Monday, January 30, 2023

MTT Here and There

Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles
Photo by Lisa Hirsch

Michael Tilson Thomas, Music Director Laureate of the San Francisco Symphony, gave concerts in the last few weeks with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and SFS. One of the programs (Debussy, Messiaen, Villa Lobos) was the same at the both orchestras. Jean-Yves Thibaudet played piano in both the Messiaen and Debussy Fantasy. Here's some of the reporting.
  • Joshua Kosman, SF Chronicle (Debussy, Messiaen, Villa Lobos in SF). Here's why we heard essentially no Messiaen from MTT over the years: "Where [JK] and other listeners heard vibrant orchestral colors and rapturous expressiveness, Thomas claimed to detect cheap theatrical tricks, easy to pull off and not really worth the effort." The first and only previous performances of Trois Petites Liturgies with SFS were in 1979, with Jeffrey Kahane as pianist, conducted by.....Michael Tilson Thomas.
  • Richard S. Ginell, SFCV (Debussy, Messiaen, Villa Lobos in LA)
  • Richard S. Ginell, SFCV (Mahler 9 in LA)
  • Alex Ross, The New Yorker (Both concerts in LA. The illustration gave me a bit of a start because MTT's glasses are blue, his favorite color, not red.)


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