I had a seat in the side terrace for the San Francisco Symphony's well-attended Sunday matinee. MTT led Liszt's Prometheus tone poem without a baton & shifted easily between moods, but I did not grasp the overall structure, if there is one. It was surprising to hear a fugue in the middle of it. There is also an unusual passage for trumpet & tuba. The performance was clean, & the strings played strongly & with bite.
Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 1 occupied the 2nd half. MTT had a score on the podium, but he never opened it. The orchestra, especially the strings, made a full sound throughout. Every movement seemed to unfold at the same ceremonious tempo. I enjoyed the lovely, pure-toned clarinet solo in the 1st movement & the long, seamless oboe solo in the 2nd movement, both solos nicely understated.
Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor
Christian Tetzlaff, violin
LISZT: Prometheus, Symphonic Poem No. 5
LIGETI: Violin Concerto
TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 1 in G minor, Opus 13, Winter Daydreams
Sun, Jan 8, 2012 2:00pm
Davies Symphony Hall