Last night’s Preview concert by the PSO was intended to whet the musical appetites of those of us in the audience: to tempt and tantalize, and to leave us hungry for more.
It achieved that goal for many — I saw quite a few people at the subscription tables, filling details.
But for me, the concert felt less like an appetizer and more like a sampler platter. A little Mozart, a few bites of Beethoven, a taste of Rachmaninoff, a sampling of Strauss, and more. I enjoyed the opportunity to compare styles in quick succession — and watching the changes in performers and instruments, which Doug Bauman aptly likened to a game of musical chairs. And I delighted to recognize a few, including the dramatic "Fanfare for the Common Man" and Paul Dukas’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (famously included in the Disney feature Fantasia.
Of course, only so much could be covered. It’s beyond challenging to boil a season of concerts down to 90 minutes of excerpts. Part of the draw of many of the concerts this season will be guest performers like Joshua Bell, Lang Lang, and Yefim Bronfman, and of course we couldn’t quite sample what those experiences will be like.
What surprised me though was that there were (I believe) no pieces by John Adams, the PSO’s Composer of the Year. We’ll hear three of his works this season, and those are among the concerts I’m most looking forward to.
Ah well, it’s a small complaint. The concert was just right. I left both satisfied by a hearty dose of music and longing for more soon.