Friday, March 09, 2012

American Mavericks Consumer Bulletin for Friday

The San Francisco Symphony's American Mavericks Festival opened last night with an enormously successful concert of Aaron Copland at his most adventurous, Orchestral Variations, followed by Lou Harrison's Concerto for Organ with Percussion Orchestra, and Henry Brant's orchestration of Charles Ives's Concord Sonata. The news is that the program will be repeated tonight, and you really shouldn't miss it. I just checked with the box office, and there are $20 rush tickets for sale. Just go to Davies Hall anytime after 10AM and pick one up.

Do not bother going to the pre-concert playlet about the life and works of Charles Ives at 6:30 PM, which is dreadful thanks to the script and acting of David Prather above right.

It would have been so much more interesting to have the pianist Peter Grunberg above, with his musical genius, take the audience through Ives's Concord Sonata on the piano instead of being cast as a musical sidekick in the dreary skit.

I can't recommend the concert itself highly enough, especially the Lou Harrison where pianist Robin Sutherland gave a beautiful performance with organ soloist Paul Jacobs and a half-dozen percussionists for a precise and thrilling runthrough of the gamelan-style concerto.

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