April 27, 2009 at 1:29 PM
The historical City of Kronach (birthplace of Lucas Cranach, sen.) is worth a trip if you like good beer, hearty food, bucolic scenery, history, painting or castles. You care for nothing but music? Ok, there's plenty of that here, too. What attracted me to this beautiful place was the project "Kronacher Orchesternachmittag" (Orchestra Afternoon Kronach).
Four times a year, an ad hoc ensemble of amateur musicians rehearses and performs music under a professional musician's conductorship. Today it was Johannes Klumpp's turn. The young violin teacher conducted our group of 1 double bass, 2 violoncellos, 5 violas, more than a baker's dozen of violins, 1 percussionst, 2 clarinets, 3 flutes, 1 oboe and 1 trumpet (all ages from high school girl to retiree) and tamed or cajoled us into really making music.
Tschaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite (we played the March, the Dance of the Sugar Fairy, the Russian Dance and the first half of the Flower Waltz) sounded really convincing once we followed Johannes's precise tempo, his critique (always delivered tongue-in-cheek and with a sincere smile) and his advice on technique.
Besides my viola, I had brought along some flyers for the German Viola Society (DVG), the ACMP and some sheet music by my teacher. The two-hour rehearsal was interrupted by a short break for coffee and cake and left everybody smiling, happy, proud and just a little bit exhausted. The next installment of this endevor will take place on Saturday, 2009-06-20 with Monika Herr conducting a shortened version of - yes! - Ravel's "Bolero".
Afterwards, I enjoyed some asparagus and the local variety of bratwurst at a typical Franconian restaurant, the nearby "Glockengießer" (bell foundry). Shortly after I had dug into my dinner, the sound of the "Russian Dance" filled the room - it was the ringtone of the inn's telephone.
Happy for you! I know it is off topic but congratulations for your left shoulder! You really seem to have it down in a comfortable position contrarly to many people (when we see their back in many various orchestra clips or pictures)
I'm sure it is really great to work with professional conductors also. Good luck!
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