Am Gendarmenmarkt

Trip Start Aug 11, 2007
Trip End Aug 21, 2007

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Saturday, August 11, 2007

After dousing us with water, the universe compensated us with a perfect evening in Berlin. We began with dinner at the fabulous Lutter & Wegner located just behind the Concert House at Gendarmenmarkt. Terry and I both had fillet of fish wrapped in strudel dough with white zesty cabbage, which was the best German food I've ever had. I wish I had made note of the wine which our server recommended to us. It was absolutely divine, a dry German white--perhaps a Grauburgender?

After dinner, we had only to walk across the street to the Concert House to hear a performance of the Symphony Orchestra of the Shanghai Conservatory, conducted by Muhai Tang. They began with the premiere of a commissioned work by Guohui Ye, a composition professor also from the Shanghai Conservatory. Entitled "Late Autumn," it was a tempestuous neo-romantic piece, with moments of haunting calm when the violins glided slowly and gently between notes. The second piece, "Concerto for Violin in D Minor" by Jean Sibelius, featured an amazing young violinist, Mengla Huang. He blew the audience away with his encore solo, which featured breathtaking pizzicato. People were literally shaking their heads in disbelief. After intermission, the orchestra concluded its program with a crowd-pleasing Beethoven's 5th. (The intoxicated German sitting next to Terry was absolutely beside himself.) But that was by no means the end of the performance, as the crowd kept bringing the orchestra back for encores.

Afterward, we found our way to a quiet nearby restaurant (the name escapes me at the moment) and got silly over a bottle of wine. At one point, Terry said something so funny that I literally spit out my drink. I never thought that happened outside of movies and television, but now I know better!
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