Oct 27, 2004

tsr on naive and sentimental music

The Standing Room has a great review up of Saturday's SF Symphony performance of John Adams' 1999 piece Naive and Sentimental Music. He blames guest conductor Allen Gilbert for a lackluster performance...

The whole thing felt disjointed and lacked all forward motion. The second movement ground to a halt. The various cogs of the third movement never came together to create that wondrous Adams machine. And that poor first movement melody was shapeless and flaccid, because everyone seemed so concerned about counting. Frankly, I don't think he got the piece at all.

How disappointing. As TSR also reports, I've seen MTT conduct Adams' Harmonielehre, and Adams conduct the SF Symphony himself for the debut of El Dorado, and both times they blew the roof off the place, and had the audience rapt. That said, I saw an SF Symphony violinist acquaintance of mine Saturday afternoon (before the show), and he was not looking forward to the evening. I think his exact words were "I hate this piece."

Midori would have been something to see, though...