Lost in Transit: Bucharest

BY PETER MARCK

What makes a great tour concert?  A well rested, calm, well fed, comfortable orchestra? Absolutely! But sometimes things don’t work out. 

Last Monday, the orchestra and Maestro Mehta flew from Zurich to Bucharest for their first appearance at the Enescu Festival. A well timed day: land at 3:30, one hour rehearsal at 7:00 of Schoenberg and Bruckner, sandwiches, then concert at 8:30.The boarding and flight came off like clockwork and we landed on time. We watched as the carousel delivered the suitcases. Even after it came to a halt we weren’t too concerned…you can’t lose 40 suitcases!  But at 4:30 with uncertainty spreading and half the orchestra waiting on the buses in the heat, we were taken to Lost and Found and the reality began to sink in. 

Swiss Air took its time about taking our claim of 36 suitcases. We sat around the airport for two hours and didn’t get to the hotel until 6:40. In the meantime, Maestro Mehta, who was hopping mad at the pilot who preferred to fly on time instead of loading the bags, cancelled the rehearsal. 

At the concert hall players straggled in to warm up and the concert began. Against all odds it was the absolute best performance of the Schoenberg Chamber Symphony and a brilliant performance of Bruckner’s 8th Symphony. The Hall was packed and the concert broadcast live on Romanian television. 

Peter Marck joined the IPO in 1976 and since 1979 has been Principal Double Bass.