Having established that the weekend of October 19–21 will involve some hard choices, several of which will be concerts launching their respective series, it is worth noting that the following weekend will be just as busy. Indeed, as of the current count, it appears that, between October 27 and October 28, four different concert series will be presenting their respective initial offerings. That will leave only two events that do not share this distinction! Specifics are as follows:
Saturday, October 27, 7:30 p.m., Herbst Theatre: The Hear Now and Then Series presented by San Francisco Performances (SFP) will continue to pursue the “then” side of the balance. Readers may recall that this series will get under way this Friday (October 12) with a program that will pay special attention to the music of Claudio Monteverdi. Among music historians, Monteverdi is noted for initiating that transition between practices associated with the Renaissance and those of the Baroque period. The second concert in the series will continue that path with a program entitled Air: A Baroque Journey.
This program is a special project conceived by violinist Daniel Hope. He will be joined by five virtuoso collaborators: violinist Simon Papanas, cellist Nicola Mosca, lutenist Emanuele Forni, keyboardist Naoki Kitaya, and percussionist Michael Metzler. Hope, Papanas, and Mosca will all be playing modern instruments; but they will be using baroque bows. The “journey” will slightly overlap that of this Friday’s concert, beginning with the role of the violin in the late Renaissance; and it will proceed to the end of the Baroque period. Selections will focus on the developments of four composers, the Italian lutenist Andrea Falconieri and three virtuoso violinists, Nicola Matteis and Antonio Vivaldi from Italy and Johann Paul von Westhoff from Germany.
The entrance to Herbst Theatre is on the ground floor of the Veterans Building, located on the southwest corner of Van Ness Avenue and McAllister Street. Tickets are on sale for $70 for premium seating in the Orchestra and the front of the Dress Circle, $55 for the remainder of the Orchestra, the remainder of the center Dress Circle, and the Boxes, and $45 for remaining seats in the Dress Circle and the Balcony. Tickets may be purchased online in advance through a City Box Office event page. Furthermore, because the first concert in the series has not yet taken place, subscriptions are still available. The price levels for the series of four concerts are $250, $205, and $155; and City Box Office has a separate event page for online purchase.
Saturday, October 27, 8 p.m., St. Mark’s Lutheran Church: The Clerestory a cappella ensemble will launch its thirteenth season with a calendar-appropriate program entitled Night Draws Near. The program will explore life, death, and mysticism through music inspired by celebrations that are close in time and spirit: Halloween, All Souls’ Day, and the Day of the Dead. The full program has not yet been announced; but selections will include “Funeral Ikos” by John Tavener, Peter Warlock’s “The Shrouding of the Duchess of Malfi,” and, in a light tone, “Bubble, Bubble Toil and Trouble” by Jaakko Mantyjarvi.
St. Mark’s is located at 1111 O’Farrell Street, just west of the corner of Franklin Street. General admission is $25 with an $15 rate for seniors and $5 for students. Eventbrite has created an event page for online ticket purchases.
Clerestory will present two other full concerts in San Francisco this season. At this time, only the dates have been set. Specific information about venues and times have yet to be announced. However, the program titles and a limited information about program content are now available as follows:
- Sunday, February 17, Movement of Colors: This kaleidoscopic program will be inspired by visual art through works by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Peter Paul Rubens, Gerhard Richter, and Dr. Seuss. One of the featured works on the program will be Eric Whitacre’s “Leonardo Dreams of His Flying Machine.” Other composers to be represented will be Tomás Luis de Victoria, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Thomas Tallis, Carlo Gesualdo, Arvo Pärt, and Herbert Howells.
- Saturday, May 11, Songbook II: This will be a new chapter in the long-running and popular series of Americana concerts, a repertoire that Clerestory first began to explore in 2015.
Sunday, October 28, 2 p.m., Davies Symphony Hall: Every season the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) presents two series of chamber music, both taking place on Sunday afternoons at 2 p.m. One is performed in Davies Symphony Hall, and the other is based at the Gunn Theater at the Palace of the Legion of Honor. The Davies series will begin with a program that balances the nineteenth century with two adventurous modernist compositions. The earlier music will be performed in the second half of the program, César Frank’s piano quintet in F minor. The first half will couple Krzysztof Penderecki’s string trio with Michael Colgrass’ set of variations composed for four drums and viola. Dates for the remaining concerts in the series are as follows:
- December 16: Since this is Ludwig van Beethoven’s birthday, the program will begin by honoring him with a performance of his Opus 81b sextet E-flat major, scored for string quartet and two horns. This will be followed by Alexander Taneyev’s Opus 20 piano quartet in E major. The second half of the program will present Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s K. 581 clarinet quintet in A major.
- February 3: This will be an “Americana” program beginning with a sextet for woodwind quintet and piano by Leo Smit. This will be followed by a trio for flute, bassoon, and piano by Chick Corea. The final American composer on the program will be Samuel Coleridge-Taylor with an arrangement for piano trio of five of the Negro Melodies, originally a set of 24 works for piano published has his Opus 59, Number 1. The second half of the program will be devoted to Antonín Dvořák’s Opus 77 (second) string quintet in G major, one of his many compositions influenced by his time spent in the United States.
- March 10: The primary work on this program will be Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Opus 50 piano trio. The first half will begin with the world premiere of “I am Matteo,” composed by SFS Principal Trombone Timothy Higgins (who will also perform). This will be followed by Felix Mendelssohn’s Opus 80 (sixth) string quartet in F minor.
- April 28: The title of this program will be To the Fourth Power, a cryptic reference to the resources that will be engaged. The program will begin with Lous Spohr’s Opus 65 double string quartet in D minor. This will be followed by two “single” quartets, the second (in the key of A minor) of the two string quartets that Johannes Brahms published as his Opus 52 and Gabriel Fauré’s Opus 15 (first) piano quartet in C minor.
