Sunday, July 25, 2010

SFS in Dolores Park

Free Concert at Dolores Park
San Francisco Symphony Celebrates Mexico's Bicentennial

Alondra de la Parra, conductor

Márquez, Danzón No. 2
Chávez, Symphony No. 2, Sinfonia India
Rosas, Sobre las Olas
Moncayo, Huapango
Dvořák, Symphony No. 9, New World

Sun, Jul 25, 2010 2:00pm
Dolores Park

SF Symphony at Dolores ParkEven though it was cloudy & cold in my neighborhood, there was some blue sky & warmth by the time I got to Dolores Park for the San Francisco Symphony's free concert in commemoration of Mexico's bicentennial. There was an enormous crowd of picnickers blanketing the upper part of park & having a relaxing afternoon. Unfortunately I made it there just before the intermission, so my experience started with the irresistibly danceable Huapango. Dvořák's New World Symphony was similarly bouyant. I liked that conductor Alondra de la Parra was always well ahead of the orchestra & did not seem to over-conduct. The 1st movement was expansive, & the 2nd movement had a sustained floating feel. Since the crowd applauded after every movement, de la Parra could give the English horn soloist a bow after the Largo. I found myself gently swaying to the dancing lilt of the Scherzo, & the final movement was fleet without feeling rushed. Maestra de la Parra addressed the audience in both Spanish & English & obviously made many fans this afternoon. I may be one of them. Her CD on sale during the event sold out by the intermission.

The audience got to select an encore via texting. The choices were Mozart's overture to The Marriage of Figaro & Bernstein's overture to Candide. Mozart won, despite a sudden surge of votes for Bernstein after the intermission. The crowd gave the concert a standing ovation, & I think they would have liked to hear the Candide as well.


sfmike said...

I just put up an account of the Dvorak symphony from Thursday's performance at Davies Hall. I was really happy that she and the orchestra breathed such life into the warhorse, and glad she pulled it off again at Dolores Park. They should bring her back for the regular season.

Axel Feldheim said...

Because this was an amplified outdoor performance, I hesitate to make too many pronouncements, but I have to say that I enjoyed what I heard. It was certainly cheerful & fresh. I was really far away from the stage, but I have since had a chance to look at her publicity materials. One imagines that as an orchestra member it may be newly inspiring just to look up & see her looking back at you.