Danny Peralta-Cieloha’s Event Journal

Davis syymph hall sfsymphony barantschik 052013
Thursday June 6, 2013 / 2:00pm
SF Symphony: Britten's Double Concerto
1 ticket
Premier First Tier

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A pleasant enough afternoon. The highlight was Britten's Double Concerto for Violin & Viola. The soloists, Vinocour and Barantschik are, respectively, first chair/concertmaster with SFS. It was delicious to hear their virtuosity literally "out-front" for a change. Concertmaster Barantschik particularly distinguished himself in the Second Movement of the Britten playing very high, soft notes that still filled the hall in full, goosebump-producing sonorities. How does he do that? Perhaps the Guarnerius del Gesú violin can take at least a bit of the credit. Our young violist played with distinction as well, however, I found myself wishing for a deeper, fuller sound from him—especially when he was plumbing the lower register of that magnificent Sorioni viola. The Hoenegger piece was agreeable enough—especially since it was mercifully short. For me, the Sibelius came and went. I was sitting in premiere First Tier, but was still surprised at how much better the piece sounded in the snippets played over the speaker system during the pre-concert lecture than when the orchestra was playing it—live! Not sure whether it was the seat or, gods forbid, an orchestra that perhaps lacked its usual inspiring podium leadership. Worth the Goldstar price, but not a particularly memorable afternoon.