David Robertson, conductor
Orli Shaham, piano

György Ligeti: San Francisco Polyphony
John Adams: Must the devil have all the good tunes
Sergei Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 1 D Minor Op.13

“Must the devil have all the good tunes?” Martin Luther is said to have wondered. John Adams’s Piano Concerto (2018) asks the same thing, though the result is far from hymn-singing. A whiff of beginning-of-the-century Vienna has wafted into György Ligeti’s San Francisco Polyphony, where it has mixed with the steely sound of 1970s San Francisco.
The first Symphony by Sergei Rachmaninov is one of music history’s miscarriages of justice. The premiere was a complete flop, and Rachmaninov forbade any further performances. By the time it was finally rediscovered and people realised it was a masterpiece, Rachmaninov was dead.

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