I have ticked all the “must see sights” according to the City Walks brochure. Sadly I have missed the Marilyn Night Club which promises “table dancing, lap dancing, strip tease show…. Beautiful Hungarian dancers” and this all for free entry…I asked the young Hungarian man at breakfast if there had been a spelling mistake (lost in translation) and it should have stated: “sabre dancing and tap dancing”? He reassured me that it was spelt correctly. I could not imagine anything more painful than someone dancing on my lap. I assume that one removes one’s shoes? When I learned ballroom dancing in High School and even purchased dancing pumps, my teacher was constantly emphasising that one “danced on one’s balls.” I am absolutely sure that she did not in any way or form imagine this variation.
I suspect that I had a much more enjoyable time at my evening baroque concert in the Saint Stephen Basilica which was programmed on the principle to “send them away happy”. There were no less than 5 variations or versions of Ave Maria scattered throughout the evening for organ, soprano, tenor, violin and lastly trumpet! Sadly the rather intimate nature of the event was negated in the cold cavernous cathedral so despite the acoustics, the evening felt rather flat. Now if there had been a more than reasonable Alto Recorder in the ensemble…
When travelling in each major city, I always try to attend a classical music concert or opera, for several reasons. Most of my readers will know that music is a love and on an equal footing with medicine. Secondly listening to famous international ensembles and thirdly the concert halls and opera houses of Europe are beautiful architectural creations and a ticket to a performance gets me inside for a not so free tour.
As a consequence I have been blessed to witness some truly memorable musical occasions. A production of The Barber of Seville at the Swedish Royal Opera house in Stockholm during 2012 spings to mind.
Then there is the spontaneous and totally unexpected memorable musical moment. One such occurred whilst I was in Brazil.
At Tiradentes I stayed at the Pousada Solar da Ponte. This was an abandoned, half completed mansion, stumbled upon by a dapper and friendly Englishman and his portuguese wife almost 40 years ago! They purchased it, financed it’s completion into a 4 star pousada! The owner, John, now in his 80 s was a chatty delightful host.
The ornate church in Tiradentes housed the sole remaining organ of a renowned portuguese organ builder from the 18th century. By lucky coincidence John informed me there was an organ recital on the Friday night so I went along! Varied programme of conventional western 16 and 17th organ music including of course J.S.Bach. I will never forget that evening.