Thursday, November 8, 2018
The Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra joined the main symphony musicians at the end of the concert to play Bernstein's Overture to Candide in an unexpected encore--a piece that was on their tour program in Europe earlier in the season. Isbin, too, played an encore--one of those extremely familiar Spanish guitar pieces that I can't immediately put a name to.
I have almost no words for the Hilary Hahn performance. She was superb, as always. She played one of the Bach solo sonatas for violin and two of the solo partitas, including Partita No. 2, with the famous extended chaconne. As an encore, she played a movement from another of the sonatas. It was strange to see the Davies Symphony Hall stage entirely empty of chairs, music stands, and instruments except for the lone figure of Hahn who nevertheless commanded the attention of perhaps the biggest crowd I've ever seen there. I counted six empty seats. During the encore, having already left my seat, I was able to watch and listen looking back from one of the doorways into the hall and to see the rapt audience all focused on Hahn, her violin, and the music she was making with it.