why i love boston (and tchaikovsky)

The reasons I love Boston? I could spend all day listing. Today, I ran into some old and new acquaintances during lunch. We were to introduce ourselves, name, year born, when we went to school in Boston, which field, and 1 interesting thing about us that is not listed on CV / resume. So I revealed i’m a big fan of the operas, of the female voices… the lower the better… Someone I knew of 7 years ago was quite happy to hear: “Really?? Me too! (opera), you want to join me tonight at the Boston Symphony Hall?  Do you know they sell tickets for $20 if you’re under 40?”

Bus station ad

Of course I know that!  Just last week, when i was walking around and seeing the ad for the first time at the bus stop. Back when I was a student here, some schools have deals with the BSO for $7 rush tickets for students. I made plenty use of it sitting front row. But that was a bit restrictive, with a schedule of only certain performances… This is amazing, from the BSO itself, engaging the young people into classical music.  love love love! (and being in Boston, of course we have plenty of young people from the 20+ universities or so…)  So we called the BSO, but it was sold out completely for tonight’s performance of Beethoven’s violin concerto. So after exchanging our contacts and a few clips from our corresponding favorite operas (mine and hers), we agreed to meet up in front of the symphony hall later, she with her already-bought ticket, and I with my potential ticket via scalpers.

In LA, I wouldn’t do this.  In Boston, it’s not a problem at all. The walk across the Charles River is absolutely beautiful.  So even if i didn’t manage the ticket, it would have still been a wonderful walk outside blending in with the crowd and nature.  Somehow, time slipped pass me, and it was already 7.10pm, yikes! A walk to the symphony from where I stay would require at least 45min.  Again, in LA, this would have been a big problem (due to traffic, large distances to cover, etc).  Here, I walked 5min, waited 15min at bus station, then took Bus #1 directly to the hall 20min later.   Everyone was going in and seemed like no-one had extra tickets…  Then at 7.55pm, I spotted a woman with several tickets in hand,

— Do you need a ticket?
— YES!! How much is it?
— $75, orchestra section.
— OOPS, that’s pretty expensive…
— $50 ?
— hmm (digging through wallet), oh, sorry, i only have exactly $25!
— hmm, let’s wait for a while…

— OK, you can have the ticket

Yay! so, near front row, SUPERB sound!!

The program:
Barber — something I can’t remember now
Beethoven — violin concerto
Tchaikovsky — Symphony #5

A long time ago, someone suggested to me to listen to both Beethoven’s violin concerto and Tchaikovsky’s. I checked out both from the university library, and the Tchaikovsky’s version sticked with me. So, this was probably only my 2nd time listening to Beethoven’s violin concerto. I’m not sure if I’m just not familiar with it… but again, it didn’t strike me much as something I would want to listen to many times. Tchaikovsky, on the other hand, i like! Even way back, I discovered I really love the thick and dark violin section in his music. And the way he used woodwinds and brass with strings, it brings out the dark internal turmoiled feeling so well. I like all the movements, the whole piece. So, here’s just a random sample.

So, within 8 days, I’ve been near front row both times I’ve been to concerts (last week was Boston Baroque playing Beethoven’s 7th, rush ticket 50% off at Jordan Hall).  Since I moved to LA, I’ve always been miles away from the stage in almost all performances,  I even forget the warm sounds from the instruments that I got so used to here in Boston.  My ears aren’t that great, but to be able to pick out all instruments while my view wasn’t optimal was a wonderful experience :-).

After the concert, I opted for the walk back,

view of boston across the charles river

77 Mass Ave

Altogether, a musical evening, a beautiful walk, I’m fully content. fully.


About thả diều
writing-challenged opera-addict

2 Responses to why i love boston (and tchaikovsky)

  1. idlehouse says:

    nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo how could that be…. we weren’t even there, you DO NOT have our permission!

  2. Pingback: sumi jo and tomomi nishimoto in concert « thadieu's opera rambling outlet

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