To Seiji Ozawa, the Boston Symphony Orchestra season is filled with challenges. The audience at the opening night concert is greeted by leaflets declaring the musicians' grievances: A strike may cut off the season. Ozawa has chosen to make it a full orchestra, huge chorus, and outstanding vocal soloists: The local critics are eager to judge the results. And the season includes a performance at the reopening of Carnegie Hall, a major recording, and even a concert version of an opera.There is, as always, the tension between players and conductor. But for one of the musicians, the principal trumpet player, the season is both a challenge and a question of his professional survival, because of his conflict with his conductor. He feels forced to prove himself each time he plays. Yet his performances influence the way the whole orchestra sounds. The interplay between these two men becomes the dramatic center of an intensely moving story.The concertmaster, the choral director, the official coterie around Ozawa, the major players in the orchestra, are all part of a fascinating view of the BSO no outsider can witness. From rehearsal to performance, from back-corridor talk to at-home life, from Boston to New York to Tanglewood, here is an intimate, behind-the-scenes picture of one of the foremost orchestras in the world.
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Carl Vigeland has combined life-long interests in music and sports to create a body of work that explores the phenomenon of performance at its highest level. He is the author of books: Great Good Fortune (How Harvard Makes its Money), Stalking the Shark (Pressure and Passion on the Pro Golf Tour), Jazz in the Bittersweet Blues of Life (with Wynton Marsalis), and Letters of a young Golfer (with Bob Duval). Vigeland has also written for a wide variety of national magazines, including Playboy, The Atlantic Monthly, Fast Company, and Double Take. The golf columnist for Continental Airlines in-flight magazine, he has contributed frequently to Golf Digest. Other magazine credits include The New York Times Magazine, The Boston Globe Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, Golf Journal, Golf Week, Player, Downbeat, Yankee, Country Journal, New England Monthly, and Boston Magazine, which he served as travel editor. A graduate of Harvard, he teaches a journalism course at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.From Publishers Weekly:
Demystifying and humanizing the august Boston Symphony Orchestra--and expertly discussing, as the book's leitmotif, the intricacies of Mahler Two, a BSO specialty--Vigeland presents such an agreeable portrait that he makes the reader want to subscribe to the orchestra's upcoming season. A keen observer, and perhaps more of a tattletale than certain BSO members will like, the author takes us through the 1986-1987 season at Symphony Hall and concerts at Tanglewood (Mass.), Connecticut and Washington, D.C. Primarily, we follow slightly paranoid principal trumpet Charlie Schlueter and his strained relationship with music director Seiji Ozawa, who is not given to fraternizing with the musicians. We also meet concertmaster Malcolm Lowe, orchestra manager Anne Parsons, choral director John Oliver; learn about union problems; sit in on auditions; witness the intensity of rehearsals. Vigeland ( How Harvard Makes Its Money ) is at his best in conveying the emotive power of music, making palpable the feelings of the musicians when a concert goes well and they are overwhelmed at the sound they have made.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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