Posted By kerryturner on September 7, 2008
I have just returned from an very long and difficult journey. I was on the road with the Luxembourg Philharmonic, whose run-out concerts to other countries and cites is usually carried out in style. This particular run-out however looked a bit dodgy even from the outset. First of all, it`s a long long way to Weimar from Luxembourg, some 550 kilometers. Second of all, we were suppose to take the bus! Whereas we almost alway fly to cites that far away, the administration had decided, for some reason, that we should take the bus. The third oddity about my particular situation in this scenario was that I was booked to play only on the Berlioz “Harold in Italy”.
This Friday morning we all hesitatingly climbed aboard three buses and tucked in for the long haul. And long indeed it was. The journey there took us nine (9!) hours. We had a nice enough hotel, if a little bit out of the city. And the rehearsal and concert the next day all came off quite splendidly. Tabea Zimmerman was the viola soloist and Emmanuel Krivine led us from the podium. At the rehearsal, we were welcomed by Frau Nike Wagner, the great-granddaughter of THE Richard Wagner (and by the way, the great-great-granddaughter of Franz Liszt.) Frau Wagner is the principal organizer of the “Pèlerinages – Kunstfest Weimar, which is the festival in which we participated.
While we were in Weimar, we had the opportunity to look around this remarkable city. Weimar is a name which appears quite often when one is reading any sort of German history, be it literature, music or political. But for some reason, the city of Weimar is practically never on anybody`s tourist itinerary. In fact, when talking about Germany, even to Germans, it is indeed seldom mentioned. Yet this place is teeming with history! Look at the list of famous people who have resided in Weimar: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Friedrich Schiller, Lukas Cranach the Elder, Martin Luther, J. S. Bach, C. P. E. Bach and Wilhelm Freidemann Bach, Franz Liszt (whose Summer residence we had the pleasure of visiting), Richard Wagner, Johann Nepulmuk Hummel, just to name a few. Politically, the Weimar Republic was founded there and the infamous Buchenwald Concentration Camp is right outside the city walls. I mean, what a paradise for history buffs!
The concert, as I said, was a big success and we duly toasted it`s further success several times at the hotel bar. And then perhaps a few more times.Because we knew that tomorrow we would have to board….that….bus….again.One of my favorite hobbies is visiting the residences of great composers.