Sunday, January 21, 2007

Stravinsky Ballet and Mozart Mass

There was an interesting program at the San Francisco Symphony this week of two major pieces by Stravinsky and Mozart that I had never heard before, the 1946 "Orpheus" ballet and a huge, unfinished Mass in C Minor from 1783.

Thanks to Rita at the SFist website, we had press seats in the twelfth row of Davies Hall on Friday evening, where the large chorus thundered the Kyrie Eleison at us.

Her very funny review of the concert can be read by clicking here.

The German conductor Ingo Metzmacher (above left) seemed to be having a wonderful time, and the ascetic Stravinsky ballet was an interesting pairing with the plush Mozart mass.

The Swedish soprano Camilla Tilling (above right), who sang Susanna in "The Marriage of Figaro" at the San Francisco Opera last summer, had the most to sing as a soloist and her voice was perfection in a slightly chilly way. Her Figaro in that production was the Canadian bass/baritone John Relyea, who was also on hand to sing all of about two minutes of music in the hour-long piece, which seemed rather a waste of his excellent abilities. The English soprano Sarah Fox (above left) wasn't in quite the same league, and her concert dress was something of a Golden Globes Fashion Disaster. It was a fun evening.


Anonymous said...

What a lucky evening. Funny, I've been listening to Mozart's Mass In C Minor on cd this week, simply because it's one I pulled out... to me HEAVEN would be listening to the massive choral QUI TOLLIS PECCATA MUNDI (Largo)- about 7 minutes long-- the 6th presentation in the Mass.... love that Mass only TOO MANY shrieking soprano pieces.. I'd love to hear that Mass with male voices doing the soprano solos...... as I age, my ears can not take these high-pitched noises from sopranos...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your coverage on the C minor Mass concert! I really wanted to make it to this, but couldn't, so it was nice to at least read about it.

The "Et incarnatus est" from that mass ranks among my very favorite soprano arias. Did they do justice to it in this concert?

Civic Center said...

Dear Eric: The "Et incarnatus est" was exquisite. I thought Ms. Tilling, the soprano, was a bit cold dramatically for the Susanna part in "The Marriage of Figaro" at the opera last summer, but musically her voice is just about perfect for Mozart, and her rendition of the aria with the quartet of woodwinds was wonderful. Sorry you missed it.