Anchor ads are not supported on this page.

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

Barber's Adagio deemed obscure

I did make my son watch the movie Platoon in which this music plays a prominent role

Samuel Barber giving the side eye. Obscure, indeed.
Samuel Barber giving the side eye. Obscure, indeed.

I have officially passed through the optimism of my youth and have entered my world-weary phase. Often, when I wake up in the morning, I am disappointed to see the same two feet swing out of bed and walk the well-worn trail to the bathroom to get yet another day started in this same old meat suit. However, there was a slight spring in my step as walked from my car toward The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center on Sunday, February 11.


I have heard quite a few concerts at this still new venue but this was the first that would feature a full-ish-sized orchestra. I was intrigued by the sonic possibilities.


The first piece was J.S. Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B minor. San Diego Symphony’s principal flutist, Rose Lombardo, was the featured soloist throughout. The famous final section, the “Badinerie”, came off great. Overall, Lombardo was flawless and played with the aplomb of an experienced soloist.


Video:

J.S. Bach: Suite No. 2




The second piece, also by Bach, was the Concerto for Violin and Oboe in C minor. San Diego Symphony concertmaster Jeff Thayer played the violin solo and principal oboist Sarah Skuster provided the oboe. Both played well and I enjoyed the music. I may have even indulged in some subdued head-bobbing. This is the classical equivalent of taking one’s shirt off and swinging it around above one’s head.

Sponsored
Sponsored


Now we come to Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings and the death of my optimism. Throughout one’s 20s and maybe even 30s, this piece of music might hold pride of place as the zenith of classical music. As one’s taste in music becomes more refined, this piece begins to slip from the peak to obscurity. The curmudgeon sitting next to me concurred. I can’t remember the last time I listened to it. I did make my son watch the movie Platoon in which this music plays a prominent role but that doesn’t count.


 I hoped this would be a good experience given the venue and that a live performance is usually more compelling than a commercial recording. It was good but only good. The performance lacked the overt emotionalism that this piece needs to be effective. Conductor Edo de Waart presented the music in a most sterile and literal way. All we got was the notes on the page, which can be a good thing but not with this piece.


Of course, the YouTube comments are a literary competition that completely disagrees with me relegating this piece to obscurity. 


Video:

Barber: Adagio for Strings




The final piece of music was Joseph Haydn’s Symphony No. 49. This was the full-sized orchestra but the sonic boom I was anticipating didn’t arrive. The performance was solid save for the horns in the third movement. The final movement was exceptional and all is well that ends well.

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

Aftermath of 99 Cents Only shut-down

Well, Dollar Tree, but no fresh fruit
Next Article

City late to extricate foxtails from Fiesta Island

Noxious seeds found in chest walls and hearts, and even the brain cavity of dead dogs
Samuel Barber giving the side eye. Obscure, indeed.
Samuel Barber giving the side eye. Obscure, indeed.

I have officially passed through the optimism of my youth and have entered my world-weary phase. Often, when I wake up in the morning, I am disappointed to see the same two feet swing out of bed and walk the well-worn trail to the bathroom to get yet another day started in this same old meat suit. However, there was a slight spring in my step as walked from my car toward The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center on Sunday, February 11.


I have heard quite a few concerts at this still new venue but this was the first that would feature a full-ish-sized orchestra. I was intrigued by the sonic possibilities.


The first piece was J.S. Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B minor. San Diego Symphony’s principal flutist, Rose Lombardo, was the featured soloist throughout. The famous final section, the “Badinerie”, came off great. Overall, Lombardo was flawless and played with the aplomb of an experienced soloist.


Video:

J.S. Bach: Suite No. 2




The second piece, also by Bach, was the Concerto for Violin and Oboe in C minor. San Diego Symphony concertmaster Jeff Thayer played the violin solo and principal oboist Sarah Skuster provided the oboe. Both played well and I enjoyed the music. I may have even indulged in some subdued head-bobbing. This is the classical equivalent of taking one’s shirt off and swinging it around above one’s head.

Sponsored
Sponsored


Now we come to Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings and the death of my optimism. Throughout one’s 20s and maybe even 30s, this piece of music might hold pride of place as the zenith of classical music. As one’s taste in music becomes more refined, this piece begins to slip from the peak to obscurity. The curmudgeon sitting next to me concurred. I can’t remember the last time I listened to it. I did make my son watch the movie Platoon in which this music plays a prominent role but that doesn’t count.


 I hoped this would be a good experience given the venue and that a live performance is usually more compelling than a commercial recording. It was good but only good. The performance lacked the overt emotionalism that this piece needs to be effective. Conductor Edo de Waart presented the music in a most sterile and literal way. All we got was the notes on the page, which can be a good thing but not with this piece.


Of course, the YouTube comments are a literary competition that completely disagrees with me relegating this piece to obscurity. 


Video:

Barber: Adagio for Strings




The final piece of music was Joseph Haydn’s Symphony No. 49. This was the full-sized orchestra but the sonic boom I was anticipating didn’t arrive. The performance was solid save for the horns in the third movement. The final movement was exceptional and all is well that ends well.

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

Normal Heights transplants

The couple next door were next: a thick stack of no-fault eviction papers were left taped to their door.
Next Article

San Diego Gen Z-ers spend 17% more than millennials did on rent

Half of local renters pay more than 30% of income on housing
Comments
Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it Letters — Our inbox Movies@Home — 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 Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new 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 Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week 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 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

Anchor ads are not supported on this page.