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Onegin Peaks in the Pit

March 26, 2013

San Francisco Ballet's current revival of John Cranko's Onegin is getting well-deserved raves from critics and audiences, but — as usual — there is not sufficient acknowledgment of the musicians' contribution to what is, after all, "music in motion."

Under the direction of Martin West, the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra played a melange of Tchaikovsky selections that now sound as if composed exactly for the full-length ballet. As in Nijinsky, Anna Kruger’s viola solos were superb, especially in The Seasons' "Autumn Song: October." Principal clarinet Natalie Parker, principal oboe Laura Griffiths, and harpist Olga Rakitchenkov had appealing solo turns in the spotlight.

Kurt-Heinz Stolze's arrangement and orchestration melds a dozen works — including excerpts from Eighteen Pieces for Piano and Romeo and Juliet — into a vital whole.

Janos Gereben appreciates news tips, corrections, and words of encouragement at [email protected].