11 January 2010

A music-lover in Massachusetts

From time to time — sometimes when I listen to Nielsen or Berlioz, sometimes when I am surfing reviews on Amazon — I see in my mind’s eye Bob Zeidler (a/k/a “BobZ” or even “bobbsey”), a well-loved participant in the now-defunct New York Times classical music fora. It was in that on-line medium that I first “met” Bob, who listened voraciously, was a prolific reviewer on Amazon, and easily made many “virtual friends,” thanks to his good humor, and passionate advocacy of the music he loved.

Though we started as “virtual friends,” Bob lived nearby, in central Massachusetts, and we met in person for a Boston Philharmonic concert or two (Bob was a great fan of Ben Zander’s), and he even drove to Boston to attend the Festive Evensong (all Henningmusick, all the time) directed by Mark Engelhardt at St Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral in November of 2003.

The most vivid musical memory with Bob in the scene, was when we met to attend a concert of the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra at Worcester’s Mechanics Hall, where we heard an utterly life-changing performance of Shostakovich’s Leningrad Symphony. None of us was new to the story behind the symphony (least of all my wife and mom-in-law, who had lived in St Petersburg); the impact of that concert was 100% the music-making, which all of its own would have shattered any doubt as to the musical greatness of the Shostakovich Seventh.

Here’s raising a glass to “bobbsey,” who must be reviewing the Concerts Celestial from on high.

No comments: