I attended the March 7, 2013 performance of the San Francisco Symphony at the Green Music Center. Michael Tilson Thomas conducted Drift and Providence, by Samuel Carl Adams, the Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4 (Yuja Wang, soloist), and the Brahms Symphony No. 1. Conductor Thomas led a precise and satisfying interpretation of the Brahms symphony with an especially lush second movement. The woodwinds in particular were memorable, especially the oboe in the first movement, the clarinet in the second, and the flute in later movements. The oboe sounded especially poignant following the sudden unexpected death of the Symphony's principal oboist, William Bennet, February 28, following his collapse from a brain hemorrhage on February 23 during a performance. The basses, trombones, and percussion were remarkably resonant. This new hall seems to emphasize the low end of things. I wonder if conductors have to learn a new hall and adjust their performances to it? I imagine they do. The tympani at the end of the piece were played with special verve, I thought.
We attended a gathering for the artists after the concert. Yuja Wang decided not to appear. Michael Tilson Thomas looked bored and distracted and eager to leave--not that I blame him. Samuel Adams was a delight to talk with. It turns out he lives in Brooklyn, where I spent my earliest years. He even knew the street I lived on, St. John's Place--our stickball field.
Photos courtesy of the San Francisco Symphony. Photo of Deutsche Grammophon artist Yuja Wang © Felix Broede. Photo of composer Samuel Carl Adams by Deborah O'Grady.
Saturday, March 9, 2013
Friday, March 8, 2013
Storms earlier in the week brought strong winds and a little more rain. We got 0.55 inches at my location. That brings our total for the 2012-2013 rain year to 23.45 inches. Average for this date in March is a little over 29 inches, so we are about 5.5 inches below normal now, having been nearly 10 inches ahead near the start of the season.
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
The hive does not appear to be diseased. It's not clear what happened. I had seen activity as recently as about three weeks before I realized something was wrong. On one of the few recent warm days we've had, no bees were entering or leaving the hive and it was clear that the colony was lost. I'm hoping to find a swarm of bees as soon as possible, to get the hive going again.