More from Dresden festival: organ recital in great church; plus the city prepares for Obama's visit
Dresden’s Catholic cathedral is as grandly beautiful as you would expect for an Italian-German baroque edifice from 1755, with many a carved cherub cavorting about, espcially above the grand pulpit.
Up in the ornate organ loft is a restored Gottfried Silbermann organ, also from 1755. It was given a long workout Monday night in a recital by American organist Gail Archer, who balanced works by Bach, Buxtehude and Mendelssohn with items by American composers Samuel Barber, Vincent Persichetti and David Noon – in keeping with the Dresden Music Festival’s New World theme.
The performance didn’t ...
do much for me, I confess; the playing seemed earthbound, sometimes technically cloudy. I enjoyed the endless reverberation, though, and I was impressed that the church was full for the event – organ recitals don’t necessarily pack ‘em in back in the States.
But, then, Dresden is a very musical city, and its festival draws in even more music lovers. Festival director Jan Vogler told a group of us visiting critics that during the regular season you can often see crowds pouring out of the city’s centrally located opera house, concert hall and other venues from sold out performances, all on the same night.
And for a city of about 500,000, it says a lot that that there are three newspapers, each with its own music critic on staff. Pretty humbling.
Dresden is abuzz with next week’s Obama visit. The advance security and logistics teams have been seen checking things out and today’s Sachsische Zeitung paper devotes a full page to a story and photo spread on the suite (5,500 Euros a night) at the Hotel Kempinski where the presidential party will be staying. Great-looking digs. (The paper's online photo gallery of places the president will visit provides a quick overview of this richly beautiful city - just click on the bar at top to see each of the seven pictures.)
PHOTOS OF DRESDEN CATHEDRAL (Altar, top, and organ loft) BY YOUR HUMBLE BLOGGER