Sunday, April 23, 2006

Concert at Faneuil Hall

Faneuil Hall is a very historic building that was the site of town meetings until Boston became incorporated as a City. Sometimes when the hall is not in use for concerts and other venues, U.S. Park Rangers welcome visitors and interpret the site. On one afternoon several summers ago I was the only visitor and the ranger told me that his sympathies were with the loyalists during the Revolutionary War. It is interesting to ponder what life would have been like if we had lost the war. Would we be more like Canada or Europe? Would we have ever become a world power? A reliable source told me that there used to be several Park Rangers in Boston who had similar sympathies. Different viewpoints make history an exciting subject, whether I agree with them or not.

This afternoon a generous friend treated me to an excellent concert held in the Great Hall on the second floor of Faneuil Hall, as well as dinner following the concert. The Boston Classical Orchestra started with a symphony by J.C. Bach, and then did Haydn's Farewell Symphony. The latter was quite a show as in the last movement the musicians slowly left the stage one by one carrying their instruments with them, as the remaining musicians continued to play. I was impressed with the grace with which the bass player took her leave. Finally there were only two violins playing a duet until they left as well. The reasoning behind this entertaining and unusual piece was explained to us in the pre-concert lecture. Mozart's Concerto for Flute and Harp was a gentle work that showcased the talents of Elizabeth Rowe, on flute, and Ann Hobson Pilot, on Harp, both musicians from the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Immediately after the concert we walked the short distance to Durgin Park Restaurant. Soon after we were seated at a table on the second floor, the musicians walked through the dining room carrying their instruments. They proceeded to the third floor where there must have been an end of the season reception. Joining them was Michael Dukakis, who is on the advisory council of the Orchestra. Generations of Bostonians have eaten at Durgin Park in the relaxed and spirited dining room. Needless to say, it was a very enjoyable afternoon and early evening.


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