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Classical Music
Janelle Gelfand on the classical music scene

Janelle's pen has taken her to Japan, China, Carnegie Hall, Europe (twice), East and West Coasts, and Florida. In fact, Janelle was the first Enquirer reporter to report from Europe via e-mail -- in 1995.

Janelle began writing for the Cincinnati Enquirer as a stringer in 1991 while writing a Ph.D. dissertation in musicology at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. She joined the Enquirer staff in 1993.

Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she graduated from Stanford University, Janelle has lived in Cincinnati for more than 30 years. In her free time, this pianist plays chamber music with her circle of musical friends in Cincinnati.

She covers the Cincinnati Symphony, May Festival and Cincinnati Opera, the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, chamber music ensembles, and as many recitals and events at CCM and NKU as possible.

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Friday, April 18, 2008

Scenes and memories from the road

A few impressions from the European tour:

The falling dollar and sticker shock everywhere. Starbucks check:

A tall latte in Paris: 3.80 Euro -- more than $6
A tall latte in Dusseldorf: 3.10 Euro
A tall latte in Madrid: 2.70 Euro

One musician's bill for hotel laundry in Paris: 300 Euros (don't even ask how much that is)

Price of one drink in hotel bar while band is playing: 45 Euros

Cafes and bars in every concert hall.

The entire bass section in one elevator in Paris.

Being in Paris.

The tradition of bringing out flowers to the soloist and the conductor.

The different dynamics of the audience in each of the five countries. Most extroverted: Paris, followed by Spain.

Every hall offers a new aural experience.

You have to buy your program in some halls (3 Euros).

Some halls offer free child care (Photo: Papageno and Papagena announce babysitting in Dortmund.)

Audiences of all ages (Dusseldorf had the only "oldish" crowd), including children with parents in Spain.

Concerts in Spain that begin at 9 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. (tonight's Madrid concert will end around 1 a.m.)

A sudden hail storm in Barcelona.

Paavo Jarvi and the orchestra bringing down the house every night.

Kids on tour.

Field trips on musicians' days off: The horn section went to a horn factory in Mainz and timpanist Patrick Schleker and principal percussionist Bill Platt were picked up in Dusseldorf, taken to the Adams Timpani factory in The Netherlands, to lunch in Belgium and back to Dusseldorf.

Bass player Boris Astafiev flew to Copenhagen for the day from Dusseldorf, on discount airline Air Berlin. And Peter Norton and Charles Bell decided to walk to Cologne from Dusseldorf. They almost made it...

Efficient, clean and pleasant trains -- the best way to travel!


at 4/18/2008 03:08:00 PM Anonymous rms said...

Great posts, Janelle!!!
I feel a real sense of the tour through your writing...

at 4/19/2008 10:12:00 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loved your analysis of the crowds in the various cities, Janelle.
Sounds really different from what we see here.
More church-like here in Music Hall. But in Europe, especially Paris, more like a "show"....
I like that "show" atmosphere. Seems more easy and "common" and enjoyable to all age groups and personality types.
I'll bet that "church-like" keeps folks away from MH.
I don't know, it is what it is; the Paris performance just sounds like a blast, though...

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