Sat 2022-Mar-12

First Return to the BSO in Years

Tagged: Beauty

Yesterday we went to the Boston Symphony Orchestra for the first time in, obviously, years.

Back to the BSO

BSO: Tanglewood Festival Chorus BSO: The magnificent room BSO: Orchestral program BSO: Choral program Obviously, we haven’t been to much in the way of live music for some time now. But in line with rethinking NPIs, with some trepidation, we went with friends to the Boston Symphony orchestra.

The first part was the BSO itself:

  • They did The Unanswered Question by Charles Ives, which pretty much flew right over my head. I’m enough of a barbarian that this was just kind of acoustic nonsense to me, though judging by the response of the crowd that was by no means the consensus. A trumpet – sort of – asks “the perennial question of existence”, a woodwind quartet tries – sort of – to answer, becomes more dissonant and then gives up. Uplifting, n’est-çe pas?
  • Then they did Symphonie Fantastique, by Hector Berlioz. That is, of course, fantastic, the clue being right there in the name. Granted, it’s pretty morbid when you read the backstory. Of course, I liked the 4th movement best: “Marche au supplice” (march to the scaffold), though it’s the worst part of the backstory.

The second part was, uncharacteristically, a half-hour special done by the Tanglewood festival chorus. We know several people who are (or were) members, so that was the main draw for us. They sang a variety of pieces which seemed to be along the lines of evensong and the night.

The physical environment, as you can see from the photos here, is as impressive as ever. In fact, after a long absence, the impact is all the stronger the first time one re-encounters it.

The Weekend Conclusion

Ok, we managed to overcome some pandemic fears and have dinner with friends and then a comfortably familiar musical experience. We still need some getting used to this, but we hope for a return to more ordinary times when this will be a regular thing.

But I’ll still never get the Ives piece.


Notes & References

1: Nope. Not today.

Published Sat 2022-Mar-12

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