Friday, July 03, 2009
June and midsummer in Berlin
I just have to post this german documentary (in two parts) about Drottningholm that i just found on youtube. I can't stand how time just evaporates like this - i haven't made it to Drottningholm since i was there for Handel's Ariodante in the beginning of june, and i used to go there at least once a week! -but of course it's been a terrible start of this summer -after a lovely spring most of june just rained away and the temperature stayed around 13 Celsius...but now we've had several days of almost tropical heat with temperatures never sinking below 20 degrees even at night. So i hope to go soon! -and i really could be there within 30 minutes so i don't know what keeps keeping me!
Last week i was in Berlin for a couple of days, visiting my friend, who's currently doing an internship at an architecture firm there.
This was my first time abroad since my mother passed away in 2005 and god, i needed a holiday! My friend lives in Kreutzberg in the most beautiful apartment in a 19th century building with stucco ceilings and no less than three beautiful tiled stoves!
On the third day we got tickets for Mozart's "the abduction of the seraglio" at the Staatsoper Unter den linden, it was just third row seats and we scarcely saw the stage, but it was a great performance, with Christine Schäfer as Costanze, who also sings the part on the recording with William Christie.
Annoyingly we didn't get to see her when she gloriously sang "Marter aller arten",
so the operaglasses i found in a little antiques shop in our neighborhood earlier the same day weren't much use, but we heard perfectly:
Unter den linden towards Alexanderplatz with the Staatsoper to the right.
One of my favorite things about Berlin is Dussmann -a huge and fabulous store on Friedrichstraße, open until midnight on weekdays, selling books, music, movies, games and more. -they have the most incredible classical section! Too good to be true! I bought Mondonville's "Titon et Aurore" and Mouret's "Les amours de Ragonde" (Erato/Warner) both with Marc Minkowski and a lovely new cd titled "Le salon de musique de Marie-Antoinette" (Naïve/Ambroisie" with Sandrine Chatron on Harp, playing beautiful pieces by Gluck, Grétry, Mozart and others including Marie-Antoinette's own composition "C'est mon ami" and other arias and duets sung by Isabelle Poulenard and Jean-François Lombard, and then to my pleasant surprise i found a sequal to Véronique Gens and Les Talens Lyriques with Christophe Rousset, terrific 2006 recital cd "Tragédiennes" (Emi/Virgin) simply titled "Tragédiennes 2".
The first one had music by Lully, Campra, Rameau, Mondonville, Leclair, Royer and Gluck and the second one Gluck, Sacchini, Piccinni, Rameau, Grétry, Cherubini, Arriàga and Berlioz. I also picked up Lully's "Atys" (Harmonia Mundi) with William Christie and Les Arts Florissants.
the view from the tv-tower
The classical section at Dussmann truly is fantastic, i discovered it the last time i was in Berlin in 2004 and i was like a kid in a candystore! They have absolutely everything! -and i was pleased to see nothing had changed in five years, what with all those superstores closing and downsizing allover the world.
I also made it twice to my favorite eatery, Monsieur Vuong where i had delicious springrolls, noodlesalad Mekong and Phò. How i love that place...just like the rest of the world! Sadly i did not make it to Potsdam and Sanssouci or to revisit the Charlottenburg palace...but they're excellent reasons to go back to that lovely city.
The Sophienkirche in Mitte, a gorgeous little church
Again, i apologise for not being more active here but time has just been slipping through my fingers lately. But i'm pleased to see you're still with me.
See you soon!