Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Best Music in the World

The BSO (Boston Symphony) is superb in its summer home at Tanglewood. Friday night on the lawn after a simple but tasty dinner, we heard Leonard Slatkin conduct Harbison's Symphony No. 5 for Baritone, Mezzo-Soprano and Orchestra. The singing came from various texts of the Orpheus/Euridice legend, and the baritone was absolutely riveting. The poetry combined with the singing and the music was so dramatic and satisfying, and I revelled in being able to hear it in the confines of the legendary Tanglewood.

Then we were treated to Mahler's somewhat inscrutable Symphony No. 1 in D, which I also liked, with the cuckoo and the Klezmer band and the funeral procession (like New Orleans, not very solemn by its end) of the animals. This is something to download and listen to a lot.

Saturday we heard the rehearsal for Sunday's concert, and met a new conductor, a young Korean woman named Shi-Yeon Sung. She was lovely and did such a wonderful job on Schumann and then the famous Mendelessohn Symphony No. 4 in A which we all know and love.

I brought my orange-yogurt bread for a Tanglewood breakfast, and we ate in outside and trekked into the shed for the concert. Wonderful and thrilling to have the pleasure and really the privilege of hearing this music. In such surroundings. The Berkshires were green and the weather was hot summer except Friday night when a serious shower preceeded the concert and wet the grass and cooled things off by 20 important degrees.

On the way home, I thought about Festival Madness and heard the planes fly overhead en route to Boston, just like in my book. Festival Madness opens at a folk fest (next weekend) in the Berkshires. Another turn down from an agent this week. It just isn't grabbing anyone. Such a fun book, too. Whatchagonnado?

So, wine and hot tubs and good conversation and wonderful music combine to make a near-perfect weekend. We ate at the Red Lion in Stockbridge for lunch on Friday. Crab cakes to die for. We ate in the garden in spite of the heat. I mean, how can one not eat in the shade of a lovely garden?

Friday was Thisbe's 8th birthday. Happy Birthday Thisbe! She would have probably liked more Mommy/Kitty time, but we'll make it up this week.

My morning glorys are blooming and whenever I look at the big blue blossoms I think of my grandma because she, too, grew them.

If you live in New England, make a pilgrimage to Tanglewood. The music will make your hair stand on end, but in a good way.


1 comment:

Tom said...

Glad you liked the Harbison!