Monday, June 3, 2019

Dream Vacations

What is living in a free society all about if not to delight in one's weirdnesses? I had the oddest thought when I was practicing this morning and it led to other odd thoughts, so here they are.

Back when I was studying in Spain with Maestro José Tomás he gave a concert in, I think, Benidorm, that a few of us students attended. The highlight of the concert was the suite Castillos de España by Federico Moreno Torroba, at the time a fairly newly-written piece. I didn't learn it myself until several years ago. I think, at the time of the concert, it wasn't widely available. Ok, so this morning I was working on the first movement, Turégano, a lovely piece, and it occurred to me that my perfect vacation would be to have a whole month free so I could time-travel back to 1974 and study the piece with Tomás. Now that's something I really wished I had done when I was there as it would have been the perfect repertoire for me at that stage. That's my dream vacation.

How about some others?
  • The first performance of the St. Matthew Passion by J. S. Bach in Leipzig, 11 April 1727
  • The premiere of Le Sacre du Printemps by Stravinsky on the 29th of May, 1913 in Paris
  • The first performance of L'Orfeo by Monteverdi in Mantua in 1607
  • Any of the celebrations of the Great Dionysia in Athens at the theatre of Dionysus in the latter half of the 5th century BC. These celebrations included performances of the great tragedies by Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripedes
  • Shakespeare at the original Globe in Southwark, London which existed between 1599 and 1613
  • On a more hedonistic note, it would be wonderful to join Baron Philippe de Rothschild at his chateau in Bordeaux for a dinner just after the war when they opened the cellar where they hid all the good wine during the German occupation.
Talk about your dream vacations!

And some people go on cruises? Weird.

Theatre of Dionysos in Athens (click to enlarge)
Turégano by Moreno Torroba played by Segovia:

UPDATE: Ok, one last secret dream excursion. I would have liked to be at Winterland in San Francisco, March 10, 1968 to hear one of Cream's very best live concerts.


Stephanie said...

My dream vacation would be to experience classical music performance in Russia. I hear its brilliant!

Bryan Townsend said...

That would depend on the performers, of course. But I do have a hankering to visit St. Petersburg sometime. Why did you insert a non-functioning link in your comment?

Will Wilkin said...

Funny just today my memory took me back...not quite to 1974 but to 1978, when I was a "middle school" (grade 8) student, and pondering a return to a certain place and friend of the time, was glad I was not being sent back. Indeed my life now is better than in my youth, to the point where I am about to experience something that qualifies for my dream "vacation": a week on the Yale campus in August as a student, part of a mostly online Certificate in Finance and Deployment of Clean Energy I will begin in July and complete in May 2020. I have taken my son to literally hundreds of concerts on the Yale campus, explored the art galleries and museums, attended diverse other events there --always felt welcome but also always was an outsider, just a "local" taking advantage of what was open to the public, but never having any affiliation with the school. Unlike a lot of locals, including the leftists I associated with in my younger days, I never resented the "privilege" of the tax-exempt world-class university, but always appreciated how I always felt welcome despite just being a local resident. Until about 6 months ago, I never considered that I could ever actually study there myself, so now a dream has come true! And why is that a "vacation?" Because I had to ask for the week off from work. So this year my vacation will be my week on campus as part of being a Yale student. SO GLAD I have not been sent back to the 1970s that I wasted as a kid stoner (but I honestly didn't know any better at the time).

And Brian, I notice that your dream vacations parallel mine in being experiences of great times and places in our civilization. Consider no dreams or time travel are necessary, that maybe after all our own time is also good and our own experiences rich in the great cultural inheritance we love and cherish!

Bryan Townsend said...

Congratulations, Will! Sounds like you will have a great and fulfilling time.

Marc said...

I imagine enjoying sailing across the Mediterranean from Marseille to Ostia to Alexandria by Egypt with a few intermediate port calls, circa 100 BC. My mind can eliminate pirates, seasickness, the whole host of practical difficulties. Would no longer have to dally with the mystifications of the ancient music reconstructionists!

Bryan Townsend said...

Well, sure, but what about Scylla and Charybdis?