March 06, 2008
We have just arrived in Berlin, and it is cool but beautifully sunny – the first real sun we have had the entire trip. Some members of the group are taking advantage of the afternoon and evening off to explore this amazing city, while some of us catch up on laundry, work, whatever, which also feels very good after three days in a row of traveling and performing the same day.
The concert in Hamburg was one of the most stunning that I have ever heard LACO play. That was only enhanced by a gorgeous hall (visually and aurally) and a wildly enthusiastic audience – 2,000 strong in the all-but-sold-out Laeiszhalle, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Vesselina Kasarova sang an encore at the end of her portion of the program, and the Orchestra played one at the end of the entire concert.
The hall in Hannover had been quite a contrast to that – a modern one with thrust stage and bright red-orange seats, both on the stage and off! The Orchestra also sounded good there and got a nice review.
Another full house in Vienna last night – very emotional for Jeffrey and the musicians to be in that city performing. The audience started off quite cool and warmed up tremendously in the course of the evening. It was the program with Uri Caines piece, and there seemed to be a divide between the downstairs (Read high ticket price!) audience members and the upstairs, which was full of Uri fans. The acoustics turned out to be far better upstairs, where Cooney and I sat for the second half (Haydn and Stravinsky).
In Vienna, instead of just having an acoustic rehearsal, as we have everywhere else since Ferrara, we had a 1-1/4-hour rehearsal, because there were two substitute musicians from Vienna: one trumpet and one flute. Sadly, Dave Washburn and Susan Greenberg both come down with some respiratory/nasal infections and were told by the doctor in Hamburg that they should not fly. So they both spent an extra night in Hamburg and took the train to Berlin in time to meet the rest of the Orchestra here. Both are feeling well enough now that they are planning to play the concert in Berlin tomorrow evening.