Another beautiful spring day! No workout today, so decided to check out a couple of possible venues for entertainment tonight. One was the Peer Gynt opera at the Hungarian State Opera house and the other was a piano recital in outer Buda.
It showed online that Peer Gynt was sold out. Maybe if I could visit the box office at the Hungarian State Opera House this afternoon, perhaps they would have an extra ticket. The opera house is just off my Metro #2 line so it was easy to find.
Once I got to the opera house, which was conducting tours at the time, I needed to find the box office. Once I did, I saw that they were out to lunch until 3:30 – and it was 2:30 now. Should I wait? Nope. I’ll go with “Plan B”. Might be interesting to wander out to the otter reaches of Buda and see what I find.
Below is the public transit route to get from where I’m staying to the venue: Klebelsberg Culture Mansion
The following is from the Spring Festival website: http://www.btf.hu/events
Balázs Fülei’s Piano Recital
- Mendelssohn: Song without Words, Op. 30, No. 1
- Mendelssohn–Liszt: On Wings of Song
- Schubert–Liszt: Serenade
- Liszt: Lorelei
- Schumann–Liszt: Dedication
- Schubert: Impromptu in G flat major, Op. 90, No. 3
- Mendelssohn: Song without Words, Op. 67, No. 4
- Grieg: Peace of the Woods, Op. 71, No. 4
- Bartók: Three Folk Songs from Csík County
- Kodály: Dances of Marosszék
“Knowledge, artistic conscience and inspiration walk on the stage in his person whenever he performs,” wrote a critic. He is a spellbinding entertainer who can engage his audience and maintain their attention to the last minute of the concert, reviews of what was already his fourth Indian tour declared.
Audiences in Hungary and elsewhere will happily concur: Balázs Fülei is no inaccessible artist in a rarefied atmosphere, but a flesh-and-blood person who filters the piece and its composer through his own personality. A great speaker, he is often invited to unconventional concerts where he accompanies the pieces with stories, images and poems, involving the audience all the while.
Not sure who said that getting there is half the fun, but think they were right. From the map above, it doesn’t really give you the impression of what you’ll see along the way. First – find a tram going in the right direction. (I didn’t.) So got off and took the tram on the other side of the street. Eventually, I was headed in the desired direction according to my phone’s GPS. I saw that I was to transfer to a bus at some point, but that would have to wait until I got closer to the transfer point. It was a nice ride on the tram. Mainly passed through residential neighborhoods and saw many nice homes in the hills.
Finally the tram arrived at the bus transfer point. Was good to see that we arrived at a transit center rather than a roadside stop. Now to find the bus to take me the rest of the way. Quickly found it and confirmed with the driver that I was on the right bus. I was. The ride from the transfer point was about 10 minutes and dropped me off right in front of the venue.
I purchased a ticket and found a seat in the small recital hall. I was about 10 minutes early. This cultural center seems to be like a community center that makes space available for exhibits and performances.
There were seats for maybe 100 or so people. Once everyone was seated, our pianist entered. As he started talking (in Hungarian) I became aware that he was going to continue in Hungarian and not include any comments in English. And there wasn’t a written program provided for this event. So I sat and tried to image what he was saying. It seems he was talking about each piece before he begins to play and talks about the composer and the work itself. I just sat and listened.
The pieces he played were fairly short in length and I knew a few of them. Good to be exposed to a wide variety of music – just wish I knew Hungarian.
About an hour into the recital, I was getting warm. To light the room, two theater lamps were installed and each gave off a lot of heat. Given the number of people in the room and the heat from the lights, I was getting a uncomfortable from the heat. But hung in there.
When the final selection completed I wondered how many encores we would hear. After much well-deserved applause, we were treated to one more number.
Upon leaving, my task was to find my way back. I joined some others heading back to the city and discovered that they didn’t know much more than I did about which bus and tram to take. Eventually we all got on our ride and were back into the city in about 30 minutes.
Was a good experience exploring Budapest in a new direction. Maybe I’ll get a chance to do it again.