6. Juli 2021

Alla Scala – from my former lifes

Teatro alla Scala, Milano. Monday, May 2, 1994, at 8 in the evening
In occasion of the 250th anniversary of the foundation of the
Gewandhausorchester Leipzig.
Director Kurt Mazur
 Pianist Helen Huang, then eleven years old
Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy: Ouverure from a Midsummer Night’s Dream
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major (KV 488)
Joseph Anton Bruckner: Symphony No. 7 in E major
Note the prices at the bottom of the poster, down to “Entry (ingresso) Lire 10 000”

1994. Leipzig, like Dresden in the former German Democratic Republic behind the Iron Curtain, was already part of reunited Germany.

   My career with two American computer companies had ended in 1990, when I was fifty. In 1994 I worked as freelance chief of public relations and advertising for Software AG in Darmstadt, not to be confused with the much larger SAP (“Systems Applications and Products”). Some business must have brought me a trip to Milan. I speak Italian, was nominally freelance, so I had often been used for negotiations or inspections there.
   I prefered a very small hotel at the left side of la Scala. As I remember it was called “Duomo”. Its extremely small rooms were cosy and came for a reasonable price. I was in the real center of town.
   When I had a free evening, I often crossed the side street and looked for the queue of opera fans, waiting for standing tickets at the uppermost rang, those for ten thousand Lire, which was about ten German Marks, which would be five Euro today or really much less by inflation. Queuing was well organized, just like at the Berlin Philharmonics: Someone handed out numbers and kept a long list. You didn’t have to stand there all the time. Regular return visits were enough, perhaps every half hour or so. I knew the system from the new Berlin Philharmony, where our maximum waiting time had been a day and a half, for I don’t remember what; My future wife and I had loved conductor Sir John Babirolli (1899 to 1970,
Giovanni Battista Barbirolli) with his dominant thumb and love for long, romantic operas and Elgar.
   Back to la Scala. On this 3rd rang you had to stand, or walk around a bit, or even look for empty places way down and hijack one of them after the first break. But this was the wrong excitement, where you wanted your senses to be receptive for beauty. The acoustics naturally was very good up there, only the direct sound waves raised all the way up, not very loudly, but clear and straight. You saw just about half or nothing of the stage («palcoscenico», what a wonderful word!), if you were not all up front. I saw (some of)
Nureyev this way, unforgettable with his diagonal stage crossings – and I’m sure there is better word for that. I mention him here just to boast.
   After the concert everybody was deeply impressed by (light) Miss Huang and Masur’s (heavy) Bruckner, saturated to satisfied, and headed home. With very few fans I waited at the stage exit, again on “my” side of the building. I had asked inside if I could have one of the “obsolete” posters they took off the frames, and had gotten one!
   Our small group waited and waited. Finally Masur and Helen came out, way into her bed time I guess, and old Masur was tired too, and wanted to get home as well. But seeing that we were very few, he gracefully stopped to sign our souvenirs.
   And that’s it. I framed it, had it on my wall for many a year. My “office” getting ever smaller, my love for music only rarely reactivated, I now would like to give it to Luciano, he’d appreciate it? Or to inherit it my nearest family member, nearest to Milan I mean … 


Helen Huang. Mozart, Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major (KV 488), finale presto.

https://youtu.be/QHXsG2EPa9Q “Restlessness” from “Song Without Words” Opus 19 Number 5 by Mendelssohn 

See also https://youtu.be/QHXsG2EPa9Q for Chopins Double Thirds.

Personally I like music a bit slower, more “schmalzy”.

But I myself now return to my present life. 

Link to this blog entry http://j.mp/fj3hDgCvt



Keine Kommentare: