November 19, 2011

Ich bin ein Berliner

Pin It

OK, so I'm not really from Berlin... nor am I really a jelly donut, the way JFK is reputedly to have proclaimed himself to be.  For years I have been cracking a stupid joke by telling people that this is the only complete sentence of German that I can speak... thanks to the attention and controversy about the grammatical accuracy of JFK's speech back in 1963.

Anyway.  I had a rare dose of culture tonight thanks to the parental units.  They had received tickets to a concert tonight by the Berliner Philharmoniker, and thought a little classical music would do me some good.  After my 6-hour ordeal earlier today, dad and I rushed over to the National Concert Hall and made it just in time for the event.

We had extremely good seats - front row center circle.  We had a bird's eye view of the stage, and there was nothing to complain about in terms of acoustics.  The concert was being simulcast to 2 other venues in Taiwan, and was also being recorded for a future DVD or as a concert in Digital Concert Hall - Berliner Philharmoniker's online concert library.

The evening started with Ravel's Alborada del gracioso, a short and playful piece.  Given that I was still recovering from the mad rush to get into my seat, I really appreciated the fact that we started with something that was light and cheerful.

With the second piece came something I had never experienced before in a classical concert - not that I've been to many.  Toshio Hosokawa's Concerto for Horn and Orchestra - Moment of Blossoming calls for the placement of several horn players among the audience - in this case at strategic points on the circle level.  I was a little surprised to find Sarah Willis standing in the aisle right next to me with her French horn.  She very politely apologized to us in advance, saying that "it is a little loud, but we can still be friends!"  As it turned out it wasn't loud at all...

A very interesting piece, given my very limited exposure in recent years to classical music.  Also interesting to find out that the piece was commissioned in part by Berliner Philharmonika and dedicated by the composer to Stefan Dohr, Principal horn of the group.

The final piece after the intermission was Bruckner's Symphony No. 9 in d minor, the last and unfinished piece of work of the composer.  Nice, but evoked no special emotions within me.

A very nice break from the usual routine, especially on such an otherwise awful day.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails

TripAdvisor Travel Map