Last night, myself and a few other lucky bloggers were fortunate enough to be a part of the first blogger’s night at the San Francisco Symphony. It was a wonderful opportunity to get out of our digital worlds and immerse ourselves in the an analog world of orchestral music.
The SFS started off the evening of “Classical Romance” with Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet, Fantasy-Overture, conducted by 27-year old conductor James Gaffigan. It’s a piece that many are familiar with (further info and link to download a recording on Wikipedia), and was a lovely opener. This was immediately followed by a performance of R. Strauss’ Don Juan, Opus 20. As Gaffigan noted, although both stories and pieces are tragic, the most beautiful things are often tragic.
After intermission, we were treated to an awe-inspiring performance of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Opus 30, by 23-year old pianist Gabrielle Martinez. A long and intense piano piece (accompanied by Gaffigan and the SFS), Martinez pulled it off flawlessly, and without sheet music!