Quantcast
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

Jahja Ling and Dvorak surprised me

Even without San Diego Symphony's Raphael Payare

Dvorak's orientalism makes him beloved.
Dvorak's orientalism makes him beloved.

Never, ever, trust a critic. Always take any review with a grain of salt.

Case in point. I thought I didn’t like Dvorak’s Symphony No. 8. I found it lacking the drama of his Seventh and Ninth Symphonies. I was wrong. I love Dvorak’s Eighth Symphony and it has plenty of drama.

On the other hand, I’ve always loved Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3. My enduring love was strengthened after having heard it performed by the San Diego Symphony on Saturday, December 7.

The 18 year-old Wei Luo was the soloist. Luo has moved beyond the level of prodigy and into the realm of maturing artist. She played with nuance, accuracy, and power. Currently, she is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in music at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia.

I had gone into the concert with a fair amount of skepticism. My skepticism stemmed from the fact that Raphael Payare, the new music director, had six weeks in a row with the orchestra and now the music director laureate Jahja Ling was back to conduct this concert.

How would the players respond?

My skepticism had already been proven to be unfounded with the Prokofiev piano concerto. When the Dvorak Symphony No. 8 came around, I settled in to be bored.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

I don’t know when or where I was the last time I heard the Dvorak Eighth but in the here and now of this concert, I was a fan. I was flabbergasted with myself. How could I have ever found this music to be unfulfilling? Well, you know what they say. Never trust a critic.

The opening phrase of the symphony sang forth from the cellos with a unity of tone and beauty which immediately made me feel guilty for having any doubts about this music. The first movement unfolded with all the lyricism, drama, and orientalism which makes Dvorak a beloved figure.

Perhaps orientalsim is the wrong word but the entire Eighth Symphony is colored with a chromaticism which evokes vistas other than those of traditional Western orchestral music. I would invoke the term “Gypsy” but it is no longer acceptable, according to “woke” culture. Of course, neither is orientalism.

Whatever the case may be, Jahja Ling, the San Diego Symphony, and Dvorak’s Eighth Symphony lifted my spirits, filled my heart and shamed my concert prejudices. Shame is such a useful emotion.

The San Diego Symphony now enters the holiday mode with their Noel Noel concerts over the next two weekends. The Masterworks series returns with legendary pianist Emanuel Ax playing Beethoven on Friday, January 10.

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

Previous article

Alison Tummond: preventing summer’s silent killer

“Anytime you have a pool, or a bathtub, or a toilet, or a bucket, a child can drown.”
Next Article

The glamour and crime of Tijuana

Club Campestre abduction, cross-border prostitution, Russian-owned gym, TJ's new night scene
Dvorak's orientalism makes him beloved.
Dvorak's orientalism makes him beloved.

Never, ever, trust a critic. Always take any review with a grain of salt.

Case in point. I thought I didn’t like Dvorak’s Symphony No. 8. I found it lacking the drama of his Seventh and Ninth Symphonies. I was wrong. I love Dvorak’s Eighth Symphony and it has plenty of drama.

On the other hand, I’ve always loved Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3. My enduring love was strengthened after having heard it performed by the San Diego Symphony on Saturday, December 7.

The 18 year-old Wei Luo was the soloist. Luo has moved beyond the level of prodigy and into the realm of maturing artist. She played with nuance, accuracy, and power. Currently, she is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in music at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia.

I had gone into the concert with a fair amount of skepticism. My skepticism stemmed from the fact that Raphael Payare, the new music director, had six weeks in a row with the orchestra and now the music director laureate Jahja Ling was back to conduct this concert.

How would the players respond?

My skepticism had already been proven to be unfounded with the Prokofiev piano concerto. When the Dvorak Symphony No. 8 came around, I settled in to be bored.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

I don’t know when or where I was the last time I heard the Dvorak Eighth but in the here and now of this concert, I was a fan. I was flabbergasted with myself. How could I have ever found this music to be unfulfilling? Well, you know what they say. Never trust a critic.

The opening phrase of the symphony sang forth from the cellos with a unity of tone and beauty which immediately made me feel guilty for having any doubts about this music. The first movement unfolded with all the lyricism, drama, and orientalism which makes Dvorak a beloved figure.

Perhaps orientalsim is the wrong word but the entire Eighth Symphony is colored with a chromaticism which evokes vistas other than those of traditional Western orchestral music. I would invoke the term “Gypsy” but it is no longer acceptable, according to “woke” culture. Of course, neither is orientalism.

Whatever the case may be, Jahja Ling, the San Diego Symphony, and Dvorak’s Eighth Symphony lifted my spirits, filled my heart and shamed my concert prejudices. Shame is such a useful emotion.

The San Diego Symphony now enters the holiday mode with their Noel Noel concerts over the next two weekends. The Masterworks series returns with legendary pianist Emanuel Ax playing Beethoven on Friday, January 10.

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

Tacos Lily: good enough for Anthony Bourdain!

I raise my Tecate to the Master.
Next Article

Alison Tummond: preventing summer’s silent killer

“Anytime you have a pool, or a bathtub, or a toilet, or a bucket, a child can drown.”
Comments
1
This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.
Dec. 13, 2019

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 News — 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