For me Landshut 2007 was a project not to miss. Our 'ex'-concertmaster and friend Antonello Manacorda conducting MCO. What a great idea for our 10th anniversary in Landshut!
Our first concert in Landshut was ten years ago on the 27th of November of 1997. It was a string-project: Mozart Divertimento, Bartok Divertimento and Strauss Metamorphosen. We were just formed and fresh from the youth orchestra Gustav Mahler Jugend Orchestra (GMJO).
What a dream orchestra the MCO was and still is!!
My first time in Landshut was with the chamber orchestra from the GMJO with conductor Jan Caayers. At that time Antonello Manacorda and our formal manager Andrea Zietschmann had made the first contact with Peter Haarpaintner to have a small residence in Landshut for the MCO.
This last week we shared a lot of memories. I still remember that we always asked ourselves how we would see the MCO in 10 years. And now we are here and asking the same question. What will change and be different, how many more fathers and mothers will be there? I remember also (young as we were) every dinner in Landshut at our table ended in talking about sex. I think this changed a lot in 10 years...
I have become the mother of a wonderful daughter. This was my biggest change in the last 10 years. And there came more and more 'MCO' children. Tamar is the name of our daughter, who is nearly 3 years old. Her first tour to Ferrara was at the age of 3 months.
I remember that my last tour before giving birth was also in Landshut. I was in the Christmas market and thinking/hoping to bring my daughter or son one day to this fairytale town and drink Christmas punch (gluhwein) at the Christmas market. This market has a little train for children and I was watching all the children and how much fun they had. This year we ( Richard and I) really wanted to come to Landshut together with Tamar. But as parents we have to consider all the projects and Richard has to make sure everything is possible at his work. This is a lot of organization which we now have to do as a family. But luckily Tamar is healthy and loves to come on tour. Richard does manage to come a lot with Tamar because of his flexible employer. Being abroad as a family is great!! Without all the support it would have been very difficult to still play in the MCO. We will be on tour together in Reggio Emilia, Baden-Baden and Madrid. Long tours where it will be fun to be together. Also other ‘MCO’ children will be there to play or to help each other with babysitting.
But now a small tour without family in Landshut. This means almost every day on the phone, a lot of organization at home and missing my family. On the other hand it gives me lots of free time between the rehearsals.
Landshut has become a residence for the MCO. It is a small town about 70km away from Munich. We come every year here to give a concert, and we love it here. We always stay in the Lindner Hotel Kaiserhof, which is a great hotel. We eat together in the hotel. The man who helped the MCO a lot since the start is Peter Haarpaintner. In Landshut we play in a beautiful hall in the centre, the ‘Rathausprunksaal’. The building is from 1400 and was renovated in 1870 with beautiful frescoes. The walk from the hotel over the river through the main street with so many colorful houses is wonderful.
Our first rehearsal was exciting. We started with Hindemith 4 Temperamenten for piano and strings. When Antonello was conducting it didn’t feel strange at all, as if he has never been away. He knows the orchestra as no other person does. And we know him so well as a concertmaster and a friend. He was doing a great job. Getting a big full sound from the strings and a complete fresh look on the Schubert 3rd symphony, which we have played quite a lot. The atmosphere was relaxed and positive. I enjoyed every minute. Many members were there including all my best friends, what a week!
The day of the concert, dress rehearsal in the morning, then eating sleeping, Christmas shopping and practicing. Landshut is a perfect town for Christmas shopping. The concert went very well. I listened to Stravinsky Dumbarton Oaks. A swinging, surprising piece. Nice to listen to the orchestra and to see Antonello conducting. Hindemith was next with pianist Christoph Berner and as an encore Shostakovich 1st piano concerto 2nd movement. Wonderful piece. Antonello managed to have the orchestra play so soft. After the break a fantastic Schubert 3 with Cosi fan tutte ouverture and the Bartok divertimento as encores. Our first manager Andrea Zietschmann and Ursula Volkmann from the office were also there. We all had dinner afterwards in the hotel. A late night but very satisfying. The whole week Antonello was with all of us in the bar or having dinner. No formal feelings between conductor and musicians. Next morning was the trip to Neumarkt for the last concert. Also a little town closer to Nuremberg. Even a better concert I thought. Great string sound in the Hindemith. Now back in the train to Holland. I can’t wait to see my family. Next week is Christmas already.
Thank you Antonello, all the musicians and Peter Haarpaintner for this wonderful week. And thank you to all who helped MCO to be what it is now!