Paris To Berlin, That Sick And Christmasy Feeling

Eric Whitacre, composer and conductor of modern choral music, signing autographs and conversing with his audience after his concert in the Berlin cathedral on Dec. 22, 2010

Eric Whitacre, composer and conductor of modern choral music, signing autographs and conversing with his audience after his concert in the Berlin cathedral on Dec. 22, 2010


Remarkable pre-Christmas season I’m having, though not all good. Caught a capital flu while coming back from Paris and standing around on drafty, ice-cold platforms waiting for late or replacement trains. That weekend witnessed a total breakdown of the European Train System that was “taxed” by wintery conditions and extra passengers coming in from airports that were closed for days on end. In a domino effect, delays mounted to hours and trains were cancelled outright, stranding passengers halfway home. We were lucky and could finally rebook to a night sleeper train, but the damage was done. I had to cancel the last two regular working days of this year and tried to recuperate at home. Even dragging in a christmas tree in from the garden was exhausting!
I felt better just in time for a planned short visit to Berlin yesterday. My son had asked for tickets to the christmas concert Eric Whitacre held at the Berlin cathedral yesterday and it was well worth the effort getting there. He presented a healthy mix of his own, very harmonic works and classic christmas songs. The Berlin Radio Choir performed without fault under his conducting.
Afterwards, there were autographs and chitchat and one could witness why this young musician of only 35 years has such a success. It’s only partly him meeting the Zeitgeist and being very ingenious in choosing his repertoire, but also his outgoing personality and charisma.

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