Arriving by car in Praha yesterday (Prague to non-Czechs), we got lost looking for our hotel.
I had forgotten the breadth and depth of the Inner City's splendor (it's been forty-three years).
1100 years in the making.
All intact, the Gothic, the Romanesque.
In the evening, from the podium facing the orchestra,
I glanced up at an enlarged likeness of the composer Smetana (after whom the concert hall is named)
trying to imagine how his tone poem "The Moldau" must have coursed through his bearded cranium.
Seeming also to haunt the hallowed space were the legendary icons of culture and wisdom who enriched the city...
Mozart, Kafka, Dvořák, Albert Einstein, Edvard Beneš (co-founder of the League of Nations)
and the novelist-turned-President, Václav Havel...
Janine Jansens again played Prokofieff's Second Violin concerto...
more touchingly than ever.
She's the real thing...no grandstanding, no artifice, just phrasing that comes from the heart.
What a rarity these days.
Our Brahms Second Symphony found yet another home on this tour with the Munich Philhatmonic.
The Smetana Hall differs from Vienna's unique Musikverein but is
stunning in its own way.... what richness of sound-tapestry, what interlocking textures.
The symphony seemed re-born.
That I am privileged to continue in my profession and have such joys is truly humbling.