- June 2: The featured work on this program will be Franz Schubert’s D. 898 (first) piano trio in B-flat major, which will occupy the second half. The first half will begin with a string octet in B-flat major, which was only published after the death of its composer, Max Bruch. This will be followed by “Médailles antiques,” composed by Philippe Gaubert for flute, violin, and piano.
Tickets for all performances will be $45. Each concert has its own event page on the SFS Web site and links to those pages have been attached to the respective dates above. Tickets may also be purchased by calling 415-864-6000 or by visiting the Box Office in Davies Symphony Hall, whose entrance is on the south side of Grove Street between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street. The Box Office is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday. It will also open two hours before the performance begins.
Sunday, October 28, 2 p.m., Legion of Honor: As I understand it, the SFS chamber music series at the Legion of Honor is curated by Concertmaster Alexander Barantschik. It involves more limited resources, but both Barantschik and Associate Principal Cello Peter Wyrick will perform in all of the programs. In addition, all but one of the programs will require a pianist; and that pianist will be Anton Nel.
The series will open with an all-Beethoven program. The aforementioned musicians will present the second (in the key of E-flat major) of the two Opus 70 piano trios. In addition Nel will accompany Barantschik in the second (also in E-flat major) of the Opus 12 violin sonatas; and he will accompany Wyrick in the second (in C major) of the Opus 102 cello sonatas. Dates for the remaining concerts in the series are as follows:
- December 2: This program will consist only of two major works. The first half will present Mozart’s K. 515 string quintet in C major. The intermission will be followed by Brahms’ Opus 36 (second) string sextet in G major.
- March 10: This program will again begin with Mozart, this time the K. 502 piano trio in B-flat major. Nel will then give a solo performance of Schubert’s D. 946 Klavierstücke in E-flat minor. The second half of the program will be devoted entirely to Bedřich Smetana’s Opus 15 piano trio in G minor.
- May 12: The season will conclude with a program framed by two piano trios. The second half will consist of Robert Schumann’s Opus 63 (first) piano trio in D minor. The program will begin with Johann Nepomuk Hummel’s Opus 65 piano trio in G major. The intermission will then be preceded by Maurice Ravel’s second sonata for violin and piano in G major.
Tickets for all performances will be $75. The Legion of Honor is located in Lincoln Park. It is approached by following 34th Street north of Clement Street (which is the southern boundary of the park). Each concert has its own event page on the SFS Web site and links to those pages have been attached to the respective dates above. Tickets may also be purchased by calling 415-864-6000 or by visiting the Box Office in Davies Symphony Hall, whose entrance is on the south side of Grove Street between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street. The Box Office is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday. It will also open two hours before the performance begins.
Sunday, October 28, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., Herbst Theatre: SFP will launch its Great Artists and Ensembles Series with a two-recital program by cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras. The two programs will account for all six of the solo cello suites composed by Johann Sebastian Bach. This will be given a straightforward ordering by BWV number. The afternoon program will present BWV 1007 in G major, BWV 1008 in D minor, and BWV 1009 in C major. The evening will begin with BWV 1010 in E-flat major, followed by BWV 1011 in C minor and BWV 1012 in D major.
Tickets are on sale for $70 for premium seating in the Orchestra and the front of the Dress Circle, $55 for the remainder of the Orchestra, the remainder of the center Dress Circle, and the Boxes, and $45 for remaining seats in the Dress Circle and the Balcony. Tickets may be purchased online in advance through separate City Box Office event page. The SFP event page provides a menu from which the specific date may be selected.
In addition, because these are the first concerts of the series, subscriptions are still available for $325, $250, and $200, respectively. These may be purchased through a separate City Box Office event page. The remaining concerts in the series will all take place in Herbst at 7:30 p.m. on the following dates:
- Wednesday, December 12: Violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja, who served as this year’s Artistic Director of the Ojai Festival, has prepared a program of three sonatas for violin and piano. In order of performance, the respective composers will be Béla Bartók, Francis Poulenc, and George Enescu. Her program will then go out with a (figurative) bang with a performance of Ravel’s “Tzigane.” Her accompanist will be pianist Polina Leschenko.
- Tuesday, January 29: Inon Barnatan will present a program of Bach keyboard concertos with instrumental accompaniment provided by the members of the Calidore Quartet, violinists Jeffrey Myers and Ryan Meehan, violist Jeremy Berry, and cellist Estelle Choi. The concertos, in order of performances, will be BWV 1052 in D minor, BWV 1058 in G minor, BWV 1055 in A major, and BWV 1056 in F minor. Selections from the BWV 1080 The Art of Fugue will also be performed.
- Saturday, April 27: The series will conclude with the return of the piano trio whose members are Christian Tetzlaff on violin, Tanja Tetzlaff on cello, and Lars Vogt on piano. The first half of the program will present Mozart’s K. 502 trio in B-flat major, followed by Dmitri Shostakovich’s Opus 67 in E minor. The intermission will be followed by Dvořák’s Opus 65 trio in F minor.
Sunday, October 28, 2 p.m., War Memorial Opera House: Finally, as has already been announced, this will be the only matinee performance of Richard Strauss’ Arabella by the San Francisco Opera. The War Memorial Opera House is located at 301 Van Ness Avenue, on the northwest corner of Grove Street. Single tickets are priced from $26 to $398. Tickets may be purchased online through an event page on the SFO Web site. Tickets may also be purchased at the Box Office in the outer lobby of the Opera House. The Box Office may also be reached by telephoning 415-864-3330. Standing room tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. on the day of each performance. They are sold for $10, cash only.