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Pre-Covid San Diego Symphony gets recorded

Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 11 from Feb. 2020 on Platoon label

What the San Diego Symphony is accomplishing is astounding.
What the San Diego Symphony is accomplishing is astounding.

On May 6, 2022, the first commercial recording of Rafael Payare conducting the San Diego Symphony will be released on the Platoon label. The subject of the recording is Dimitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 11: The Year 1905. It is a live recording of the February 2020 performances at The Jacobs Music Center at Copley Symphony Hall. Yes, those were the last concerts before the quarantine was established.

I remember that concert well. I said at the time, “This was the best performance I’ve heard the orchestra give under Payare.”

Payare had a clear understanding of Shostakovich’s musical intentions.

Video:

Dmitri Shostakovich - Symphony No. 11 in G minor op. 103

Semyon Bychkov | WDR Symphony Orchestra

Semyon Bychkov | WDR Symphony Orchestra

“There’s something very profound about Shostakovich’s music. It’s as though he’s always wearing a mask, but at the same time, he lets you see the true face behind. So, in theory, his Eleventh Symphony celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Russian Revolution of 1917, which evolved out of the earlier revolution of 1905. But in his hands, it becomes less of a celebration than a graphic depiction of brutality. He makes us experience the terror and horror of what happened that day. You can almost see and hear and smell it! When he makes us picture the white, snow-covered Palace Square turning red with blood, it’s as vivid as a film. I hear the third movement as a pledge, saying: ‘We won't forget this.’”

Via his conducting, Payare was able to show the orchestra those intentions in a way that the orchestra was able to express the music so that the audience could clearly understand. It was a spectacular performance that deserves wider attention. At the time, no more than 5,000-6,000 people heard those concerts.

Payare was able to show the orchestra Shostakovich's intentions.

Classical music audiences might not be familiar with the Platoon label. It’s not Deutsche Grammophon or London. Platoon was founded in 2016 and signed the as-yet-unknown Billie Eilish. Since then the label has gone global and has worked with classical music artists such as cellist Johannes Moser. The recording will be available on the Platoon website.

I might sound like a broken record here but I will reiterate that what the San Diego Symphony is accomplishing is astounding. This recording is yet another step in what is becoming a world-class organization.

Call me a “homer” if you must but the talent is there with Payare and the orchestra. Clearly, the development team is crushing it with capital projects at The Shell and the refurbishing of the Jacobs Music Center at Copley Symphony Hall. The leadership of CEO Martha Gilmer has been proven as The San Diego Symphony surges ahead coming out of Covid.

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What the San Diego Symphony is accomplishing is astounding.
What the San Diego Symphony is accomplishing is astounding.

On May 6, 2022, the first commercial recording of Rafael Payare conducting the San Diego Symphony will be released on the Platoon label. The subject of the recording is Dimitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 11: The Year 1905. It is a live recording of the February 2020 performances at The Jacobs Music Center at Copley Symphony Hall. Yes, those were the last concerts before the quarantine was established.

I remember that concert well. I said at the time, “This was the best performance I’ve heard the orchestra give under Payare.”

Payare had a clear understanding of Shostakovich’s musical intentions.

Video:

Dmitri Shostakovich - Symphony No. 11 in G minor op. 103

Semyon Bychkov | WDR Symphony Orchestra

Semyon Bychkov | WDR Symphony Orchestra

“There’s something very profound about Shostakovich’s music. It’s as though he’s always wearing a mask, but at the same time, he lets you see the true face behind. So, in theory, his Eleventh Symphony celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Russian Revolution of 1917, which evolved out of the earlier revolution of 1905. But in his hands, it becomes less of a celebration than a graphic depiction of brutality. He makes us experience the terror and horror of what happened that day. You can almost see and hear and smell it! When he makes us picture the white, snow-covered Palace Square turning red with blood, it’s as vivid as a film. I hear the third movement as a pledge, saying: ‘We won't forget this.’”

Via his conducting, Payare was able to show the orchestra those intentions in a way that the orchestra was able to express the music so that the audience could clearly understand. It was a spectacular performance that deserves wider attention. At the time, no more than 5,000-6,000 people heard those concerts.

Payare was able to show the orchestra Shostakovich's intentions.

Classical music audiences might not be familiar with the Platoon label. It’s not Deutsche Grammophon or London. Platoon was founded in 2016 and signed the as-yet-unknown Billie Eilish. Since then the label has gone global and has worked with classical music artists such as cellist Johannes Moser. The recording will be available on the Platoon website.

I might sound like a broken record here but I will reiterate that what the San Diego Symphony is accomplishing is astounding. This recording is yet another step in what is becoming a world-class organization.

Call me a “homer” if you must but the talent is there with Payare and the orchestra. Clearly, the development team is crushing it with capital projects at The Shell and the refurbishing of the Jacobs Music Center at Copley Symphony Hall. The leadership of CEO Martha Gilmer has been proven as The San Diego Symphony surges ahead coming out of Covid.

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