Six of what? and twelve more?
That’s six organ recitals today (plus a lecture on organ building in the Pioneer Valley), and twelve more recitals in the next two days at the Organ Historical Society Convention. I’m actually leaving the convention one day early so I’m missing out on Thursday’s six organ concerts! You must realize that all these organ concerts take place in 32 different churches, and the convention moves from venue to venue in five 54-passenger buses.
Today we heard Patricia Snyder, Caroline Robinson, Peter Crisafulli, Adam Pajan and Bruce Stevens play solo organ recitals in five different churches, but the highlight for me today was a visit to Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony.
We heard organist James David Christie play with Robert Sheena on oboe and English horn, and Cynthia Meyers, flute, both outstanding instrumentalists. I especially liked all the music for organ plus instruments, and am thinking of doing this kind of ensemble playing when I return home.
I’ve heard of Tanglewood for years, but never realized it is called the Serge Koussevitzky Music Shed, and is just a big barn, with the sides open. The wind raised havoc with the players’ music, and the lone page turner raced around from stand to stand trying to hold the music from blowing away.
And what are the odds — I boarded the bus at 7:45 am this morning, and a woman came by and asked if anyone was sitting next to me. No, I said, and she and I engaged in conversations all day, on and off the bus (We didn’t get back to the hotel until 11:00 pm!) It turns out that she was a student of Marilyn Mason — and I told her the other person from Honolulu at this convention, Samuel Lam, was also a student of hers. Well! it turns out that my new friend Renate McLaughlin accompanied Marilyn Mason on her trip to Hawaii in 2007 (read my post on her 67-year tenure at the University of Michigan) and she remembered visiting an apartment with a fortepiano in it! Well, guess what— that must have been my apartment because we had Honolulu’s only fortepiano!! And both of us marveled at the random serendipity of two people meeting on a bus, having met seven years before, but not having any memory of it!!
Talk about serendipity, look who I ran into at Bruce Stevens’ recital — Nathan Laube (shown with Bill Van Pelt, with whom Carl and I went on an Organ Historical Society trip to Denmark, Sweden and Germany in 1996.) Nathan played a concert at Central Union Church in Honolulu a couple of years ago.
P.S. You may think that listening to all this organ music is tiring, but for me it’s energizing. Twelve more organ recitals in two days — it’s a piece of cake!