When I left the house today with my cameras, I didn’t have a real destination. So I just strolled around, and the first thing which came to my mind was how calm and empty a small village like ours can appear on an early Sunday afternoon. I saw some people in cars or on motorbikes, and that was about it. Leisure time, spent at home, or elsewhere.
Just by chance I looked onto a board with public announcements, and I saw an ad from the local symphony orchestra which was about to give a concert in our town hall on that same afternoon. The theme was “Wiener Nachmittag”, so I guessed they would play some lighter stuff like Waltz and the like. Starting time was 1600, and when I saw this it was maybe a quarter past twelve.
So I walked around a bit more, thinking that I had taken photos of plants and nature often enough, and noon time isn’t very inviting for landscapes and such. When I came to our town hall at a quarter to one or so, I saw that the doors were open – so I went inside. I asked about the concert and whether they would have a rehearsal before that, and they nodded. So I asked them if I could take some photos during their rehearsal, and a friendly gentleman (who turned out to be the conductor, see also the postscriptum below) said, there’d be no objections against that. Cool.
I went out for a smoke and saw the musicians coming in, and just after finishing my break I was also very happy to see that one of the violinists would be Zuleikha’s former teacher – at least someone whom I had seen before.
The rehearsal started at 1 o’clock and lasted maybe 110 minutes or so, until short before 3pm. I took almost 250 photos using both my E-PL1 “Pen” and the E-520 DSLR cameras, one with the newly aquired Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm/1.4 lens, the other with the Olympus Digital Zuiko 50mm/2 macro. The light inside was tricky: very bright sunlight from the left, almost no light except some dim bulbs from the right – so I converted everything to black & white. Out of these almost 250 photos, I just uploaded 68 to a newly created “Music” set on Flickr, and from these let me show you some, without further explanations (click on one of them to go to Flickr if you want to see them all):
Of the twelve pieces (plus one da capo bonus) I’ve heard, Brahms’ Hungarian Dance No. 5 was maybe the most impressive. Often, you hear that either played much too fast, or too slow. Today it was just right, in my opinion – a bit like from this orchestra from Budapest. And they also played a “James Bond” theme which wasn’t bad at all. It was very interesting to follow a rehearsal of an orchestra that big. Simply put: it was awesome. At times I was more listening than taking photos.
So – let me thank my neighbours in our own language:
Liebe Mitglieder des Sinfonieorchesters Mörfelden-Walldorf,
Sie sehen hier einen kleinen Auszug der Bilder die ich gemacht habe. Wenn Sie Ihr Foto suchen, klicken Sie auf eines der Bilder oder auf den “Music”-Link weiter oben um auf Flickr zu gelangen. Dort können Sie 68 Bilder in voller Größe sehen und herunterladen. Diese können Sie dann entweder zu Papierbildern belichten lassen oder sie elektronisch privat oder auch für Ihre Werbung weiter verwerten.
Vielen Dank für die wunderbare Musik, und es war mir eine Ehre Sie heute fotografieren zu dürfen.
Next steps: send these 68 photos from Flickr to a print service, and bring them to the conductor who also runs the local music store (after, like he said, retiring from a career as a professional musician in an opera house).
It’s good to leave the house to take some photos. And it’s even better if you ask whether you can take some.
Post scriptum / Update from Wednesday, September 4th, 2013:
Without knowing so, I took photos of Mr. Alfred Pfortner, wearer of the Bundesverdienstkreuz (Federal Cross of Merit). See this article (in German) which mentions it. So it has been an even greater honour for me than I thought. Photos 3 and 8 in this article.
Thanks for reading.