San Francisco Symphony Performs Shostakovich and Liszt with Pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet
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The last date listed for James Conlon and Jean-Yves Thibaudet was Friday March 13, 2009 / 6:30pm.
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Featured review from Matthew Travisano
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The SF Symphony's "Friday 6.5" concert on 3/13 was thoroughly enjoyable. The format of this series is audience-friendly; the conductor gives an introduction to each piece from the podium. I normally find conductors to be awkward public speakers so such intros tend to be tedious. But James Conlon is a wry and engaging speaker, and his comments, particularly before the Shostakovich (complete with musical excerpts to illustrate his points), were helpful even to someone like me who's been attending orchestral concerts for the last 15 years.
As for the actual playing: it was of the high standards you would expect of the SF Symphony. Jean-Yves Thibaudet was the soloist for Liszt's gorgeous Piano Concerto No. 2, a piece way ahead of its time in terms of chords and rhythm (hinting at jazz about 60 years before its birth). Mr. Thibaudet was both elegant and athletic, and proved a sensitive and thoughtful soloist. The orchestra provided excellent accompaniment. But the orchestra and Mr. Conlon shined in the second half, a suite of music from Shostakovich's opera "Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk." The orchestra sounded muscular and dispatched the selections with gusto while also playing the more lyrical passages with elegance (the SF Symphony easily being one of the more elegant orchestras in the world).
A great time and a real coup that the tickets were on Goldstar.
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A thoroughly enjoyable performance complete with a pre-performance 'primer' to provide the audience with a context with which to enjoy the Shostakovitch piece. For example he was about 27 when he composed the Lady Macbeth Opera, and although...continued
Franz Liszt, superstar pianist, meets a modern counterpart in Thibaudet. James Conlon, LA Opera’s music director, has conducted in the world’s greatest opera houses. He brings us music from the opera that sparked Stalin’s campaign against Shostakovich.
Berlioz, Le Corsaire Overture
Liszt, Piano Concerto No. 2
Shostakovich (arr. Conlon), Suite from Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District
This Friday 6.5 Series concert also features James Conlon’s remarks before the complete works are performed.