The October Tour!
17th October 2011 13:20
Just back from tour: 3 countries, 3 currencies, 3 orchestras, and 3 different programmes. A personal duty always follows - sorting out the coinage, Euros for Italy, Danish Kroner, and Czech Crowns. Very calming.
A SILENT FILM FESTIVAL – 8 days of non-stop silence, my fantasy is of pianists carried out of the theatre on stretchers. In Pordenone (back for the first time in ages) I traditionally closed the Festival. This year my 21st anniversary at this event, we repeated from 1986 the sensational ‘The Wind’ (1929) directed by Victor Seastrom with Lillian Gish and Lars Hansen. First time in the brilliant new theatre, Teatro Verdi, with a large orchestra pit and a great orchestra from Udine. Definitely a high point.
Directly on to Aalborg in Denmark (last there in 1995) to do Rossini, Chaplin, and Prokofiev, a mixed film and concert. The films were my personal favourite, Chaplin’s Easy Street, followed by the Anglo-Polish animation of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf. The house was full and enthusiastic. The very fine Aalborg Orchestra, now two years away from opening a very bold fjord-fronting new concert hall though hard to find an authentic open sandwich nowadays.
In a reckless gamble I commuted from Aalborg to Prague via Copenhagen – one bag missed the flight – very depressed at this – but it arrived at 4 a.m. the following day.
Drove four hours to Ostrava to be greeted by a local television film unit shooting a documentary on the genius director Karel Reisz who was born here. Karel never talked about his dramatic escape from Czechoslovakia via the Kindertransport but I was able to talk to the film unit about working with him on The French Lieutenant’s Woman, a film high point for me. The concert? The Beatles for Orchestra, of course. The management explained the lack of a completely full arena (pictures of ice hockey everywhere). Apparently only Heavy Metal sells here.