San Francisco Symphony concerts crisp, energetic

San Francisco Symphony accompanied Christian Tetzlaff during last week's performances.

In the San Francisco Symphony, we have a world-class orchestra on our doorstep, and it’s worth going up to Davies Symphony Hall in the city to hear it. Last week’s concerts, running Wednesday to Saturday, were conducted by music director Michael Tilson Thomas and featured Christian Tetzlaff on violin. A wide-traveling soloist — I was in Chicago last month and heard him with the Symphony there — Tetzlaff was an utter charmer on Wednesday in Béla Bartók’s long, difficult and modernist Violin Concerto No. 2.

Taking its strongly spicy, folk-influenced melodies with deep lyricism, Tetzlaff sped through fast parts of his concerto with steely assurance. Accompanied on various occasions by such unusual orchestral accompanists as harp, timpani or percussion battery, he gave a fierce but clear performance

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