I arrived late. I was not expecting to be able to get in before the 2nd act, but the usher and coat checker with an extreme urgency said: “Oh poor man, you are missing the such good music. Follow me!!! QUICK!!!”. I was worried that I would disturb people, but I had no saying in it. They stole the jacket out of my hands and rushed me into the room. Silently, they got me an empty seat. Nobody noticed me. The spectators were hypnotised and soon enough, I would be too.
During intermission, everyone was mingling and having fun. It was a social event! A couple sitting at the table with me tells me they don't come to the opera much. "Just 6 times a year". - they said. I wished all the world was like that.
The very next day, I head to one of the main music-related attractions in Weimar. I was excited about visiting Liszt's place, and I found more then I was expecting.
The first floor mostly has a souvenir shop and a small room with lockers. These lockers are amazing!!! Why? Because they will return the coin you inserted when you get out. It reminded me I was in a country that is proud of its history and values culture. By not trying to make a profit with these small things, they are incentivizing people to visit more.
The second floor has the living area. The main living room has 2 of his pianos, a few working desks, several personal items and a Beethoven's Death Mask.
His bed room is simple and with a surprisingly tiny bed and the collection of his batons inside of a display. These are huge! Very far from todays standards.
The last room of the house had his weird looking walking canes, his traveling piano to practice on the road, a collection of several busts, and his death mask.
Right outside his house you can see an huge park. From here there is a road that quickly led me to house that Liszt had in his display.
Goethe's garden house
Here we realise that letter pad at Liszt's display was Goethe's House. It looks like a small countryside residence but with so much character. There are no constructions around, only a vast park with big trees and open fields. The house stands alone surrounded by nature and silence.
He influenced our favorite composers more than we will ever know. Without him we wouldn't have Faust or Werther. The Sorcerer's Apprentice would not exist and Beethoven would had never written Egmont. The 8th Symphony of Mahler would be an entirely different composition and our Lieder repertoire considerably smaller. Goethe’s existence inspired the creation of the music that is most dear to us.
Hummel's house and grave
I walked back to Liszt's house. Hummel's house sits in the same street, just a few meters away. It's closed to the public and the only indication of it's significance, is a small plate with his name.
His grave is 5 mins away from his house on a historical cemetery. When at the North entry, go up the path. Hummel's grave stands quiet against the right wall. Facing the tombstone, I stood in silence remembering some of his compositions and the fact that he had Mozart as a teacher.
University of Music FRANZ LISZT
Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt
Weimar is also well known for a having a world class music conservatory and Liszt the only musician I know that has two major music schools named after him. The building doesn't stand out but the sounds coming from those practice rooms do.
It is always good to know about some of these when traveling. I found 2! They are both focused on different things and have 2 different types of customers in mind. From what I could gather, one of them is more geared towards instruments and electronics and the other one towards scores and book.
Weimar is a small city full of musical attractions that will be the delight of any classical music lover. Weimar will make us feel closer to our heros that are constantly reminded to us with all the statues and busts around town that the city chooses to pay a tribute. Weimar it is a landmark in our music history. A place where culture took a leading role and both arts and sciences flourished more than most places in Europe.
WHO AM I?
My name is André Lousada. I am a orchestra conductor passionate about traveling to places where the music I love was born. This was my first blog about my musical travels. More to come!!!
My email: firstname.lastname@example.org
On this trip I only took my old Nikon D80 with a Nikkor 35mm 1.8 G. It was before I was shooting in RAW and I edited the files in Lightroom.