It felt strange to simply ride with my bike from home to meet with my dear friends and colleagues. The MCO rehearsed in Berlin. The Dresdner Musikfestspiele invited us to play a memorial concert for our founding mentor Claudio Abbado.
So we met in
the rehearsal room of Deutsche Oper to prepare a very delightful programme with
maestro Daniele Gatti. It was burning hot in Berlin those days but it was a
pleasure to work on Schumann's third symphony Rhenisch, four
Mahler songs with the fabulous Waltraud Meier and Wotans Abschied
and Feuerzauber (Wagner) with none other than René Pape. As
trombonists were not needed very often this season, I was glad to be part of
this great band again!
After big hellos and hugs we started our work in the coldest room in the opera building, lucky us! A part of the orchestra with no winds at all already met one day earlier to rehearse a programme to be played after the Dresden concert in Budapest, Reykjavik and our Radial Night in Berlin's cool location Radialsystem.
We have two viola members, Delphine and Yannick, who were born in the beginning of June. Our lovely staff organized a celebration coming together in the Schleusenkrug, a beer garden just next door to the Zoological Garden. It took us a while to sort out one corner of the beer garden, but then we all found space and more musician friends living in Berlin came. What a pleasant evening sitting outside, all together.
Next day again rehearsing in Deutsche Oper and after this, in the evening, straight to Dresden by bus. Our trip didn't take us too long and Dresden welcomed us with its most beautiful panorama when we crossed river Elbe. Our hotel was located in the very center and we could all walk to our general rehearsal in the studio of Dresdener Staatsoper next morning. I took the way next to the river and it was a beautiful view approaching the famous building of the Dresdner Staatsoper. When I arrived I was happy to reach the shade in the building. Again it was beautiful weather and already in the morning very hot. At the same time at our dress rehearsal, the Gewandhaus Orchestra from Leipzig played its festival guest concert under its chief conductor Ricardo Chailly. Again many of us met friends who were playing in that orchestra.
Finally in the afternoon we got to know the concert venue in a short balance and camera rehearsal. The famous Dresdner Frauenkirche, constructed 1726-1743, destroyed a few months before the end of World War II and reconstructed by using as many as possible of the original stones from 1993 until 2005.
The memorial concert, recorded for live internet streaming by medici.tv, was an exciting and emotional one for everyone of us. My personal highlight was the Mahler song Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen with wonderful Waltraud Meier. Sad enough that we played this programme only one time. A part of the orchestra had to get up very very early the next morning to travel to Budapest. They continued the tour with a different programme. My travel home was also unusually short, only a bit more than two hours on the train...