Article updated August 7, 2019 by Dave Read
“…we connect Satie with Thoreau…” appears over the dense paragraph that describes Full Tilt: The John Cage Song Books (1970), the program Sunday Aug. 4 at Tanglewood’s new Linde Center for Music and Learning, the stunning suite of wood and glass sculpture on the rise overlooking Seiji Ozawa Hall.
All summer long, one hundred fifty or so serious musicians are evident throughout the vast Tanglewood campus, hurrying to and from performances, rehearsals, classes, and practice. They are the fellows of the Tanglewood Music Center, who meld into an ad hoc orchestra every summer before dispersing to their first professional jobs in the world’s finest orchestras.
Video from John Cage program at Tanglewood
Tonight was different – as different as John Cage, the composer, is from Aaron Copland, Tanglewood’s original composer. They kept their game faces on, even though the program seemed to be a total hoot, in the midst of their summer of durable consequence.
One facet of the show was to hand out stickers printed with the image of Henry David Thoreau, an unlikely ghost to invite onto a campus that, for all its aesthetic purity, must be the antithesis of how Thoreau would have managed the estate whose name was coined by his canoeing companion Nathaniel Hawthorne.