After nearly 50 years, SF Symphony gets around to Lutoslawski’s cello concerto

Johannes Moser
San Francisco Chronicle

On Thursday, Jan. 24, Lutoslawski’s Cello Concerto from 1970 — a work of extraordinary wit, invention, theatrical vibrancy and expressive weight — finally took its place in the San Francisco Symphony’s repertoire. It got a magnificent performance featuring Johannes Moser as soloist and led with panache by the orchestra’s resident conductor, Christian Reif.

So that’s good.

Now, some might suggest that almost half a century is too bloody long to wait for an orchestra to finally perform a piece this important. They might insist, with a note of impatient asperity, that all those performances of the familiar cello showpieces by Dvorák or Saint-Saëns or Tchaikovsky in the intervening decades were just filling time with repetitious folderol.

But let’s take a sunnier view of things, and instead exult in the fact that a historical omission has finally been rectified. Some things are simply worth waiting for, and Lutoslawski’s Cello Concerto is one of them.
Read the full review here