Tuesday, 10 October 2017


The board walk to the North Sea

DAY 8: Saturday (26 August 2017)

Took a short trip to the beach-spa town of Sankt Peter Ording, Germany’s most visited summer resort, including a long stroll on its board walk to face the vast expanse of the North Sea. At its furthest reach, there is still a long stretch of beach before one reaches the water. I content myself with keeping dry, a pleasant pasta lunch at Noah’s Ark Restaurant before returning via the Eider River town of Tönning. It’s a sleepier and quieter second cousin to Husum, but its harbour is just as picturesque. Who thought that a furious siege and battle had taken place here in 1713?   

The hafen of Tönning

Recital 9 (6 pm)

The Serbian pianist Misha Dacic was the replacement for the indisposed Cuban Jorge Luis Prats who was supposed to have played the whole 12 pieces of Albeniz’s Iberia. The audience was instead treated to nationalist music from Russia, Armenia, Catalunya, Brazil and Romania in addition to some hyphenated Mozart, by way of Liszt and Hummel. 

The transcriptions were rarities, while the original music was not, such as the Seraglio Overture, Lacrimosa (Requiem) and finale of Symphony No.40. More interesting were the short Oriental-flavoured pieces by Fikret Amirov and dances by Arno Babadjanian, for which Dacic has an intuitive and instinctual affinity.

The second half was devoted to movements from Federico Mompou’s wonderfully still Musica Callada and that gem of shimmering bell sounds, El Lago (The Lake) from Paisajes. Beautifully played would be an understatement, and there were more Iberian and Latino sounds in Albeniz’s La Vega and Heitor Villa-Lobos A Condessa (from Cirandas) and A lenda do caboclo (Legend of the Half-blood). Dacic, who sounded as persuasive as Cristina Ortiz (the Brazilian legend who performed this in Singapore in February), clearly has the measure of this music. 

The final official work of the Festival was Georges Enesco’s own transcription of his Romanian Rhapsody No.1, a barnstorming account that yields little to Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsodies. So that was how this year’s festival closed, with a big bang.

Post concert soup, and mucking around with
Satoru, Ludwig, Kathi, Dan & Elisabeth,
Husumites all!

The date for next year’s Festival, from 18 to 26 August 2018, has been announced. Only hell and high fire will prevent this pianomaniac from making it to Husum four years in a row.  

I did get to see the Elbphilharmonie after all,
but from the aeroplane after leaving

Hamburg's Helmut Schmidt Airport.

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