SFS/MTT at Yerba Buena Gardens

In the middle of a nice sunny Friday, SFS and MTT presented a one-hour program at an open area near downtown Financial District. It was my first time attending a symphony concert outdoors. It should be a good chance to check our their condition before they head to such prestigious music festivals in Europe for the first couple weeks in September. Plus I have not seen live music for quite a while.

The program includes movements from Shostakovich's Fifth and Tchaikovsky's First Symphonies, plus the final scene from Strauss' Salome.

When I could finally sit down and started listening to the music, I found it extremely weird to hear an ecstatic soprano singing about love and lust at the brightest time of the day.

The two movements from Tchaikovsky's First Symphony were also dull and uninteresting. I attributed that to the composer instead of the Symphony.

The Symphony is leaving for Europe next week and today's program was extracted from the music they prepared for the tour. The selection for the tour, which also includes John Adams, Prokofiev and Mahler, was actually quite interesting, way better than their tour to Asia last year - European audiences are for sure very picky. The only weak link is definitely the Tchaikovsky. Why would MTT pick this out of everything they could play?

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