One of the true pleasures of coming to Germany is to hear great classical music, not only by inspired young musicians, but to hear performances in the composers homes where they lived. We had such an opportunity yesterday, when we attended a performance by the Hoch Schule for Musik Franz Lizst (Franz Lizst Music High School). Seven advanced piano students performed pieces by Chopin and Lizst.
Their performances were passionate and stirring. The very room where Lizst trained his students was where these students played these masters’ compositions. (See drawing room photo above, left, and dining room adjacent to drawing room, right)
Earlier yesterday and this evening, we attended performances at the Hoch Schule around the corner across the back alley to our hotel. We could slip into free performances by a guest harpsichordist from Prague and other Hoch Schule cello students. What a treat it was to hear high quality music so conveniently located–virtually in the back yard–and for free! Photo above shows Festival Hall where performances are held)
This morning before our activities in town, we took a brisk walk 4 km. to the Belvedere Castle outside of town and back. The bus easily could have taken us there, but we decided to get some exercise and see the countryside. We walked through the Park Ilm, another historic UNESCO world heritage site. There are about a dozen sites in Weimar that form a collection of UNESCO-recognized cultural treasures.
Later in the day, we visited the Schiller House. Although Schiller wrote the stories about Don Carlo and William Tell, we are more familiar with the music set for them by Verdi and Rossini. Beethoven also wrote his Ode to Joy based on the poem by Schiller. An exhibition at the Schiller House showed how instrumental the Artist Lucas Cranach and his son were in promoting the teachings of Martin Luther through their woodcuts, graphic arts, and paintings.
Our evening was topped off by a performance at the Weimar Hall with a solo pianist performance. (see header and photo below). It was a full day that filled our brains with deep thoughts, our ears with beautiful music, and our eyes with inspiring visions. We were definitely not bored or looking for amusement today.