Noilly Prattle: In Transition

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

In Transition

We've been pretty busy getting our act together and settling into life in Prague. Despite a couple of minor bumps in the road, not unanticipated but always annoying as demonstrated in my previous rant, we are already beginning to feel at home in our flat in Prague's Lesser Old Town. After a few days of cloudy rainy weather, the sun is slowly winning the battle as shown in this photo I was lucky enough to be out of bed just in time to see.

We have been to the theater twice already. The first night, at the National Theater, we saw a splendid performance of Tchaikovsky's ballet "The Nut-cracker"--a very popular family thing to do here in the Christmas/New Years season. Half the audience appeared to be children. We were just as spellbound as the kids I have to admit. Unfortunately photographs are verboten during a performance so I have no pictures of the actual show, but a couple inside the opera house.

The second performance, at the Rudolfinum (pictured on the right), was a small group ensemble concert composed of five wind instruments: flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon and French horn. They too were excellent. I was amazed at how only five instruments can be made to sound almost like a full orchestra. They played a variety of pieces from various periods: Mozart's overture to "The Marriage of Figaro"; Grieg's "Norwegian Dances" with a particularly beautiful passage on the French horn; and other pieces by Rossini, Arnold, Ravel and a suite for wind instruments for Bizet's "Carmen". All were exceptionally well played but I didn't care for the Ravel waltzes.  Got a couple of clandestine shots of the musicians, too. Bad boy!

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