• The program for this opening night at Tanglewood on July 6, 2012, replicated the very first concert the Boston Symphony Orchestra gave at their then-new summer home in 1937.
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    The program for this opening night at Tanglewood on July 6, 2012, replicated the very first concert the Boston Symphony Orchestra gave at their then-new summer home in 1937.
    Erik Jacobs for NPR
  • Picnickers started arriving hours early for this concert; by the time the music started, some 12,00 concertgoers packed the Shed and Tanglewood's grounds.
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    Picnickers started arriving hours early for this concert; by the time the music started, some 12,00 concertgoers packed the Shed and Tanglewood's grounds.
    Erik Jacobs for NPR
  • The weather could not have been more perfect for dining and listening to music al fresco.
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    The weather could not have been more perfect for dining and listening to music al fresco.
    Erik Jacobs for NPR
  • Conductor Christoph von Dohnanyi has been a frequent guest conductor at the Boston Symphony Orchestra recently.
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    Conductor Christoph von Dohnanyi has been a frequent guest conductor at the Boston Symphony Orchestra recently.
    Erik Jacobs for NPR
  • The all-Beethoven concert began with the Leonore Overture No. 3.
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    The all-Beethoven concert began with the Leonore Overture No. 3.
    Erik Jacobs for NPR
  • In an ideal pairing of music of setting, the orchestra played Beethoven's Symphony No. 6, "Pastoral."
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    In an ideal pairing of music of setting, the orchestra played Beethoven's Symphony No. 6, "Pastoral."
    Erik Jacobs for NPR
  • Dohnanyi's gestures at the podium were mostly very restrained.
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    Dohnanyi's gestures at the podium were mostly very restrained.
    Erik Jacobs for NPR
  • The Boston Globe called this performance of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony "full, open and robust," and praised Dohnanyi for "lean textures kept his Fifth from tipping over into the land of flabby orchestral cliche."
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    The Boston Globe called this performance of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony "full, open and robust," and praised Dohnanyi for "lean textures kept his Fifth from tipping over into the land of flabby orchestral cliche."
    Erik Jacobs for NPR

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Classics in Concert

Tanglewood At 75: Opening Night With The Boston Symphony OrchestraWGBH

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Seventy-five years ago, an American institution was born: Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, a cultural mecca to arts lovers and the musical refuge for generations of young artists.

To celebrate, the Boston Symphony Orchestra's opening-night performance for this season was a replication of the very first concert they gave under Serge Koussevitsky's baton at Tanglewood in summer 1937. Guest conductor Christoph von Dohnanyi led Beethoven's Fifth and Sixth Symphonies and the Leonore Overture No. 3, which the late critic, musicologist and BSO program annotator Michael Steinberg called "one of the great emblems of the heroic Beethoven."

As Howard Taubman of the New York Times wrote after a 1938 Beethoven Ninth that celebrated the dedication of the venue's famous Shed, "More than ever the festival appeared to have caught the public's imagination. Hours before concert time every one of the 5,600-odd seats under the new shed was sold, and hundreds of additional chairs had to be placed under the colonnade that circles the shed ... Here was great music superlatively played in verdant surroundings that could only intensify the emotional impact." The glow of that Tanglewood magic, so strong even seven decades ago, has only intensified with time. (Have your own memories of Tanglewood to share? Head over to Classical New England's "Tanglewood Tales" project, where they're inviting fans to share stories, photos and video links.)

PROGRAM:

Leonore Overture No. 3
Symphony No. 6, "Pastoral"
Symphony No. 5

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