I woke up early Saturday, and went with some friends to the Nachmarkt, which is a huge outdoor market in the city. It’s like Soulard, but way way bigger. They had fresh fish, meat, cheese, olives, hummus, wine, coffee… pretty much any food you can imagine. That part was cool, but once you get past that, there’s a flea market that is like a quarter mile long. It was so cool, I found a lot of neat things. I didn’t spend a cent there, but it was a good time.
At one of the antique stands, I found an original (maybe) piano/voice reduction of Parsifal by Wagner. It was a pretty amazing artifact, I really wanted to get it, but it was like €25, so I had to skip it. In the front of the book, there were pictures of the set designs, probably by Wagner himself, as well as a list of leitmotifs, which is super cool. I’m already learning such an enormous amount here, just by walking around.
Over the course of the morning, though, I was starting to have pretty bad social anxiety. For those of you that know me, which is everyone that reads this probably, you probably are aware that I don’t really like being in public, or around a lot of people, for a long period of time. By the time we were leaving the market, I was feeling pretty horrible. My friends were wanting to continue on to an art museum, but I couldn’t do it. I went back to the dorms and hung out alone for a while. Then, I met up with another friend, and we ate a bite for dinner.
After dinner, I traveled back to the city to see the concert that I had planned to go to. It was Nikolaus Harnoncourt conducting a Beethoven cantata and an oratorio. The concert was just amazing, the venue was really indescribable. It makes Powell Hall look like a 7-11. The music was incredible, and it was really exciting to see Harnoncourt- he’s one of the best and most famous conductors in the world. Clearly, this is not something that I could have done in St. Louis.
Yesterday, I slept in and then went to the Prater with Sarah. It was really cool to see the ferris wheel from The Third Man, and some of the other things there as well. I stopped and got a falafel, which was excellent. All the food here is wonderful. Even now, as I write this, I’m eating some applesauce, a baguette, and some amazing cheese.
After the Prater, I continued on alone, back to the Musikverein, where I saw a string quartet concert of Beethoven’s G Major quartet and Brahms’ A minor quartet. The program was pretty incredible, but the encore was what really blew my mind- they played the 2nd movement from the Ravel, which is pretty much my favorite movement of my favorite string quartet. I hadn’t heard of the ensemble, TinAlley Quartet, but they were really world class. All in all, the concert blew my mind and was one of the best that I’ve ever seen.
Tonight is Cecilia Bartoli, who I’d really love to see. I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to go. I already have a ticket to see Boulez conduct this weekend, and also one for the string quartet on Thursday, where they’re doing Milhaud, Shostakovich, Zemlinsky, and Schoenberg. This must be what heaven is like.
Well, this post is pretty long. I gotta get ready to go to class- I have my first Opera class today from 1:30-3:30, which I’m really looking forward to. I hope I meet some cool people there. Maybe I’ll talk to someone who wants to see Boulez with me- I feel like it’s probably a crime to go alone.