Burnett Thompson Blog

May 25, 2006

Britten and Maazel

Filed under: music, theater — burnett @ 6:46 am

Last week, I caught the dress rehearsal and final performance of “The Turn of the Screw” by Benjamin Britten.¬ Lorin Maazel invited a young orchestra, all Juilliard undergrads and grad students, and a young professional cast to Castleton, where they lived and rehearsed for 10 days.¬ It was Camp Maazel.¬ The¬ students¬ were well aware that this was the experience of a lifetime.¬ They had never had anything like this, and likely would never experience anything similar in the future.¬ The truth is, it is possible that¬ this¬ ¬ approach to a chamber opera has never taken these dimensions ever.¬ The intensity of the preparation, combined with the intimacy (there were only a thirteen musicians) and the expectations of the conductor produced a refined performance.¬ This is not a review, only a statement of fact.¬

The students are moving on to Marlboro, Aspen, Tanglewood and other rarified opportunities that the first-water instrumentalists do while wandering to a career.¬ Several spoke of intense activity with their own chamber groups and their burgeoning free lance schedules in New York.¬ As a group, they are very excited about their work, their possibilities, opportunities and music in general.¬ They are very lucky and they know it.¬ The life of a musician is utterly intoxicating when you get off to a good start.

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