Carol working away

Wednesday, more wonderful rehearsing, while Carol did the real work in the library to pay for all this. We had lunch at Aegean Breeze, a new Greek restaurant, which had superb tzatziki with great grilled pita.We began to prepare for Tanglewood, finding a cute and inexpensive wine store with unusual wines. We got a Spanish rosato and a Shenandoah California zin. Ten years ago, I would have biked up into the mountains for 40 miles in an afternoon, but now I just bike the mile and a half (up a very long hill) to the school in the morning from the hotel, and we sit around and read in the afternoon. We joined the other singers at a barbecue for supper. More wonderful rehearsing in the evening, as Carol went out to attend Falsettos at the Barrington Stage.

BarbecuePhoto by Nancy Wasserman

Thursday we got our assigned seats and I had to move back from the front row. Maybe during the winter I'll have my legs shortened. But I have a good seat, smack in the middle, in front of the conductor, with good singers all around me. Almost everyone this week is a good singer. This may be the best chorus I've sung with--anywhere. The Providence Singers are well represented here with the quartet of Elly and Dave Lewis, Annette Mozzoni, and me.

Ellie & Dave Lewis & Annette Mozzoni

Carol drove to meet Ofra Backenroth, her student, colleague, and friend, in Pittsfield, and they went together to a Viennese exhibit featuring Klimt at the Clark Museum in Williamstown. On the way back, they saw a Viennese exhibit at the Williams College Musuem that they thought was even better.

Friday morning, some quick fix-ups. We went shopping at Guido's supermarket in Great Barrington for our picnic Friday night at Tanglewood. This may be the best supermarket we've ever been in. We went crazy buying great produce and prepared foods. I will not mention them all, except to say that every taste, from strict vegetarian to complete apikores (remember the Greek root for this Yiddish word is the same as for "epicurean"), was covered. The afternoon rehearsal was with the orchestra and soloists, and the perfect orchestration of Brahms came forth movingly. The conductor wants you to put out a big sound, and the section leaders tell you not to listen to her and to save your voice for the performance. But hearing the music and watching Jane, it's hard not to give 100%, at least at the first runthrough. Both Amy Burton, the soprano, and Christópheren Nomura, the baritone, are great singers. As I scanned the audience, whom do I see, but Francisco Noya, the associate conductor of the Rhode Isalnd Philharmonic, who stayed in our apartment between February and June until we moved in. He was there, orchestral score in hand, to hear Jane's interpretation of the Brahms, for he is conducting it in the Fall in Boston with the Longwood Symphony.

After the rehearsal, we drove to Tanglewood, and set up on the lawn. Gilda and Sam with Joel and Nancy showed up almost immediately after us, and so did Neal and Andy. Ofra and Adam Backenroth, with their two sons, and their friend, Barbara, showed up, as well. Later, Joel's cousins, Stan and Joan showed up, as well. We all shared food. We needn't have worried about getting too much food with these fressers around. There were so many Shabbos candles being lit over the lawn, you would have thought you were in the park in Jerusalem...except no one goes to the park in Jerusalem anymore--no one goes anywhere. We'd catch fleeting headlines in the Common Room of the Berkshire School of 17 dead in a bomb blast, closing off towns, opening up towns, while we sing a beautiful requiem in the Berkshires. The program was a stellar one, led by Nemmi Jarvi Naeme Jarvij Nämi Jarvi--some Finnish guy.

Chinese waiter: You finish?
Farklempt: No, actually, I'm Jewish.
First, Beethoven's Violin Concerto with Joshua Bell. He played perfectly...yes, perfectly! Then after the break, Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony, played with all the proper bombast, as well as some startling clarity. The sky was so clear, you could see the Milky Way (the galaxy, not the candy bar).

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