San Diego Symphony on Saturday night — the best concert ever

Simone Porter
San Diego Reader

Well, I guess the May 20th concert by the San Diego Symphony was the best one I’ve heard them perform. Yes. I’m going to go with that. Charles Dutoit conducted the living fire out of the orchestra in a concert which stretched from Mozart through Beethoven to Stravinsky and Ravel.

The styles of Beethoven and Mozart were captured to perfection. Obviously these are well-known styles but not often are they so masterfully expressed.

Violinist Simone Porter played Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 3 with a beauty of tone which was equal to the stylistic perfection being pulled out of the orchestra by Dutoit. The famous second movement had just the right amount of suspension and grace.

What happens if a performance gets just the wrong amount? You risk being cheap and saccharin. That might work for — well I was going to bad mouth some other types of music but this concert has elevated my mindset. I need not stoop to such low levels of discourse.

Stravinsky’s Petrushka rocked my world. Holy hell, what a piece of music and what a performance. The audience gave it a mid-concert standing ovation. To my knowledge, that was a first for the San Diego Symphony.

Ravel’s La Valse was the concluding piece in the concert. This is one of my favorite pieces of music and it’s about one of my favorite periods of history, fin de siecle Vienna.
Read the rest of the review here