These two performances showcase a group of instrumentalists whose collective musicianship is electrifying: full of just the right combination of wonder, play, and discovery this much-loved repertoire needs in order to sound fresh and truly come to life.
The San Francisco Symphony is a model of complexity: tonally warm but texturally clear; rhythmically on edge but never abrasive in character; beautifully blended throughout.
Letters from Gettysburg is an extraordinarily haunting five-movement work that elevates the experience of one man into a memorial to all victims of war.
Saariaho’s music is often lush and vibrant, to be sure, but it also can lose track of its musical purpose and meander excessively from time to time. Not so in “Circle Map.”