Wednesday, September 20, 2017

1950 … a night at the Boston Pops

In 1950 I was 17, on a first date with a college man (sigh) and attending the opening concert of the 65th season of the Boston Pops conducted by the world famous Arthur Fiedler. Who could ask for anything more?

During the Symphony Season this venue was very conventional but as soon as it became “Pops Season” it changed drastically ... the seats and risers were removed and small tables and chairs (reminiscent of the type that you might see at a curbside Bistro) were packed in. Everyone relaxed and waited in anticipation for the great man to appear.

The minute that Arthur Fiedler came to the podium a roar of approval erupted from the audience. He gave a low bow of thanks and then took up his baton. The lights were lowered, the talking ceased and the concert began. It was a typical “Pops” evening filled with semi-classical music and a few lighter pieces.

What really impressed me was that, at the end of each number, instead of going offstage, Arthur Fiedler took a seat at the front of the stage and beamed at us, while waitresses collected orders for wine, or lemonade. Then he would stand up...our signal to stop talking...and the next segment would begin.

I still remember the thrill of that evening and smiled when I read that in May, 1979 he conducted a concert to celebrate his 50 years as conductor at the Pops. He was to die of a heart attack barely two months later but he certainly went out on his own terms and with the love and admiration of his audience.


Blogger troutbirder said...

I remember his concerts well. A consummate artist.

4:19 PM  
Blogger NCmountainwoman said...

I still have and still play several Pops LPs. My favorite is "Pops Goes West." Specifically the hill country theme from LBJ documentary. Who would have believed John Williams would fit right in after such a dynamic person as Arthur Fiedler?

7:48 AM  
Blogger Arkansas Patti said...

How lucky you got to enjoy the master. Also, I love the bistro atmosphere to enjoy the classics. How unique.

8:02 AM  
Blogger Marie Smith said...

Great story, Ginnie. You tell us great stories of your life's experiences. I always look forward to them.

9:25 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

I nevr realized that some concerts went like this.

4:33 AM  
Blogger joared said...

I envy your experience as living in the Midwest there was little likelihood I'd be in Boston. I was enamored with the Pops, purchased LP albums when I could afford them and still have them.

3:14 AM  
Blogger Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Always enjoyed the Boston Pops because of Mr. Fiedler and how nice to read that he was as genuine as he appeared. Also a nice memory of your date, Ginnie.

5:51 AM  

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