I must confess ignorance regarding Tchaikovsky's 4th Symphony. I'd never heard the work prior to viewing this concert/documentary film. I'm sure strains of it have passed my ears at some point in years past, but my recollection is foggy. No matter -- Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor of the San Francisco Symphony, is a masterful tour guide to the uninitiated. I hope to see more of the films in his "Keeping Score" series. These are illuminating for both experienced musicians and novices alike. There's something for everyone. Very exciting to witness snippets of the rehearsal process and see the conductor playing piano at home, rehearsing from his weathered score. All the while, M.T.T. is ebullient. His attention to detail in preparing the S.F. Symphony's performance of this symphony is remarkable. Even after the performance has ended he's still thinking about ways he could have elicited more emotive power from the music and from his musicians. This is a hallmark of truly passionate musicians and artists: never complacent, always pushing on to greater heights.
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