Friday, January 18, 2013

Ripping Brass!!!

These days are so long. I feel like this day was three separate days.

We started off visiting Haydn's church and heard quite an entertaining story about Haydn and his head-hunters. I also learned he had a parrot. I'm not sure how that information got by me all this time...
Looks amazing from the outside

Once inside. Not huge but still beautiful

Beautiful painting on the dome ceiling. Like all places we visit.  

Haydn's crypt...tomb?

We moved on to Esterhazy. I did not listen to the guided tour because I felt like I wasn't able to pay attention to my surroundings and just look at where I was. I didn't feel I was living in the moment and I forgot how important that was to me. 

A lovely hall in Esterhazy

to the left

Adorable small sculpture. 

That's a great wall of china. That's for you, my Foster child.


Too cute not to share. Do want.
In Bratislava...
Maybe it's because I'm quite partial to an adorable Japanese man myself, but I think the Slovak Philharmonic has been my favorite part about this trip so far.
I LOVE watching Ken-Ichiro Kabayashi.
(copyright not me)

He breaks all the conducting rules the best ways. So expressive. Aside from conducting his stage presence is inspiring. So much energy!! And so humble. I loved it. And he didn't scores I think. That's amazing. I will be him someday. Not an adorable Japanese man, but you get the idea.

Got you.

Pictures of people taking pictures kind of cracks me up

In the first half of the performance I was actually surprised by the ensemble not meeting my expectations. All the orchestras thus far had set the bar pretty high - with the exception of the orchestra for Barber of Seville. I may be naive but my overall impression of them was that they didn't get enough rehearsal time. It was a little disappointing. The horns in particular landed on partials too high a few times. Enough to be noticeable.

Entering the hall

The first half of the performance I judged the group pretty harshly. They have a very different style I wasn't used to. The players all looked so stern. All I could think about was how quiet orchestras usually are.

The most interesting organ in the world.

Then they played the Berlioz. HOLY COW! I have actually never heard this piece before. Even the beginning of this one wasn't as captivating as I hoped until the wind section woke up in the last few movements. Oh my word! I don't even know what else to say. Watching Kobayashi dance, hearing the piccolos shooting high, the timpani cracking mountains, the low brass (BASS TROMBONE) ripping the paint off the walls... UGH, it was so great! Before the concert, Serena asked me what my favorite part about the trip was. At first I said, "Having alone time." Now I can say hearing the Slovak Phil was my favorite part by far! This orchestra definitely knows fortissimo to a wind ensemble degree. I guess I chase the chills I get from in-your-face ensembles. This orchestra did it for me. Outstanding!

And this is for my adorable Japanese man.'s

Good night, sea creatures.


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