Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Music Gods Must Be Smiling On Me

As I've mentioned before, one of the things I hope to get out of my summer trip to the Czech Republic is to catch some good classical music. I came across a web page in one of my travel books which mentioned a big music festival in Cesky Krumlov (Krumau in German), one of the towns on my list of places to see. As luck would have it there are a couple concerts on the go during the time I plan to be there. Both feature large orchestral works I know well and would love to see in person.

The first features Carl Orff's Camina Burana (I won't hum it for you but its a piece that may be familiar to some as it has been used in luxury car commercials). Orff was a one hit wonder but Carmina Burana is still performed regularly today. I even participated in a performance of it as part of a choir back during my university days. To this day, I can still recite some of the lyrics. "Oh fortune, how like the moon, forever changing......" [English translation]

The second concert, the very next evening, features Mendelsohn's concerto for piano and violin, a Bach violin concerto I'm particularly fond of and (drum roll please!)Beethoven's 7th Symphony performed by the Czech National Radio Orchestra. I've always been a fan of Beethoven's odd-numbered symphonies and it always seemed to me that #7 is unfortunately cast in the shadow of the more well-known symphonies #3,5, and 9. His A major Symphony, op.92, however, is a personal favorite of mine. Better yet, tickets are still available and it looks like I have a much better chance of seeing this concert than the first one. So, if I DO find myself in Cesky Krumlov on this particular July evening (living in the north has taught me that travel plans can sometimes be vague entities), I fully intend to get a listen in somehow.