Friday, September 09, 2011

SF Symphony in Civic Center

SF Symphony at Civic Center PlazaDespite early morning clouds, it was pleasant weather & blue skies for the San Francisco Symphony's free noontime concert at Civic Center on Thursday. The Symphony is celebrating its centennial season in a big way, & I admittedly came more for the atmosphere than the music. Almost the first person I saw when I arrived was SFMike, blissfully rocking out to John Adams's Short Ride in a Fast Machine. The crowd went back at least two-thirds of the length of the plaza. Though I stood near the back, I could see Lang Lang's head-banging moves during the Liszt Piano Concerto No. 1, though his interpretation was actually quite controlled & well-proportioned. In the Britten Variations, the different sections of the orchestra played their solos with keen articulation. The amplification was not overdone, & the balances did not sound distorted.

SF Symphony at Civic Center PlazaAfter the program an excitable Mayor Ed Lee presented the orchestra with a proclamation, & MTT was cheeky enough to ask for free parking as well. Mr. Lee asked Lang Lang "to get back on the piano" & asked the audience to sing Happy Birthday loud enough to be heard in China. The plaza was decorated with balloons & a large birthday cake, which caused the people around me to make inappropriate jokes about MTT jumping out of it.

§ Free San Francisco Symphony Concert in Civic Center Plaza
Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor
Lang Lang, piano
San Francisco Symphony

John Adams
Short Ride in a Fast Machine

Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat major

The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra

Thu, Sep 8, 2011 11:30am
Civic Center Plaza


Civic Center said...

I want to hear those inappropriate MTT cake jokes. See you tonight.

Patrick J. Vaz said...

Mike, I had assumed you were the one making the inappropriate jokes. You have shaken my faith in you!

Axel Feldheim said...

Mike did not stick around long enough to make too many inappropriate jokes, but one of my friends kept tapping on the cake & whispering, "Michael? Are you all right in there?"