Daily Journal: Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Woke up late but knew that I had planned to visit the gym today for my first workout. After a light breakfast of Greek yogurt, Chia seeds and banana, I got dressed and headed out the door. The gym is a 10 minute walk away.

The gym is spread out over four floors and I had to remember from my tour yesterday were everything was located. I was issued a membership card which I gave to the front desk person and he gave me a key to a locker. I stowed my bag in my locker (with my wallet and phone) and took my towel and bottle of water with me. There was only one rowing machine and got in 12 minutes of rowing then completed my floor stretching and planks. I didn’t overdo the weights today since I hadn’t worked out for over a month. Was done in an hour.

After showering at home, thought I’d better have some dinner before getting ready for tonight’s event, a piano recital with pianist Denis Matsuev. Also, I need to plan how I would get to the venue. No more last minute rushing to get seated.

I thought leaving 45 minutes before the event would give me enough time. I was wrong. After two transfers on Metro lines I saw the performance was going to start in 15 minutes. Ended up taking a taxi the test of the way to the venue.

Denis Matsuev (Program Notes)

One of the world’s celebrated pianists, who regularly demonstrates his exceptional technical and physical abilities in Hungarian concert halls, Denis Matsuev is a charismatic personality. His impeccable playing and his seemingly ungovernable keenness to improvise are equally captivating. He has a penchant for grand and very challenging concert programmes that feature some of the most complex pieces of the piano’s literature.
The artist, who was born in Irkutsk, Siberia, and gives over 200 concerts a year, believes he owes his energy to the incomparable nature of his native land – to things like Lake Baikal. “It’s one of the deepest and clearest lakes in the world. I go home at least twice a year, like at Christmas. On these occasions I also take long sessions in the sauna. A real Siberian sauna! Which is no joke. It’s one of the strongest, for big boys only! Then I dive in Lake Baikal, whose temperature is no more than 8 degrees,” he said before his last Budapest concert.


  1. Beethoven: Sonata No. 31 in A flat major, Op. 110
  2. Schumann: Symphonic Etudes, Op. 13
  3. (Intermission)
  4. Rachmaninoff: Études-tableaux, Op. 39 – excerpts
  5. Tchaikovsky: Méditation, Op. 72/5
  6. Rachmaninoff: Prelude in G minor, Op. 23/5
  7. Rachmaninoff: Prelude in G sharp minor, Op. 32/12
  8. Prokofiev: Sonata No. 7 in B flat major, Op. 83

The Beethoven opening was a slow start to the rest of the program. From there, beginning with Schumann, the tempo and intensity seemed to increase. Enjoyed hearing Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in G Minor – a piece that I learned to play “back in the day”. His range was extraordinary and had the audience on their feet. Four encores!

During intermission, I took a picture of the hall. Not very large. I was sitting behind the stage. Also, chair were set up on the stage as well. It was a packed house.

Getting home was much easier. I found the tram from the venue, the Bela Bartok National Concert Hall. From there I took another tram to the Metro #3, then took Metro #2 back to the station near my flat.

Earlier today, I found three more events that I’m planning to attend. Glad I’m here in Budapest for the Spring Festival.






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