SF Symphony James Gaffigan night

Conductor/Performers

James Gaffigan

Conductor

Pierre-Laurent Aimard

Piano

San Francisco Symphony

Program

Saint-Saëns

Bacchanale from Samson et Dalila

Ligeti

Piano Concerto

Sarah Kirkland Snider

Something for the Dark (West Coast premiere) 

Debussy

La Mer

With the program this extreme it takes a super conductor to manage the mood the tempo and the collaboration of all instruments- James Gaffigan managed to do it all.

The first performed composition was so loving elevated and inspiring of love that every person in the audience smiled and looked around to find reciprocal expression of joy and elation of emotions. It was amazing to feel everyone in the audience responding to the music as they did to Saint-Saëns Samson et Delila music filled with the harmony of sound that woke up every heart to a state of love. a truly pure joy to be part of this experience. James Gaffigan was so animated that in some moments you wonder if he wa levitating or touching the ground. You could tell how he felt every note and expected that to be played for everyone to feel. Yes, he succeeded to have the entire orchestra play the notes that penetrated the very soul and their hearts and minds. He is a true master of harmony and delivery of written music.

Having the mastery over the orchestra under Pierre-Laurent Aimard too delivered Piano Concert written by Liget. Which with its full impact of his multiple personalities that had a voice all at the same time without much peace in them, many in the audience just could not cope with Liget broken soul from life traumas. This very impactful music causes some to depart after expressing distress. Yet, this proves how powerful music is and how it can live to tell the story of Stalin and Hitler era today. I think this particular composition is the hardest o perform for anyone involved as a musician, it had multiple layers that were separated from each other without harmony or continuity to connect with. truly all memorized notes needed to be played not one that comes from a feeling. Some of the notes were jarring to the core waking up fear and concerns. Remarkable use of music to recreate hard times Liger lived as a child.

The next performance was West coast premiere of newly written music by Sara Kirkland Snider Something for the Dark. HEr interpretation of thoughts in the dark grasp imagination of what may come next. The suspense relieved by occasional what feel like breath of relief from waiting is almost visual to feel. Again Gaffigan way of bringing every note to life is magical. This make you see how wish can be reality, what is on the paper comes to life under his wand effortlessly and with powerful reach to the audience.

We all said good bye with dreamy feeling or sound of the ocean water transporting us to the beach and sea during the day and night. Each of us was able to go within our own world now within ourselves processing the evening of highs and lows with each wave. beautiful way to say goodnight and till then next time.