Davies Symphony Hall is a terrific venue. Why have I never been before? The crowd seemed more posh and less diverse than the usual Disney Hall crew, but they kept quiet.
Chopin seems simple—what could be clearer?—but he never is. The Concerto #2 is a house party novel. The first movement is the arrival of the dramatis personae. It’s grand but a bit stiff; only the piano sounds human. The next movement is the morning after—a clandestine meeting before all the others are awake. The last movement is a busy Saturday—kids, visits, duties, uproar in which something important is happening. But what? Who knows. Yuja Wang was superb. She pretends to be a thoughtless chica in a sexy dress in order to surprise with her eddies of introspection.
Michael Tilson Thomas and the SFO made Bruckner’s 7th lush and opulent. The Adagio is sumptuous, melting, rapture and MTT kept nudging it towards ecstasy. At times it seemed to reach it. But Bruckner’s fatal garrulousness—or, call it his insistence on giving the audience their money’s worth—undermines the experience a bit.