4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Beethoven 9th: San Diego Symphony (2 of 2)

Bass Richard Zeller
Bass Richard Zeller

As beautiful as the Brahms performance was, it was not the primary draw to last weekend’s concerts. The big piece of music was Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9.

We weren’t disappointed. The performance was magnificent.

The first movement was slightly restrained as if Maestro Masur was saving the big guns for the finale. The violas carried their stellar unison over from Brahms to Beethoven.

In the second movement, the timpani barked at us like a junkyard dog and Maestro Masur definitely let that dog off the chain a bit. The second movement thrilled with its wildness and promised a rousing rendition of the Ode to Joy section.

However, the heart of the symphony is the third movement. The opening theme on the strings melts the heart with its earnestness and sincerity. After the gruff and grumpy second movement, this introspective moment materializes out of the mists of Beethoven’s imagination as nothing short of a miracle.

It should be noted that things got a bit dodgy in this section. The woodwinds and brass had what sounded like an impromptu chamber concert in the middle of the movement while the strings accompanied. The distance between the instruments on stage did not make for an ideal situation to keep the music tight.

I have to admire the focus, concentration, and trust in each other that the players demonstrated. If one of them slipped, the entire structure could have buckled. I admit it was a little bit exciting to hear them hold each other together.

The finale was well paced and exciting with some excellent singing from bass soloist Richard Zeller. His voice was consistent and present from the top of his range to the bottom.

I was interested to hear the soprano Measha Brueggergosman but I ended up disappointed. There was no problem hearing her at all, her voice cut right through the orchestra. However, there was a flutter in her voice that disguised what her voice actually sounded like. I’m not sure if that is going to make any sense. Every time she sang I kept hoping to hear her but this fluttering quick vibrato was always in the way.

The San Diego Master Chorale was serviceable. For some reason the chorale was warming up in the east end of the lobby before the concert. I’m not sure why that was the case and I hoping it was purely logistical because it came off as being bush league.

I said it last time Beethoven’s Ninth was performed, and I’ll say it again this time: The San Diego Master Chorale is a fine group but they are not sufficient for the level of music-making that the symphony is trying to accomplish.

When they entire tenor section sounds as if they’re going to blow out their “O-ring” during their solo line, it makes an impression and it’s not a pretty one.

The Master Chorale sounded fine, even good at times but the sound was never exciting or beautiful. In contrast, the orchestra always sounded exciting and beautiful.

The symphony has addressed the trumpets this year; perhaps the quality of the choruses they use will be addressed next year.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Had his hand in: Padres, Westgate Hotel, Westgate Tuna, Yellow Cab, Kona Kai, Fashion Valley

C. Arnholt Smith was the ultimate Mr. San Diego
Bass Richard Zeller
Bass Richard Zeller

As beautiful as the Brahms performance was, it was not the primary draw to last weekend’s concerts. The big piece of music was Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9.

We weren’t disappointed. The performance was magnificent.

The first movement was slightly restrained as if Maestro Masur was saving the big guns for the finale. The violas carried their stellar unison over from Brahms to Beethoven.

In the second movement, the timpani barked at us like a junkyard dog and Maestro Masur definitely let that dog off the chain a bit. The second movement thrilled with its wildness and promised a rousing rendition of the Ode to Joy section.

However, the heart of the symphony is the third movement. The opening theme on the strings melts the heart with its earnestness and sincerity. After the gruff and grumpy second movement, this introspective moment materializes out of the mists of Beethoven’s imagination as nothing short of a miracle.

It should be noted that things got a bit dodgy in this section. The woodwinds and brass had what sounded like an impromptu chamber concert in the middle of the movement while the strings accompanied. The distance between the instruments on stage did not make for an ideal situation to keep the music tight.

I have to admire the focus, concentration, and trust in each other that the players demonstrated. If one of them slipped, the entire structure could have buckled. I admit it was a little bit exciting to hear them hold each other together.

The finale was well paced and exciting with some excellent singing from bass soloist Richard Zeller. His voice was consistent and present from the top of his range to the bottom.

I was interested to hear the soprano Measha Brueggergosman but I ended up disappointed. There was no problem hearing her at all, her voice cut right through the orchestra. However, there was a flutter in her voice that disguised what her voice actually sounded like. I’m not sure if that is going to make any sense. Every time she sang I kept hoping to hear her but this fluttering quick vibrato was always in the way.

The San Diego Master Chorale was serviceable. For some reason the chorale was warming up in the east end of the lobby before the concert. I’m not sure why that was the case and I hoping it was purely logistical because it came off as being bush league.

I said it last time Beethoven’s Ninth was performed, and I’ll say it again this time: The San Diego Master Chorale is a fine group but they are not sufficient for the level of music-making that the symphony is trying to accomplish.

When they entire tenor section sounds as if they’re going to blow out their “O-ring” during their solo line, it makes an impression and it’s not a pretty one.

The Master Chorale sounded fine, even good at times but the sound was never exciting or beautiful. In contrast, the orchestra always sounded exciting and beautiful.

The symphony has addressed the trumpets this year; perhaps the quality of the choruses they use will be addressed next year.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Mary Ann Humfreville missing from Bahia de los Angeles for two months

Kept her cash in cat box
Next Article

Del Mar jousts over where to put poor people

State could fine them $100K a month
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close