Monday, July 04, 2016

SF Symphony Dedicates Mahler's 'Resurrection' to Orlando's Dead

The 2016 season of the San Francisco Symphony closed last week with several concerts of Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 2, widely known as the "Resurrection Symphony" and I caught the first performance last week on Wednesday evening.

For the first time, after years of enjoying music director Michael Tilson Thomas conducting the orchestra, I sat to the side in the third row and had the pleasure of seeing his mature and expressive face as he led the musicians to aural perfection, giving me a deeper appreciation of his talents and Mahler.

From the tragic, somber passages to joyous and wondrous bombast, this Mahler symphony as beautifully played by the orchestra pushed all the right emotional buttons with me. The subtle and soft strings tugged at my heart and brought some tears to my eyes, while the muscular thunder of drums, signifying uplift, raised my spirits.

When soprano Karina Gauvin and Kelley O'Connor sang about the primal light and resurrection, their voices were balms for my ears and aching soul as were the sounds of the San Francisco Symphony Chorus members from the terrace section above the musicians.

Every element fused together made for a thrilling evening at Davies Symphony Hall and the rousing standing ovation and loud cheers at the conclusion were well-earned and rightfully deserved.

As if all of that weren't enough for a memorable and honestly satisfying evening of high-brow culture, this announcement was printed in the program:

"As advocates of peace and hope through the message of music, the entire San Francisco Symphony family extends its deepest sympathies to those affected by the tragic event of June 12 in Orlando. These concerts are dedicated to the memory of the victims."

I much appreciated reading this and the dedication is welcome, I just wish the SF Symphony had included mention of the LGBT and Latinx identities of the victims in the Pulse nightclub massacre.

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