This is probably the final review I’ll find on last week’s symphony concert.

Do I agree?

Email me if you want to know.

One thing I do want to note, though; this symphony is extremely part time. We have four rehearsals in three days’ time for the two performances we give that weekend. Our orchestra usually has a good number of substitutes. We don’t play together during the summer, and we don’t see each other between sets. When San Jose Symphony (RIP) was alive we played together much more frequently. It takes some time to gel, and so we do have to work hard to get back to where we were after a long hiatus.

This isn’t an excuse. It’s merely the truth.

1 Comment

  1. Well, MacClelland is right about one thing – the Mendelssohn was a mess
    until the last movement.  I tried to say this, more politely than
    he managed, in my own review.

    But I disagree with almost everything else.  Sure, Flynn is a fine
    conductor, but he isn’t superior to MTT.  They’re just
    different.  And MacClelland’s call for a music director would lead
    to the “overmarketed podium prince” problem he elsewhere cites. 
    An “empowered” music director makes an orchestra into his own image,
    especially if it’s a small orchestra with few concerts and fewer guest
    conductors, and this is not always a good thing, as those who remember
    SJS’s last music director will realize.

    Things probably can’t go on forever as they are, but I think Bales is
    plowing a brave furrow.  It’s an insult to the musicians to say
    they can’t respect him, and an even greater insult to say they won’t do
    their best for a guest.  As you say, this isn’t a full-time
    orchestra, so it’s best not to try to treat it as if it were. 
    I’ve heard better all-around music-making from SSV in the last three
    years than I heard from SJS in its final three years, that’s for
    sure.  And what’s different?  The conductors.