James Taylor hosting online 'Best of Tanglewood on Parade'

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LENOX — James Taylor will host "The Best of Tanglewood on Parade," a video stream of highlights from past Tanglewood on Parade concerts, 8 p.m. Tuesday online at tanglewood.org.

The free program — which can be viewed through Aug. 25 — features the Boston Symphony, Boston Pops, and Tanglewood Music Center orchestras, as well as the Tanglewood Festival Chorus and Boston Symphony Children's Choir, in selections led by conductors Andris Nelsons, Keith Lockhart, John Williams, James Burton, and Seiji Ozawa.

Along with hosting the program, Taylor will introduce archival performances of two songs he wrote, "Lonesome Road" and "Mean Old Man" performed with James' band, members of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus and John Williams and the Boston Pops, from an August 2009 Tanglewood concert.

Among the other highlights of "The Best of Tanglewood on Parade" program is James Burton's "The Lost Words," a reprise of the piece's premiere at the 2019 Tanglewood on Parade concert by the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Symphony Children's Choir, with Burton conducting.

The libretto for the piece is a children's book by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris, written in response to the Oxford Junior Dictionary's omission of nature words in 2007 and again in 2015. The book includes illustrations of these words, together with poems (or "word spells") designed to be spoken aloud to bring the lost words back into existence. Through a joint commission between the BSO and the Hall Orchestra, Burton set 12 of these word spells for children's choir using a variety of musical styles.

The night will close with a performance of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture — in this case, a recording from the 2015 Tanglewood On Parade concert in which musicians from the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra under the direction of BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons. Please see below for the entire program for the 8 p.m. concert.

The virtual 2020 Tanglewood on Parade is part of the Tanglewood 2020 Online Festival, available through tanglewood.org. Tanglewood 2020 Online Festival, BSO at Home, Boston Pops at Home, and BSO Homeschool audio and video content offerings were created in response to concert cancellations over the past few months due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19.

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