Pacific Symphony delivers Romantic excess better than classic Beethoven – Orange County Register

To open Pacific Symphony’s 39th season on Thursday, music director Carl St.Clair trundled out three heavyweights – Beethoven, Wagner and Richard Strauss – that he claimed ruled the musical world of Germany from 1770 to 1949.

St.Clair, a lover of all things German who has spent large parts of his career there, can be forgiven a little hyperbole and historical inaccuracy. Those dates span the birth year of Beethoven (when he didn’t write much) to the year Strauss died, and as St.Clair knows, Germany wasn’t even a country before 1871.

No matter. The point of the evening was to display the creative and emotional firepower of three undeniably great German orchestral composers, and in that goal the program was a success.

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