Jon Kimura Parker
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The San Diego Symphony is back from China and ready to continue the Jacobs Masterworks season this weekend.

They program the are performing is strong.

For starters, the strings will be featured in Sir Edward Elgar’s Serenade for Strings. We should all be thankful.

Elgar’s Serenade for Strings is considered by some to be his earliest work that is still in the performance repertoire. The piece was dedicated to Edward Henry Whinfield who was best known for being the first to translate the Sufi poet Rumi into English.

I have long admired this piece of music and was introduced to it by a recording of English string music by The London Chamber Orchestra.

Mendelssohn's Piano Concerto No. 1 is also on the list with Jon Kimura Parker as soloist. I think I referred to Kimura as a love monster when he was here in 2011 to play Rhapsody in Blue and Rhapsody on Theme by Paganini.

Mendelssohn was under the spell of Italy when he wrote this piano concerto along with his Symphony No. 4: Italian.

For reasons known only unto himself, Wittgenstein once wrote, “Mendelssohn is like Brahms — without the rigor.” I kind of get what Wittgenstein was saying but I love Mendelssohn and I love this piano concerto. I think it has plenty of rigor.

Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 15 is the big piece of music for this concert. The Fifteenth was the last symphony Shostakovich wrote and it is full of musical quotations from the likes of Rossini, Glinks, and Wagner.

The final movement begins very much like Tristan.

Listen to the opening 90 seconds of Shostakovich.

Now listen to Tristan.

Concerts are November 22nd -24th at Symphony Hall.

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