Monday, June 12, 2017

Rienzi at the Frauenkirche

In Dresden's Frauenkirche, listening to the Overture from Wagner's Reinzi, then mezzo-soprano Waltroud Meier singing Straus' Four Last Songs, I wonder, ' have I have died and gone to heaven?'

But no, I am alive and fulfilling a long held dream: to visit the Frauenkirche in Dresden and hear a concert. That is should include something written by Wagner then songs sung by Waltraud Meier is the unbelievable dream. 

The music (which I heard last night after a train trip from Hamburg) put me on such a 'high' that I was still spinning and sleepless at 2am.

Waltraud Meier and festival orchestra take a bow.
I was on level two, high above the performers (there is also a level 3) but the acoustics were wonderful and I heard every word. The Rienzi overture was fabulous and made me want to return for a Wagner binge.

 The Frauenkirche was destroyed during the second world war and rebuilt between 1994 and 2005.  During the intermission a local audience member told me he had studied in Dresden and had always hoped the pile of rubble in the city center where the Frauenkirche once was might one day be rebuilt. He said that when they did restart building they laid all the stones out in the city square, hoping to reuse them with use of a computer.  The German building rules, however, require that stones which have been subject to fire be tested for stability and when these stones were tested many of them, being sandstone, were found to be unstable. Those that are original are dark, the new stones are light coloured. The building is overwhelmingly light coloured. 

After the concert: Frauenkirche at night

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