Holy cow, I wrote a book!
I put together a
little pocket guide
to the Seattle Symphony subscription season
for my symphony friends to help them decide which
ticket package they want.
As before, you might find it helpful, you might not, but either way,
you're going to have to suffer through it.
Here's the at-a-glance season guide for
Gerard Schwarz's final
season as the orchestra's music director.
For those not familiar with the Seattle Symphony ticket package line-ups:
Most of the ticket packages are named Masterworks nX where
the number is the number of concerts in the package, and the letter
indicates which variation.
Ticket packages which are identical (or near-identical)
have been combined. For example, 6C and 6D are the same concerts;
the only difference is that 6C is for Thursday nights, while 6D is
for Saturday nights.
Split boxes are used for concert differences between near-identical series.
(For example, the 18A series gets the
Dvořák Cello Concerto whereas the 18B series gets
Some concerts (such as the Rush Hour series)
are reduced-program; partially-filled boxes show which works are included.
Changes from last season:
This chart doesn't include "one-off" concert series such
as the Visiting Orchestras or Distinguished Artists series.
A "one-off" series is a concert series which shares no concerts
with any other series.
(Beyond the Score and Baroque and Northwest Wine
are grandfathered in;
I'll probably omit them in future years.)
The comments column very crudely categorizes the works
to assist my less-classically-aware friends.
This is, of course, a highly subjective rating system,
but I tried to view each piece from the ears of my symphony friends.
Thus, I rated downward pieces that I personally like
but which others might not and rated up pieces that I may not
find musically satisfying but which nevertheless tend to be
These predictions have, of course, proven wrong in the past.
Though I finally overcame my Bruckner jinx, and my symphony
friends actually liked the Bruckner Fourth, except for the fact
that it went on too long.
One of my friends described it as
"It's like a conversation that starts out really nice,
but then it starts to drag on and get repetitive, and they just won't shut up."
(How was I to know that Masur would not only use the Hass revision,
but also take all the repeats?
The work is already too long at 60 minutes; the right thing to do is to
cut 20 minutes of it, not to add another 20!)
Here's what the comments mean.
Note that they do not indicate whether the piece is significant in
a musicological sense; they're just my guess as to whether my friends
are going to like it.
I know that my friends hate minimalism,
so I rated the Glass down even though I myself would enjoy it.)
In many cases, I am not familiar with the piece
and am basing my evaluation on what I know about the composer
(or am just guessing).