[Instant report in advance of an actual review due in SFCV.org]
The man is incredible. After his accident yesterday (see below), he
conducted an excellent concert of an ultra-romantic Wagner ("Siegfried
Idyll") and a sabotaged Mozart today at the Festival del Sole, leading
the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra (which looks like a youth orchestra,
but sounds like a mature, accomplished ensemble), and then came the
Sitkovetsky conducted and played the violin solo in his own orchestration
of the Bach "Goldberg Variations," showing absolutely no effect of being
bandaged up and - most likely - medicated. In a few minutes, all that
became immaterial, as he played brilliantly and from the heart, the
violin blending superbly with the young musicians' string orchestra.
Orchestration and performance were so affecting that I caught myself
wondering why I never heard this "original version," harpsichord, piano,
etc. being obviously inferior.
To perform on this level after the accident and immediately following a
near-catastrophic memory lapse by Simone Dinnerstein, who destroyed the
finale of the Mozart Piano Concerto No. 23 - conductor and orchestra
unable to help gloss over the matter - shows uncanny strength, ability,
and dedication. I will forget all the circumstances, including the
nearly hour-long closure of no-alternative Highway 29 by a Bush motorcade*,
but will have the memory of this "Goldberg" forever, Bach at his purest
and most brilliant.
* It appears he wasn't inspecting fires in Napa, which has been quite
fire-free, but taking time off from healing the state for a quick
fundraiser in St. Helena. That made waiting on the highway a lot better.
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