The Memorable Concerts of 2013

December 25, 2013
Stephen Smoliar
SF Classical Music Examiner

For those unaccustomed to my approach to reviewing the year, I should reemphasize that I have a strong aversion to rank-ordering...My own approach is to begin with the resources of my own memory while reviewing the list of all the events I covered over the course of the year. I then try to select what I feel was the most memorable experience for each of the twelve months of the year.

January: The Salon Series recital given by the Cypress String Quartet at which, together with cellist Gary Hoffman, they performed Franz Schubert’s D. 956 quintet in C major. I have written often about how productive and imaginative Schubert was during the final year of his life. He completed D. 956 in September of 1828 and would be dead by November 19. This was his last composition of chamber music for strings, and I cannot get enough of it. The experience of listening to an intelligently expressive performance provides me with the best working definition of the Yiddish word “kvell;” and there was no question that this performance more than filled the bill.

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