750 B Street, Downtown San Diego
There was a good reason for Augustin Hadelich to join the audience for Prokoviev's 5th Symphony.
I was at the Saturday night concert which meant Augustin had already heard the Prokofiev on Friday. He knew something the rest of us didn't know. He had foreknowledge of the colossus that was about to reveal itself.
As the Colossus of Rhodes was one of the ancient wonders of the world, so is the Prokofiev 5 one of the wonders of the symphonic world.
Besides Mr. Hadelich and his patronage, there was one more clue that this was going to be a performance to remember. There was no score or conductor's stand on the stage for maestro Ling.
Before we get too far into Prokofiev, let's take care of some housekeeping items.
The lobby of Symphony Hall has been renovated. Gone are the heavy, dark colors of 60's mafia delight. Present is a bright yet elegant welcome from the space.
Second item, this concert was made up of music that the symphony will be taking to Carnegie Hall and then on to their 10 day tour of China. The tour is November 1st through the 10th. In fact, the three concert weekends this month all include music that will be taken on the tour.
Prokofiev’s music always sounds, to my ears, as though he has tons of swag. From the "Dance of the Knights" in Romeo and Juliet to the opening section of the Scythian Suite to the opening section of the Fifth Symphony, Prokofiev is swinging a big stick.
Concerning the performance itself, it was, as the kids say, off the hook. It is a beautiful thing to see and hear an orchestra and conductor who are tight. The San Diego Symphony and maestro Ling’s right arm are becoming one and the same.
I noticed in Night Parade as well as in the Prokofiev that the trumpets had a swag of their own going. I looked in the program and noticed that the principal trumpet position was “open.” I guess a little competition never hurt anyone.
He inspires romance: San Diego Symphony (1 of 2)