Monday, November 12, 2007

Beethoven in Italy

Saturday evening's piano concert was a lovely way to spend a couple of hours. The performers were young artists from the music conservatory here in Vicenza. First we had Pietro Milli playing Beethoven. He is the sort of adorable Italian boy you want totake home; tall, curly black hair, gorgeous chiseled profile, and about 18 years old! Then we had two young women tackling Schumann, and to finish up we heard Andreo Scassi play a Scriabin sonata (not my favorite composer but he was the most accomplished player). The recital was held in a beautiful salon in an old Palladian villa in the center of town. The audience was mostly blue-haired, but a sprinkling of younger people, including a couple of families with kids, gives me hope that the classical tradition of intimate recitals is not dead. In this small room with very high ceilings and tall velvet-draped winidows, we sat on folding chairs before one of the most gigantic paintings I have ever seen, probably 10' x 15' in an ornate plaster frame with cherubs and garlands carved into it. I couldn't get close enough to see if it was painted right on the wall or was a separaate installation. Impressive.

Remember all those folks milling around in the Florence train station? They all came to Vicenza on Saturday evening. When we got out of the concert the Corso Palladio was jammed with peopole out for the traditional Saturday evening on the town, all bundled up against the very chill night air. All the stores that had been shuttered at 5 PM were now open and doing a brisk business. The main street and all the little side streets were full of people. We stopped in to a favorite pizzaria which rapidly filled up with diners. When we left there the streets were still abuzz. I had forgotten about this phenom. We are going to next Saturday's concert, this time it's Baroque music.

Yesterday was another gorgeous, cold early winter day. We went out for a long walk, first to the train station to check for an IHT. No delivery on Saturday because of strikes throughout Europe, especially France, although since the Italian version is printed in Bologna I don't know where the hang-up arose. Then we checked for train times to Venice (again). We'll go back on Wednesday to "do" the islands; Burano for lace and to see the painted houses, Murano for glass, the Lido for oo-la-la, Torcello for lunch, and Isolo Sn. Michele to visit the graves of the famous. This lunch will be a special one. One year ago on the 14th the Patient finished his treatments. That's something to celebrate! That will just about do it for Venice this trip.


At 8:22 AM, Blogger mary ann said...

Whoosh, that was a long weekend w/o a post for your readers. I love that you went to that concert and the description of the streets filled with people afterwards is the best. Of course there is always a strike there of some kind and everyone takes it in their European.


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