Sunday, January 20, 2013

Slovakian Sights and Song

We are now in Bratislava, preparing to head onward to Prague tomorrow morning. For a less city oriented person such as myself, Bratislava has been a bit of a breath of fresh air after being in the much bigger scene of Vienna the past week. Upon our arrival here we saw the Slovak Philharmonic, which was a very enjoyable and high energy concert. The concert featured a violin soloist who was very good, but I found his overall strange presence somewhat distracting. His playing was lovely, but he took upon an overly cavalier persona upon entering the stage and tended to jerk his head around to the beat a bit while the orchestra was playing, in a manner I found to be somewhat distracting. The ended their set with Berlioz' 'Symphony Fantastique', which was quite enthralling. I, of course, was especially stoked on the low brass.

Last night we attended Krutnava, a artful and politically driven opera written by Slovak composer Eugene Suchon. None of us had any idea what to expect when going into it, but we all were quite satisfied with the production. The story was thought provoking and engaging, and the music was powerful and very well orchestrated. We also heard a lot of great singing throughout the opera. Intermission consisted of an enthusiastic consultation as we all attempted to figure out just what was going on in the show. With the singing being in Slovak, and the supertitles German, we were all at a bit of a loss, but we managed to figure it out.

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