Hello from Switzerland!
Its 11.18 pm and after a long and busy day I am once again ensconced in my hotel room working on my account of the CBSO’s touring activites.
We left Torino at 08.30 this morning and boarded the first of two trains taking us to Zurich.
The station, to quote Homer, ‘touched by rosy fingered dawn’
Changing to the second train in Milan…
The beautiful Milan station
Here is a photo of the orchestra in rehearsal, with the man I once described as ‘the epitome of cool’ – Mr Hakan Hardenburger – playing HK Gruber ‘3 MOD Pieces’
And now I present to you the magnificent, but strangely intimate, concert hall – Zurich’s Tonhalle. The Tonhalle is one of my favourite concert halls, up there with Symphony Hall, Birmingham, The Musikverein, in Vienna, the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, and Dusseldorf’s Tonhalle. It has a lovely rich, but not too boomy, acoustic, and whilst it holds just over a thousand people, it still feels intimate – in fact you almost feel as though you are playing chamber music! This fits perfectly with Andris’s way of working, with his knack of making you feel that he is standing at your side, whilst still in command of the big picture musically, making you want to play as best you can.
Tonight’s concert was no exception, with fabulous playing all round and some more than usually searching pianissimi in the first movement of the Tchaikovsky fourth.
Also, some very fortissimo bits from the boys in the trumpets, trombones and tuba. Myriam and I were seated just in front of them on a rise next to the oboes, and boy were they loud!! You don’t mind, however, when they make such a magnificent and beautiful sound.
The audience obviously thought so too, many stood at the end, and gained themselves an encore, in the shape of one of Dvorak’s cheeky and classic “Slavonic Dances”.
(A little more about Zurich’s Tonhalle can be found here: http://www.zuerich.com/en/Media/Media-Why-Zuerich/Media-Highlights/Tonhalle-Zuerich-details.html)
Here is a nice thing, with all of the sections of the Tonhalle Orchestra on display for the public. Anyone think is a good idea??!
To finish, here is a final photo showing the Tonhalle, this time from the outside.
Apologies for the picture heavy posts these past couple of days – lots of tiredness and travelling are my excuse – I promise there will be more to say when I’ve had a good sleep!
Good night and god bless,