We are in Basel, where Antoine and Axel are based, preparing for the first series of Beethoven concerts. We are not only concentrating on the repertoire for the concerts in the immediate future but also some of the Beethoven quartets we will play and record later this season. These works need so much time to live in us that this planning ahead is very important for us.

Life here in Basel is very different from London. London's buzz, excitement and bursting pubic transport system is replaced here with quietness, order and the most civilised and punctual tram system imaginable. This makes the organisation and pace of our rehearsals a lot  easier. How Antoine and Axel are able to fulfil their duties as principal players of the Basel Symphoniker Orchestra in between our daily six hour long rehearsals defies belief, to be honest...

Rehearsing Beethoven is always enormous fun apart from being a deeply moving experience. There is an unbelievable amount of energy in this music, sometimes mischievous, sometimes violent, but always incredibly focused and it is this focus that comes with a long period of time of working on this music. How to find the right amount of effort in order to produce the desired effect? If the energy we give is not channelled properly and we put too much physical effort into what we are doing, the result is most likely going to be not as strong as we would want it to be. That's one of the more physical aspects of Beethoven which we as performers are learning. It is a good lesson for life as well...





2011-11-23 14:22
Such a peaceful town.

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