Arriving in Ferrara for our 10year anniversary project tastes extra delicious this time. Maybe because I feel so happy to be able to participate and celebrate with so many friends and people who were also there 10 years ago.
I am staying in Hotel Touring, my favorite hotel in Ferrara. A good place to be the MCO-Home-Hotel! Many of the MCO members became good friends with the people working there who welcomed us so warmheartedly. Antonio, Patrizia, Mimo, Giorgio, I can recommend going to Ferrara and having Hotel Touring Experience with them to anyone. You will certainly be happy tasting Sergio’s Latte Macchiato and waking up with his smile in the morning.
The anniversary concert program we are playing is: Schubert 3rd symphony, Berg 7 Early Songs (with Petra Lang) and Bruckner 3rd Symphony. Schubert’s 3rd symphony we also played the first time we came to Ferrara, also with Daniel. Bruckner, however, is a completely new experience for us. It is very challenging to play and to find a string-sound which blends, being a small orchestra. I normally don’t like Bruckner very much, but through Daniel’s approach I get a different view, very refreshing. He repeatedly asks us not to try to do something we are not, playing like a big symphony orchestra, but to keep truthful to our sound, way of phrasing and not to force the sound. The result is a lighter, but also more natural and digestive Bruckner to my taste.
On the day of the concert in Ferrara we start the dress rehearsal by playing Happy Birthday...to us! Just before the concert I am puzzled hearing cello members practicing incredibly difficult passages, which don’t sound like Bruckner or Berg or Schubert at all. ‘So impressive’, I think, ‘they are really exceptionally amazing having so much ease that even with this kind of challenging repertoire they are practicing even more difficult things just before the concert’. ;-) The mystery is solved after the concert at the reception, organized for us by Ferrara Musica: In front of an enormous birthday cake with fireworks the cello group treats us to some virtuosic Wagner.
Daniel gives a great speech looking back on our history. I like looking back, occasionally, to see that a path forms itself through our efforts and experiences. With my friends Paulien and Naomi we think of Antonello, our former concertmaster. Like Daniel, he had a big influence on our way of playing and on the cultivation of our own musical culture. Lying on the ground in one of the loges in the Teatro Communale we decide to phone him, although it is already late in the night. Luckily he answers the phone and in this way he is also a little bit with us on this special birthday-night. We are all looking forward to Landshut, this December, where he will return to the MCO, but now as a conductor!
In Frankfurt we meet Andrea Zietschmann, our first manager, and her husband Marcus, our former Assistant Concertmaster. They dedicated so much of their time and energy in the first years of our existence. I’m happy to see and to celebrate with them.
All the people who traveled with our MCO train the last years are a part of us and will stay in our hearts. I would like to take the opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to all of them.