The San Francisco Ballet's 1998-99 season included a ballet by Helgi Tomasson called CRISS-CROSS. By combining works of Scarlatti and Schoenberg, it highlights both the past and future of ballet. The Schoenberg work is his Concerto for String Quartet based on Handel's concerto grosso Op. 6 no. 7, itself a blending of old and new. For this recording, the SF Ballet's Orchestra and the Lark Quartet prefaced the Schoenberg with the Handel, and added two other works for string quartet and orchestra.The Handel here may be a little too meaty for ears accustomed to smaller, period-instrument performances, but it is not overly weighty and provides excellent preparation for Schoenberg's take on it. Presented together, they seem almost a single work in which, on repetition, the music is transformed as if seen through a prism. The performances here are quite good; both the quartet and the orchestra sound as committed to Schoenberg as to Handel. Spohr and Elgar benefit from similarly commendable readings. Jean-Louis LeRoux leads the program with an audible understanding of the works not only as concert music but as music for dancing.
Allegro moderato • 8:11 Piacevole (poco andante) • 17:27 Allegro molto
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