Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Mein Schatz!

They say that jet leg doesn't really hit you until a few days after you're done traveling.

They're right...

My apologies to anyone who's emailed, called or IMed me in the past few days. I promise I'll get back to everyone asap. In the meantime, I've cobbled together a few of my recollections from Lucerne.


It's difficult to put into words what exactly made last weekend so special. Traveling is always amazing. The 21st Century Orchestra gave a stunningly commanding reading of Fellowship's score. The group found the precise balance between Shore's contained-sound concept for LOTR and the amount of detail that a live performance demands. And their unflagging energy over a three-hour period was nothing short of heroic. I have no doubt that they'll be entirely ready for ROTK when the time comes. The audience's reception was beyond amazing, both in terms of their enthusiasm and the intelligent approach they've applied to their passion. And there's nothing more fun than spending time with engaging, thoughtful people like the Art Productions concert organizers (thanks Basil and Pirmin), John Howe, Howard Shore, Elizabeth Cotnoir, Luwig Wicki, etc. I suppose that, like so many other things in life, the joy of the experience is the culmination of the details.

Or perhaps it's even simpler. I mean, what's not to like?

Right now, everything's remembered as a haze of details:

I vistied Löwendenkmal with Jim and Sabsi from the boards (and yes, giving them a preview of the book... perhaps they'll share impressions, if asked... :) )

I joined Howard and his wife, Elizabeth, to pay respects at the Wagner museum in Tribschen. Wagner composed his Siegfried Idyll in this home, and the entire experience of being there was absolutely surreal--a deeply moving meeting of Rings composers, which was perhaps more historic than anyone chose to let on at the moment.

And the pre-concert lectures couldn't have been more enjoyable. Thanks to Art Productions, I'm happy to present the complete audio from these lectures below:

Saturday 3/29:

Sunday 3/30:

I know many people lamented that they couldn't attend in person, so hopefully this will be the next best thing.

The concerts also got a lot of press coverage in Switzerland. Here is a TV news segment on the performances from SF1 (see the bottom of the page). And the player below will open a radio interview with conductor, Ludwig Wicki. (All in Swiss German, translation coming soon.)

Also, click here to see a album of some of pictures from the weekend. I'll update with specific captions as this week draws on. [March 4: More pictures added. See slideshow at right for a preview, or click the link above for the full album.]

UPDATE: Jeremy Rossier generously sends in this short video piece he assembled at the performances:

And from Basil Böhni:

None of the above, however, really expresses how lucky I feel to (finally!) be a part of all this. I remember back in 2001 when I got the informal invitation to "maybe do something" connected to Shore's work on LOTR. I was thrilled. Maybe I'd actually be interviewed at some point! Maybe I'd even get to meet Shore in person!

The degree to which the past few years--and the past weekend in specific--have surpassed my dreams both thrills and startles me. Running around the globe discussion something you love is so enjoyable it almost seems unfair. I will forever be grateful for being allowed to drape myself in music history as it is being knitted.

Like I said... I like my life.


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