Heras –Casado takes Brahms Symphony numero uno into orbit…

Written by Behnam Vadi

When the aliens land on earth one day, you won’t see me running to the closest police station, or to City Hall, but I’ll be making a mad dash to Davies Symphony Hall. Think about it: will one of our city’s finest be able to communicate with an extraterrestrial being? How about any of our fearless leaders in the political circle? Not even a lawyer nor one in finance with the highest business acumen walking down FIDI or SOMA will be able to speak with them either. But… I’ll put my money on any one of the God-given talented musicians from Saturday night’s performance to send more than a “hello” through their instrument.

They say music is the universal language, and musicians claim that they can communicate across cultural and linguistic boundaries that few can. So, how do musicians communicate with society without speaking a word?? Ah ha! This is where the spiritual aspect plays a big part, using vibrational melodies with captivating rhythmic interplay, transcending earth-bound space and time into the realm of the ethereal. We have a distinct reciprocity with how we connect with the esoteric world. I happen to enjoy sitting in front of the SF Symphony while waves of percussion, brass, woodwinds, and strings evoke deep primal feelings.

This magnificent holy center we call Davies Symphony Hall, hosted another magical night on Saturday, March 3, 2018, with the prolific Pablo Heras-Casado at the helm. From 16 rows back, stage left, it was impossible not to be intoxicated by the passion that this Spaniard exuded. Gestures and postures were choreographed picture perfectly in tempo, lifting people from their seats with endless applause and ovations. From the first measure of Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Helix, one felt that the camaraderie amongst the orchestral ensemble would forge an unforgettable experience for all to relish. Alexander Barantschik, the featured violinist who bowed and plucked boundless musical melodies like a Shostakovich sage, showcased his mastery while leaving me speechless. The suspense rose to a crescendo when the 70+ virtuosi synergistically unleashed their most grand gift of the night – Brahms’ Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Opus 68. The piece took the audience through a dramatic yet nostalgic odyssey, leaving all completely mesmerized and wanting more. If there were guests from another universe seated with us, I’m confident the cast of artists on stage blissfully beamed them back home.

What a night at the Symphony!