(one operagoer's notes)
I have no idea! But I had the same impression... glad to have confirmation that it wasn't just me.
I didn't go opening night - I went the next night.I thought the first movement of the Haffner was the most alive. I have to double check the score - is there no exposition repeat? I didn't hear one.The poor concertmistresses popped a string sometime in the first movement. The associate concertmaster strung her a new one while she played his violin in the 2nd movement. I did sense some flagging of intensity in this slow movement, but I think the orchestra might have been unsettled by the restringing of the violin. There was a rebound of superb energy and musicianship for the last movement.I was mesmerized by the Chopin Piano Concerto #2 slow movement (Larghetto). Emmanuel Ax was superb, and there's a moment when the piano and bassoon are playing together that was sublime. Awesome French horn solo prior to coda in 3rd movement.Stephanie Blythe was great, a few mid range notes sounded a bit tense, but overall amazing power and melodic line.
Absolutely no axe-grinding, please.