22 September 2019

Communities wherever

We were still in awe of our Aachen Dom mass when we came across a poster for an orchestral concert of Mozart-Mandelssohn-Beethoven 8 and it was that evening! The fates had found us. It was a little out of town and cheap, so I expected community orchestra, and it was. Again, apt, as I’d had to pass on the Maruki performance on the very same Sunday. It was a decent orchestra of worthy size (although short on basses on the day) led by a graduate of the Guildhall in London and more and with a Taiwanese solo violinist who had graduated from the Hochschule fur Musik und Tanz, Köln, which I had passed daily near my lodgings in Cologne. This world grows small. It was a standard structure for an orchestral concert: Mozart overture from La Clemenza di Tito; Mendelssohn violin concerto Emin, followed by an encore solo of Brahms Variations on a theme by Paganini; interval; Beethoven symphony no.8. I chatted to the recordist about his setup; with bassist Klaus about basses and the Beethoven and the like; exchanged recognition with the cellist who had played that morning at the Dom. Otherwise, we enjoyed the concert immensely despite the venue's sparse vibe and its thick reverb. Po-Fan Chen performed with alacrity and clarity and obviously enjoyed the works for that. The orchestra had a similar challenge, especially on the Beethoven and I thought they carried it off very successfully. I’d never expected to find a community orchestra in my travels. I guess they exist widely but they are not located or advertised or timed so easily for tourists to find, so this was a great find a much enjoyed.

Aachen’s Sinfonietta Regio performed under Jeremy Hulin (conductor) with soloist Po-Fan Chen (violin) at the Auferstehunhskirche in Aachen. The program was Mozart overture, Mendelssohn violin concerto (with soloist’s encore on Brahms Variations on a theme of Paganini) and Beethoven Symphony no.8.

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