So this is my second dayin Munich. Arrived yesterday morning at 7:30am and was held by the officer of immigration. He checked my passport for almost half an hour before giving it back to me and when I rushed down to get my luggage, it was GONE! Luckily it was just moved to another spot for pick up and by the time I got out from the airport, Martin had waited for more than an hour. That doesn’t seem like a great start of my trip at all!!!!!
The long train ride with Martin to his place gave us a chance to catch up after December 2007. He is now a quite well-known conductor in Germany, and during my stay in Munich, I will see two different productions which he is conducting. It is great to see how far he has gone for his career as a conductor.
Martin’s place is lovely and I am sleeping with a Steinway grand piano and tons of music scores and CDs!!!! Guess what I want to do? Make a room like this and sleep in it for the rest of my life! Hah!
Since Martin is busy with 2 productions, he asked his friend, whose name is pronounced exactly like mine, “Kay”, to show me around for the first day, but unfortunately
Kay left today to his mom’s. Anyway, Kay took me out for a bike ride to the Munich
town centre. I really miss biking especially in the rain as Munich is pretty wet and cold these few days.
First impression of Munich, this is an extremely modernized city. The “old” buildings look very “young” and I don’t feel they have the historical value at all even though they looked so. However, it is a great effort to re-build the city after the fire and wars. What is amazing here is the life of classical music! Martin has planned for my whole week a performance per night!!!!
Thursday: Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks (4th in the world) playing Prokofiev #5
Friday: La Boheme
Saturday: Madam Butterfly
Sunday: Bavarian State Orchestra playing Bruckner #8
Monday: Munich Philharmonic playing Dvorak #8
Tuesday: Munich State opera, Aida
Can you believe this??? 3 operas and 3 top orchestras in a week? I can only say I want to live in this city!!!
After the bike ride, Kay and Khai went to the supermarket to buy some food for dinner. Kay is a great cook and he made a traditional Bavarian food for me, the “Semmelknodel”. It was wonderful, I even learnt how to make it and everyone in Penang and Singapore, watch out because you are going to taste my “Semmelknodel” when I go back!
While preparing the food, Kay and I had a great discussion about Germany, German, German music andWagner, which gives me a lot to think of especially after the dissatisfaction of my performance on Wagner’s Flying Dutchman Overture.
I didn’t do much today, woke up at 11:30am, went to the town area again and walked around myself. Anything special? Not really but I got myself a very nice jacket for 19 Euro. That is the good reason not to check the weather before you go to a place so that you have the excuse to buy clothes you NEED. At a second glance, Munich has a lot of Italian and French influence, maybe some Greek, and then I remembered the discussion with Kay. What I find amusing is that you couldn’t really SEE German; it is more like a culture, the practice, the life style and so, just like the music. This is a huge topic which I shouldn’t discuss with my limited knowledge, will just go on with my walk.
After walking for 2 hours, I arrived at the Philharmoniker Hall where most of the culture activities take place. Other than the music hall, there are libraries, University of Music and theatres. It happens to be the filmfestival at this time of the year but unfortunately my schedule is full, haha!!
It’s a pity that tonight’s performance was not Mariss Jansons but Vladimir Fedoseyev conducting Russian music and Chopin’s 1st piano Concerto with Alexei Volodin, another Russian. Overall, not my favorite program but great orchestra!
Well, it’s 1:30am and I should go to bed now. Glad to be in Europe, YAY!