Monday, February 23, 2015
For all flesh is as grass
The Saturday evening performance at the San Francisco Symphony of Brahms' A German Requiem was stirring and beautiful. It's too bad that the concert started with a deadly dull rendition by organist Jonathan Dimmock of four Chorale Preludes by Brahms, followed by the same composer's acapella motet for chorus entitled Warum ist das Licht gegeben dem Muhseligen (Why is light given to those in misery?).
I reassured a number of subscribers at intermission that things would pick up immensely in the second half, and they did. Soloists baritone Christian Gerhaher (above right) and soprano Ruth Ziesak (not pictured) were superb in their small roles, Herbert Blomstedt's conducting was magisterial, the orchestra was sharp, and the massive SF Symphony Chorus was stupendously good. The music is still vibrating in my brain and body two days later. Congratulations to everyone.