JANUARY 26-28 AND MARCH 30-APRIL 2, 2023

BY Iride Aparicio

Photo Courtesy: SF Symphony

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- The two Concerts' programs directed by Music Director Laureate Michael Tilson Thomas, include: Claude Debussy's Prélude a L'aprés -midi d' un faune, a symphonic poem that was based on Stéphane Mallanneé, poem by the same name, written in l865. The poem describes the alluring of a Faune, which is a mythological creature in Greek and Roman mythology represented by as a nude man with goat horns at both sides of his head, a human torso and below his belly, the organs and legs of a male goat.

Completed in l894, Debussy's symphonic poem describes, musically, the "alluring" of the Faune with a solo on the flute. and the chase, in ten minutes of intoxicating music in a lush and layered score with the instrumental sounds depicting the chase during a warm sunny afternoon. The score is creative and the music lively, but to many critics the music appears to be improvised because it has no apparent structure. The Debussy's work premiered in Paris on December of the same year.

The second piece on the programs is from another French composer:  Olivier Hessian's (1908-l992) Trois Petites Liturgies de La présense Divine. (Three small Liturgies to the Divine Presence)a mystic work  from which he wrote the libretto himself The Liturgies (religious rituals performed for a particular group) was written for a piano solo, women's voices,(chorus)  and orchestra,  and it has three movements. It was originally composed in l944 and revised twice in the years l952 and in l990.

The third work in the programs was composed during l889-l890 by Debussy and it was  his first large-scale  essay since his student's days. The Fantaisie, for piano  and orchestra, is important because it was Debussy's first large scale essay composition  and also the only one of his works with echoes of the nineteenth Century's "Brillante Concert style." Debussy, however, did not call it a concert, even when it has three movements in its structure, which is not the usual structure of a Fantaisie. which are improvision-style compositions which do not usually conform to any musical style forms. Because of it. in the past, the piece has derided by many music critics who compared it with other of his symphonic works. "Debussy's Fantasie is as good as his other works" was written in one of the critiques written at the time, "because it is written in the style that is better handle by Rachmaninoff."


The program also will end with Heitor Villa-Lobos' Chóros No. 10 (Rasga o Coracao) Villa-Lobos masterpiece,featuring pianist Juean-Yves Thibaudet, (pictured on the right of Director Tilson Thomas) and also ondes Martenot Player Cynthia Millar and the San Francisco Symphony Chorus.

Tickets for the concert at Davies Symphony hall can be purchased via: https://www.sfsymphony.org/Buy-Tickets/2022-23/MTT-Jean-Yves-Thibaudet or by calling the San Francisco Symphony box Office at 415 864-600, and  check its Health Safety information.