Saturday, October 14, 2006


It seems that my flat is not the only one being rained into; also at least the flats on either side of me, so there is a serious push on to Do Something About The Roof. Two of us have plans for the roof space, but it depends on affordability....'nuff said.

Last night at the Kongresu Rumu for a concert of Hungarian music with the state symphony orchestra, the Hungarian conductor Tamas Gal, the Lithuanian pianist Gabrielius Alekna. Started with the Egmont Overture, played better than I had ever heard the Lithuanians play Beethoven - total togetherness, tension held throughout the piece - amazing stuff. Alekna then played the Bartok 2nd piano concerto in a rather introverted way, and his encore of one of Bartok's Romanian dances was pure Chopin. The piano concerto however was almost a concerto for piano and timpani, which in that orchestra is always nice - watching our Pavelas Giunteris. Here's a moment to discuss male concert appearance, having given the girls a hard time last week. Alekna is very tall, and extremely skinny, it seems - so skinny that you cannot see his eyes. His haircut and his very long grey jacket made him look like a youthful Oscar Wilde. Physically he does not seem to be made for the piano, but what can one do - basket ball?

The second half of the concert were Liszt's 'Mazeppa' and his 'Preludes', the latter one I had played - but they sounded quite different from a seat in the audience. I had the feeling our wind soloists in Hungary were better, but that could not have been said about the strings! Neither piece sounded particularly Hungarian from a music writing point of view. The orchestra played well, though perhaps relatively carefully. The conductor had fun, though!

The reason why it was a concert of Hungarian music (very rarely heard in Lithuania) was that it was the 50th anniversary of the Hungarian uprising. We were rather startled to see the stage graced by a Hungarian flag with a hole in the middle - apparently this was to symbolize the first action by the Hungarians at the start of the uprising, when they cut the soviet symbol out of their then flag. Quite impressive, really, to have this on the stage.