Under the baton of music director Esa-Pekka Salonen, the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra present a daring, yet invigorating program of collaborative performance, as they perform alongside vocalist and bassist esperanza spalding and San Francisco-based contemporary ballet company, Alonzo King LINES Ballet. Titled ‘Re-opening Night,” this concert celebrates the first opening night concert with Salonen since his appointment as music director. The program includes the music of John Adams, Alberto Ginastera, Silvestre Revueltas and Wayne Shorter. The concert starts with the bang of John Adams’ Slonimsky’s Earbox. An explosion of sound and colour, this piece combines layers of cascading patterns that ebb and flow like waves. The sound world draws on that of Stravinsky in its use of shapes and sounds created using modal scales and seemingly dissonant harmonies. Following on, the SFS performs with San Francisco’s Alonzo King LINES Ballet for Alberto Ginastera’s Ballet Suite Estancia. Written in 1941, the initial storyline follows the romance between a city boy and a country girl, while also expressing the landscape of the countryside in the Pampa, and the different forms it takes over the course of a day. The orchestra are joined on stage by the choreography of Alonzo King. The movements are light and expressive, yet full of energy. Following this invigorating performance, the orchestra is joined on stage by esperanza spalding, Terry Lyne Carrington, Leo Genovese and Ravi Coltrane for celebrated composer and saxophonist, Wayne Shorter’s Gaia. This mesmerising piece combines jazz with orchestral textures. Showcasing the talent of bassist and vocalist esperanza spalding, she introduces the piece as an “invitation to travel” with mother earth “through the veins and hair and passageways,” as the jazz quartet and orchestra engage in conversation. The piece is intimate and expansive at the same time, and soulful throughout. The concert concludes with the evocative Noche de encantamiento from “La noche de lost mayas” by Silvestre Revueltes. A world apart from Gaia, this work is dramatic and suspenseful and keeps you at the edge of your seat. The composer, Revueltes, leans into his understanding of nature – that “everything is rhythm.” Written as part of the soundtrack for “La noche de los mayas,” it is driven by a frenzied percussion. PROGRAM: JOHN ADAMS Slonimsky’s Earbox GINASTERA Estancia Suite WAYNE SHORTER Gaia REVUELTAS Noche fr encantamiento from La noche de los Mayas FEATURED ARTISTS: Esa-Pekka Salonen – conductor esperanza spalding – bassist and vocalist Ravi Coltrane – saxophone Terry Lyne Carrington – drums Leo Genovese – piano Alonzo King – choreographer Alonzo King LINES Ballet SFS
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