at some point, probably at one of the operas I saw, with a man who'd heard the CSO over a period of decades, and he said, yes, they HAD gotten sloppier over time. Poorly-coordinated entrances, etc.

I'll hear more of the famous brass section in march, but honestly, I don't think they had the edge there that they once had.

Lisa Hirsch said...

HAVE the edge they once had.

I'll need to get to know the Strauss - I mean, I've heard it and all, but it's been years and I don't think I even own a recording of it.

Lisa Hirsch said...

And the Composers in Person box does, indeed, have some Strauss conducting Strauss, but it's the Alpine Symphony and Rosenkavalier suite.