Thursday, June 20

more music

Today's morning concert comes to you from the 800 year old church of St Peter. Great acoustics. 

I hadn't realised that JS Bach, in addition to his duties at St Thomas and around the city, was also musical director at this church. He was known for his knowledge of acoustics. As a party trick, he'd tell you to go and stand in the corner of a cathedral, then he would carefully choose a position at the other end of the building, face the wall and whisper a message to you. I'm trying to imagine the sound in this church in 1943, the night a bomb landed, destroying half the building (and the organ). 

The replacement organ is second-hand, moved here in 1968 from a smaller church about to be blown up (by the East Germans). 

As usual there's quite a bit of god-bothering in between the tunes today, but mercifully the minister is a woman, with a clear voice, short and to the point, so I didn't mind putting some coppers in the collection plate. 

Later there's an organ recital. Then a race across town to a big choral concert, which wouldn't interest me but for the composer. Both in churches. It'll be a busy night. I just pray there'll be no more of the god nonsense. 


Well, the organ music yesterday afternoon was so brilliant that I excused myself from the choral concert, and watched Ed Wood at home instead. 

Tuesday, June 18

Albert's news.

I believe Albert is in Leipzig for the Bach Fest, and to marvel at the world's largest station.

Say what you like about the communists who ran the place for 40 years, at least they left all the old buildings alone. Not that they had any option really. What with property ownership being verboten, there was no money to be made from demolition and redevelopment.

I wonder if the Party could ever have imagined that one day the west would restore the buildings and turn them to capitalist use. 

The  largest railway station in the world. Hitler could have staged rallies inside, and still have had lebensraum to spare.

Last night's performance of Bach's Musical Offering in the Evangelical church was a huge treat. For years I used to listen to it, with Mary Hopkin, on the old LP she nicked from her old man's collection. I know it inside out, so that last night I was able to get such fun from it, despite the jet lag doing its best to slam my forehead against the pew. And despite the family who dragged their poor kids in with them, to sit in front of me and play with their electronic devices. The band was the Freiburg Baroque Consort, and it was obvious that they love the piece as much as I do - the only difference between us being that they're world-class baroque soloists, and I know five chords on the ukulele. 

Today I'm in a packed old Lutheran church, for a Bach cantata. But the shameless old cleric is milking the moment, with droning sermons before every single piece, AND he's taking a collection, on top of the ticket price! 

Wait - now he's getting everyone to stand up and chant a prayer. What a nerve!

Lunch was duck and vegetable curry, with bubble tea flavoured with coconut. 

Tuesday, June 11

busy busy

It's been a busy time. I've been helping Albert with employment matters. It seems his employer needs to downsize, and will either pay people a year's salary to go away and not come back; or else they'll sack everyone and invite them to reapply for their old jobs at less pay.  Gee, I wonder which it'll be!

Fortunately, Albert's within range of the scrap heap anyway. But imagine his colleagues with kids and mortgages! 

If Albert ends up jobless, he can always become one of these old guys who spend their days photographing flowers.