The National Symphony Orchestra opened its season this week, with a gala on Sunday night and the first subscription concert opening on Thursday.

It’s a good time to be an orchestra musician in Washington. Around the country, a lot of orchestras are in very bad trouble. But thanks to the Kennedy Center, the NSO is largely protected from some of the financial woes that plague other orchestras; Michael Kaiser has their back.

Fortunately, the orchestra is sounding better — as it demonstrated particularly in its all-about-love concert on Thursday night.

After Sunday’s concert, I observed in my review that Christoph Eschenbach spent a lot of time facing the first violins with his back to the seconds. So it is only fair to note that on Thursday night, he several times made a point of turning to the seconds. (I am not implying that there is any causality here.)

In her blog last year, the mezzo Kelley O’Connor, who sang beautifully last night, talked about working with Peter Lieberson on these songs. She also spoke to Katherine Boyle for her fine piece about the songs in the Washington Post.