Tanglewood Awaits–One Last Summer Blast of Beethoven’s Ninth

The Great Composer Beethoven

Ludwig von Beethoven


Today’s August 25, the last, sniff, Sunday in August.  How sad, how fleeting…but wait. There’s another day of Tanglewood left for us to enjoy!   I am always sad about summer’s abruptness, that no matter how long it’s never as long as the winter. The spring too, sometimes seems drawn out and takes forever. But not the summer.  Last night while I slept, I was hot, so I opened a window wide. The next day as the sun came in, cold breezes followed. Oh no, it’s getting chilly. No longer the languid lazy warm breeze, now it’s a harbinger of fall’s great big gusts and the need to make a fire.

But today, on the lawn at Tanglewood, we’ll have the Boston Symphony Orchestra to play one of the best symphonies ever written. Beethoven’s masterpiece. The Ninth.  Written in 1824, it was the last great work by the world’s foremost composer. Critics agree that good old Number Nine was his masterwork…and to some, it’s the best piece of music ever written.

My own memories of Number Nine come from my parent’s living room. There stood my dad’s “Jim Lansing” speakers, towering old edifices that boomed out BOM BOM BOM BOOMMMMM.  BOM BOM BOM BOMMMMM!!

I have great memories of that ninth playing on the high fi in Blawenburg New Jersey, and my dad telling me about its greatness.

Seeing the greatest piece of music in a venue that to me is in the top pantheon of outdoor venues, will mean that every note, even nuance and every tiny tweet, pluck or strum will be picked up. A pin could drop up on that stage and we’d hear it. The audience is hushed in their recognition, no rude people cross the gates of Tanglewood with their candles and their picnics.

4 hours later…

The symphony was short. Really short, or at least it felt like it took far less than the 90 minutes we listened. I missed, I actually missed, the most famous series of notes in the piece. Bom bom bom BOMMMMMM!

Oh well. I’ll be here next year.



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One Comment on “Tanglewood Awaits–One Last Summer Blast of Beethoven’s Ninth

  1. Haven’t been to Tanglewood in a few years… it was Yo Yo Ma that night. What a special experience. Thanks for the reminder!

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