Oct 26 2019

Hamburgers and Frankfurters

Published by at 6:58 pm under PSO 2019 European Tour

After a great opening concert at the Alte Oper in Frankfurt with Igor Levit playing Rachmaninoff’s Paganini Rhapsody and a jazzy encore of Danny Boy the Pittsburgh Symphony and Manfred Honeck roared on with Shostakovitch Symphony No 5 and the “French Blue Danube” as Manfred Honeck introduced the first encore to the audience, Satie’s Gymnopedie No 1 with it’s extremely hushed contrast to the march at the end of the Fifth Symphony followed by the super-powered Death of Tybalt from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet Ballet.

Igor Levit in Frankfurt

Igor Levit in Frankfurt

Saturday morning the tour moved on to Hamburg by Lufthansa Flight with a long wait at the security check in. It left just enough time for one side visit in Frankfurt. The Beatles Platz in the Reeperbahn the red light district  where the Beatles entertained sailors with over 260 concerts in two years before their Ed Sullivan Show appearance. You can tour the Indra Club, the Kaiserkeller   and Alfons and Gretel the bar where the Beatles unwound after the show. They forget to pay their last bill in 1962 so Paul McCartney returned in 1989 settling the debt in full.

At the Beatles Platz in Hamburg Germany

At the Beatles Platz in Hamburg Germany

The Elbphilharmonie is about twenty minutes walking along the busy waterfront to the astonishing new concert hall where Lang Lang rehearsed his Mozart Concerto and thrilled his sold out audience. The city sparkles outside the windows, the interior spaces are grand white and blond wood. The bars are packed, the construction materials unique, acoustics warm and big .  Lang Lang played two encores and the orchestra repeated their encores from Frankfurt in Hamburg. It was worth every Euro of the 870 million Euros it cost to build the new hall. Pittsburgh made the most of it. Anyone who makes the trip would never doubt the enduring power of Mozart.

Lang Lang and Manfred Honeck after the Mozart Concerto No 24 at the Elbphilharmonie

Lang Lang and Manfred Honeck after the Mozart Concerto No 24 at the Elbphilharmonie

During intermission at the Elbphilharmonie

During intermission at the Elbphilharmonie