So far we are 2 for 2 … both reviewers write positively about their Symphony Silicon Valley experience this past Saturday night. Here’s Mr. Bratman’s review. Do I agree with their reviews? Will I ever tell? Guess you’ll have to keep checking here to find out. 😉

Mr. Bratman mentions the creation of a new mini-cadenza in Beethoven’s Fifth, which was written by our principal oboist, Pamela Hakl. I liked what she wrote and, as always, she played beautifully. I’m still not sure I think it’s what the composer intended, but our conductor for the week insisted that it was. It’s always a bit of a risk for the player to follow the conductor’s request with something like this, but that is what we, as orchestra members, are required to do. I’m not sure that the first reviewer even knew that anything was different about the work; he certainly didn’t mention it if he did!


  1. I can’t imagine not noticing something like that, especially not in the
    Beethoven symphonies, works I’ve been swallowing in huge gulps since I
    was 12 years old, and which are as central to me as any music ever
    written.  I’d tend to doubt the competence of a reviewer who
    didn’t realize something funny was going on.  But maybe the Merc’s
    reviewer didn’t have a chance to get an explanation (he had to turn in
    his review on Sunday, after all), or his editor trimmed the reference
    out, as mine trimmed out a bit about the encore.

  2. Patricia Mitchell

    Heh … I can imagine just about anything. And while you’ve been swallowing Beethoven I must confess I never did. Of course I play him, but that’s different.

    As to doubting the competence of a reviewer I shall remain silent. Sometimes silence is necessary.

    (I do think, though, that we performers might someday start a site where we review the reviews! Oh the things that get missed, and the behind-the-scenes stories we could tell. But we shouldn’t.)