I don’t generally get maudlin over luggage. But after the final bows of Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Asia tour in May, I locked my wardrobe trunk and gave it an affectionate pat. This tour may well have been the brass-clad behemoth’s swansong. Built like fortresses, BSO’s 25 trunks could last forever. Lined up backstage like dominoes,[…]Read More
What if someone told you that you could have Luciano Pavarotti’s voice for a week? I don’t mean singing Some Enchanted Evening in the shower. I mean really sound like Pavarotti. I had the equivalent experience last week. Maybe even better, if that’s possible. I got to perform on the 1718 ‘Firebird’ Stradivarius, one of the greatest[…]Read More
Go for it. What would you say has been the most important invention over the past five hundred years or so? The automobile? Nuclear power? The microchip? Sliced bread? My vote…(drum roll)…the elevator! You scoff, but think about it. Before the elevator, cities could only expand as far as their geographical limits, hoist themselves four[…]Read More
Well, Cecily and I have begun our annual cross-country pilgrimage from Salt Lake City to Tanglewood. This year, though, we’ve taken an unlikely circuitous route, stopping first in Portland and Seattle to visit our kids. As we’re so far north already we’ve decided to make our trek through Canada, stopping at a Canadian Rockies hot[…]Read More
You might think musicians would be at the top of a symphony orchestra’s food chain. So did I. When I joined the Boston Symphony violin section in 1975 at the tender age of 22, fresh out of college, bursting with enthusiasm, I was under the naïve misconception that the management of the orchestra worked for[…]Read More
Due to the tumult of the bombing at the Boston Marathon, the world all but overlooked the passing of Sir Colin Davis, one of the great conductors of the 20thcentury, who died at age 85 one day before that terrible event took place. To list his resumé as the music director and guest conductor of[…]Read More
Roland Tapley, Alfred Krips, Harry Dickson, George Zazofsky, Clarence Knudsen, Laszlo Nagy, Eugene Lehner, George Humphrey, Misha Nieland, Henry Portnoi, John Barwicki, James Pappoutsakis, Pasquale Cardillo, Bernard Zighera, Charlie Smith. What do these 15 men have in common? They were all musicians in the Boston Symphony who, with some 80 of their colleagues, performed the[…]Read More
Violinist Gerald Elias, formerly with the Boston Symphony and the Utah Symphony, has written a delightful yet informative piece about the reality of “performance practice.” Just what did Beethoven’s premiere of his Fifth Symphony sound like? And what was the concert experience like for those who attended? Jerry discusses in depth some of the misperceptions, as he sees them, of those musician who purport to offer “historically informed” performances, from the use of vibrato to the concept that there is only one “correct” template for authentic performance practice. Ultimately, he poses the question, “Do you want to experience what the audience heard at the premiere of Beethoven’s Fifth, or do you want to experience what they felt?”
This article was originally published at ReichelRecommends.com.
Ann Drinan, Senior Editor
I met Jerry Elias when we were both graduate students at Yale, he at the School of Music studying with Joseph Silverstein and I in the International Relations program. I played regularly in the Yale Philharmonia and got to know many of Silverstein’s students. Jerry went on to join the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and then moved to Utah to become Associate Concertmaster of the Utah Symphony.
I was stopped short one day at Barnes & Noble when a “staff pick” display featured a mystery novel, Devil’s Trill, written by Gerald Elias. Sure enough, it was the same Jerry. I’ve read and enjoyed all three of his novels, and arranged to interview him in the fall as he embarked on his book tour for his third novel, Death and the Maiden. (His second novel, Danse Macabre, was selected as the 2010 Utah Book of the Year in fiction by the Utah Humanities Council and one of the top five mysteries of 2010 by Library Journal.)Read More