Again we started with a little bit of a late morning. Then we joined those who also were having a late morning for breakfast. We did not have the trip to Dresden, which in the end seemed the correct decision to be made on behalf of the group. So with most of the day ahead of us we tried to figure out what to do. We headed, first, to the Leipzig Hautbanhof (train station)
That side trip taken care of we made our way over to Mendelssohn House – the place where Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy grew up and lived his later life. As we came down the street we heard a wonderful sound, singing. When we walked into the garden in front of Mendelssohn House we were greeted by the sound of a Women’s Chorus singing Lift Thine Eyes. It was some of our own RES songbirds who had just finished their visit inside and could not resist. With the addition of a second soprano who happened along at the same time as we did they had all the parts and sang it again. If you have never heard our chorus sing this piece you really are missing something special!
Well, in the garden outside of Mendelssohn House and with the second soprano, it just sounded wonderful and was a very moving and special moment for all who took part and listened – the ladies, respectfully, asked that no one record that moment so it shall only live in the memory of those who were there – very special indeed. We, at that point, did not have cash left when we walked in and then had to go hunt down a bank machine. Suitably recharged we again made our way back to the museum, paid our fee to enter and were given a photocopy of the english translations of the wall boards. The basic tour takes in his study – where he composed, as pictured here. It was a fitting way to visit Leipzig – if not for Mendelssohn Bach may have been a forgotten composer!!
Retail therapy was now in order. First we headed back towards the Tomaskirche to see what was available there – I passed up on a very nice Back sized coffee cup, we also passed up on a watch made with tin from former organ pipes for our son – since it was not digital it would drive him crazy. We ended up buying some CDs – yes CDs of the Thomaschor. One was the B minor mass which our Choir will be doing in the spring of 2014. The other a present for our son’s high school music teacher a recorded concert of the Thomaschor in the Tomaskirche. Those out of the way we stopped for a quick bite at the Tischor (sp?) which was recommended by a pair of members of the tour. Then it was off to Activ Schuh to see if we could find some deals on Birkenstocks. We will have to let a certain person wonder if we did.
Shopping done we headed back to the hotel to rest up a bit before the concert. Margot spent a half hour in the pool. When the time came we were all in concert dress and onto the buses to take us to the Bach Denkmal – just in behind the Tomaskirche.
As we were arriving we had the chance to give to our two wonderful drivers some tokens of appreciation. Our driver – bus 2 – had actually been filming some of our concerts and was able to make some DVDs for us with the footage. How awesome is that? For that reason Margot had been trying to track down all of the people on our bus – and she got all but one couple. We do really appreciate all that our drivers did for us – the schlepping of our luggage on and off the buses, the answering multitudes of questions our couriers might not have been able to, the absolutely wonderful driving in sometimes very cramped conditions.
We were singing in the open air and needed a little time to get ready as we were used to singing in halls and churches. So we grabbed our chairs and made our way behind the statue of Bach and faced the onlookers, some in restaurants, others just walking in the square. There was an MC and we were sharing the concert time with a string quartet. Here is our set list:
- Perry – I was Glad
- Bach – Erschallet, ihr Leider from BWV 172
- String Quartet
- Mendelssohn Bartholdy – Psalm 100 Jauchzet dem Herrn, alle Welt
- Mendelssohn Bartholdy – Lift Thine Eyes – Elijah
- Mendelssohn Bartholdy – He Watching Over Israel, Elijah
- String Quartet
- Chesnowkov – Salvation is Created – conducted by Rob Curtis
- Chatman – Remember – conducted by Rob Curtis
- Rankin/Calvert – Fare Thee Well Love – conducted by Rob Curtis
- Keen/Althouse – Homeward Bound
- String Quartet
- Newton/Esenvalds – Amazing Grace
- Luboff – Deep River
- Loomer – Soon ah will be don wi’ de troubles of dis worl’ – conducted by Rob Curtis
- String Quartet
- Tyson/Nickel – Four Strong Winds
- Kirchner – Unclouded Day
- Encore – Barron/Pack – Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen.
There were approximately 600 people in the square when we arrived and I have heard various accounts by other members of the choir that during the concert there were as many as 1800 who would have heard us. Some other people said that during the concert when we were singing that the servers came out of the restaurants en masse to listen – very cool. I noticed when we finished singing Amazing Grace that the cello and Viola players from the string quartet were wiping their eyes. All in all a very magical way to spend your last night on tour with the choir.
I was bad during one of the numbers where our outgoing assistant conductor was conducting (Rob Curtis). As he was conducting – and at a point where I was not singing – I took a snap of him – for him this was his last concert with RES and I hope this snap does him justice.
We had a wonderful time singing in the square behind the statue of Bach. The reception from the audience was warm and it felt magical and special. I don’t think any of us will soon forget this experience.
We then walked over to the Ratskeller, underneath the seat of the civic government building. Enjoyed a buffet service and a couple of drinks, said our good bye’s to one another and to our two couriers and made our way back to the hotel. The 0515 put your luggage on the bus for those flying home was early!!!
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- Mendelssohn – Piano Concerto No one in G Small (lmlyijo4.wordpress.com)