Saturday, July 16, 2011

Germany Post!

Well, so much for keeping everyone informed! Yes, I'm here in Deutschland, but like most rural towns in the beautiful countryside, Eutin is perhaps not the most equipped location for internet access. Therefore, my posts will be sparse (and unfortunately, without pictures), but I'll try to cover as much as I can!

Things in Eutin got busy from the very beginning. We all stumbled through the airport and to our residence extremely jet-lagged. Us musicians are being housed at two different locations (located next to one-another), the Bethesdahaus and the See Schloss hotel. A few of us (including myself) had a brief jazz concert to play that evening, at a party celebrating our arrival. Everyone was in a tired daze, but we were all excited to be there.

The Fourth of July had it's own excitement as well--the town of Eutin decided to throw an American Independence Day party in the town square for us, where the jazz sextet I was in also played. It was around this point I learned that the folks here really know how to throw a party.

Our first concert was a week ago Friday. The orchestra played a number of works, including Cappricio Espagnol by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, American in Paris by George Gershwin, multiple works by Carl Maria von Weber (who lived in Eutin), and other works by composers such as von Suppe, and Mozart. This concert brought to light the integral role of the barn in the life of a musician in Eutin; all of our rehearsals were conducted in a barn that had been converted into a rehearsal space, while the concert was performed in a separate, completely unconverted barn. I will be sure to post pictures in a separate post and link them to the appropriate articles once I have a faster connection.

From there we went straight into rehearsal for Don Giovanni in the stage itself. I'm aware my description couldn't do this location justice, but it will suffice to say that it is the first time I've ever played in an outdoor amphitheater from an open-air pit. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see that much of the staging and costumes from the pit, but what I have seen thus far is certainly remarkable. Our first performance was last night, and a massive cast party ensued. Like I said, these folks really know how to have a party.

I've been in love with the German life since coming here. The food and drink (especially the drink) is absolutely delicious. The town of Eutin is beautiful; in this place, gardens transform into streets which lead you to forests and meadows. Nature has imposed itself on this town, and the people have responded by completely embracing it.

I was able to make a day trip to L├╝beck, which should be a separate posting in itself. It's a beautiful city, and not terribly hard to get to from Eutin. The highlight of my trip was visiting the Marienkirche. Knowing I was in a room where Buxtehuda performed regularly, and where composers such as J.S. Bach and Handel had visited left me with this chilling feeling of legacy. I believe visiting places like the Marienkirche is essential to any young, learning musician. Music history can feel like a myth when all you know about it comes from what you learn sitting in a classroom hundreds of miles away. But when you're breathing the very air in which that myth was written, those stories become very real.

As I mentioned earlier, I will make a separate posting just for pictures of the places here once I'm on a more reasonable internet connection. I'll do my best to keep this updated. Until then, bis bald!

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