Handel and Haydn at Davies

Last night we heard Ton Koopman conduct the SF Symphony in Handel’s Royal Fireworks Music and Haydn’s Sinfonia Concertante and Symphony 103 (the “Drumroll”). It was a pleasant but not memorable concert. The Fireworks Music and the Sinfonia Concertante are lightweight works at best anyway (IMO, at least). But the Drumroll is a favorite of mine, and I was hoping for a more polished and powerful performance from SFS than they gave. The symphony got off to a bad start with a small but embarrassing flub in the opening drumroll, and the small glitches continued — a slightly sour note in the horns here, a slightly ragged entrance from the strings there, the double basses too loud during one section, and so on. Still, what we heard the was first of four performances of this program, so maybe it’ll gain in crispness at later performances. Anyway, an enjoyable enough night out, but not a concert to remember.

The older couple to my right really enjoyed it, though. They spent much of the concert cleverly waving their hands in time to the music to give the illusion that they were the ones actually conducting the orchestra. So droll!

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