Your Tanglewood Tales, Page 2
Here are more of your "Tanglewood Tales," stories from Classical New England listeners that celebrate the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra during this 75th anniversary season.
One weekend Louise's elderly father wanted to go to the Sunday open rehearsal, and I joined him for Eugene Ormandy conducting the BSO in Debussy's La Mer. Hardly anyone else was in the shed that day because it was POURING RAIN. So hard that it competed with the music to be heard and that even though there was no wind it created it's own breeze. It was absolutely thrilling and exciting--practically a private performance, with the wild music inside and the wild deluge outside. A really magical moment for me.
Maybe a year or two later I was wandering backstage at intermission of a concert conducted by Rostropovich and chatting with Max Winder, a violinist and father of my other best friend Jon. The next piece was to be Shotokovich's 5th Symphony, and Max told me it would be very emotional because the composer had just died and Rostropovich was grieving. It WAS a very emotional and exciting performance, but the memorable moment was at the end when Rostropovich kissed the score and refused to stand back on the podium as he took his bows, saying in effect that all the applause should be for his recently deceased friend (and I believe) mentor.
I often go back to that time to remember what it meant to feel light, optimistic, calm, and HAPPY. I have returned many times since then, and it's always amazing, but that first magical time was really special.
Newton Center, MA
On July 22, 2011 we attended the “Walks and Talks” event where Susan Graham was the guest. When someone at our table asked how old she was, I said “50 or 51.” A nearby man looked it up on his iPhone and found that she was going to turn 51 the next day! My husband brought the booklet from one of her CDs to get her autograph, so he decided to wish her “Happy Birthday” when he approached her after the talk. He did, and she seemed to appreciate it.
As the Academic Director of that program, I had planned to take this group of dedicated teachers (who were travelling to the US for the first time) to Tanglewood... and so we took a bus and arrived there by a beautiful July afternoon... when the concert started that evening, I could see tears in the eyes of many of these men and women who had come from so far...
Talking to them afterwards, I realized that it was the first time they were attending a live concert of classical music... for some, it was even the first time ever they were listening to Mozart... and they were overwhelmed by the emotion of such revelation, in this amazingly inspiring and peaceful concert hall in the middle of nature... a moment that I will never forget and a memory that I will always cherish... and I know that somewhere in Casablanca, Tunis or Cairo, my friends will always remember it too... (University of the Middle East Project, www.ume.org)
- Anne Marie
He later became an Overseer and Trustee of the Boston Symphony, but the "Damnation of Faust" was always his favorite BSO experience.....Some years after his death I joined the Tanglewood Festival Chorus. Shortly before my mother's death in 2006, I had the privilege of singing her favorite work, Mozart's "Requiem" at Tanglewood. She was in the audience to enjoy it. That was for her. This weekend, we sang an incredible performance of, yes, "Damnation of Faust" with Charles Dutoit. That was for Dad, and I must finally admit that I can understand why he loved it so.
One hot summer afternoon in 1984, Julie and I headed out for an afternoon picnic concert on the great lawn. She was pregnant with our son, Gian-Stefano. We enjoyed Mozart's #23 concerto, some fine cheeses and pates, and myself only a bit of chilled white wine. The concert was spectacular, led by Maestro Ozawa.
Well! Good thing we stayed! Years later we still talked about that enchanting and special night and the spectacular voice of a young... Kiri Te Kanawa!!! I still remember her encore - an a capella rendition of a traditional Maori folk song – mesmerizing and sheer magic!!! The memory of that Tanglewood concert still gives me goosebumps and stands out among my innumerable times there
For my second visit to Tanglewood to further study trumpet with BSO Principal Trumpet, Armando Ghitalla, I was somewhat better off in that I had my own wheels, a Lotus Europa, and didn't have to bus it from Hamilton Ontario. The Lotus developed a wheel bearing problem and I had to return to Canada by a certain date. Principal Cellist happened to walk by my Lotus in Tanglewood's parking area and he chatted a about cars and I mentioned my problem and he mentioned he had a '69 Alpha Spider, a Jag and a Chevy and I was simply astounded when he offered me his Chevy to return to Canada. Unbelievable and unforgettable!
Wasaga Beach, ON