Our recent tour of Germany (May 25-28, 2005) was quite a success! After almost 1700 km of driving and a long week of preparation and performance, fuegokoori is on its way to becoming an established name in the music world.
Sadahiro had originally planned to perform with me, and we had already had two long rehearsal weekends in Barcelona just for that purpose.
But as things go, he was having problems with his residence permit and was therefore unable to leave Spain. And this only two weeks before the first concert!
Sadahiro called me up to cancel the tour, but immediately suggested a good friend and former student of his, Anders Øien, who would be interested to play and had the time. I thanked Sadahiro for his help, and hoped that Anders would be nearly as good as Sadahiro was. Anders and I did have a mutual contact, a wonderful violinist by the name of Alina Pogostkin, but I was nevertheless not sure as to what I could expect. So I called Anders on the phone to talk about planning his trip from Barcelona, and was relieved to hear such a friendly voice on the other end, which made me fell that all was not lost. Having made the travel arrangements, we proceeded to change the tour program somewhat in order to take into account our lack of preparation time (only 2 days!). In the end, the program was as follows:
- Suite for cello solo by Gaspar Cassadó
- Serenade for cello and guitar by Mauro Giuliani
- Sakura for guitar solo by Yoko Yukihiro
- Seguidilla Española by Joaquin Nin
- Bunraku for cello solo by Toshiro Mayuzumi
- Cantabile by Niccolò Paganini
- Café 1930, Nightclub 1960, Chiquilín de Bachin and Verano Porteño, all by Astor Piazzolla
When Anders arrived in Konstanz on Sunday, we got to work right away. Anders is a very natural musician with great instincts and a great sound. There was absolutely no stress involved, just pure music-making. Thanks Sadahiro!
On Monday, we even gave an impromptu performance at Old Mary's Pub, just to try out our new formation. Everthing ran like clockwork.
On Tuesday, we were already on the road to Passau, and we arrived at my friend Hermann's place to find a wonderful old Austrian house, a roaring fire and a full case of beer. And of course, the delicious Austrian salami and bread! Now that's what I call 'tour hospitality'!
The concert in the Scharfrichterhaus was very well received and was a big success. Anders and I had a great time, and we were both impressed with the wonderful atmosphere in that charming place.
On Thursday, it was off to Krefeld, the van Melis house. After the six-and-a-half hour drive, we had just enough time to freshen up and get ready for the next performance, which was going to be outside, on the terrace.
It was a beautiful evening, sitting outside, an intimate performance among music and art lovers - and Wolfgang really knows how to give house parties!
In spite of the heat - on one of the hottest days this year - the performance went well, and we were glad to finally have our beers afterwards.
On Friday, it was back to Konstanz, but we needed to make a quick stop in Cologne to take a look and the Dom and drink a coffee
We arrived so tired that we decided to get some extra rest for the next day.
Saturday went by very quickly, but as soon as the concert at the Lutherkirche began, time seemed to be standing still. At the intermission, we had some kimbop, a Korean dish very similar to the Japanese maki, prepared by a friend of a student's mother. What a wonderful treat!
Afterwards, a group of us went to zum Pfannkuchen, a fun restaurant where they prepare pancakes (Ger.: Pfannkuchen) the size of pizzas with all kinds of toppings. It being the end of May and asparagus season, Anders and I naturally had to try the Spargel (German for asparagus) on our 'Pfannkuchen'!
The next day, Anders and I bade each other farewell; he was off to his next CD-recording in Norway. We are planning the next German tour in June, let's hope that it all pans out!