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Budweis (CZ) - Jihočeská filharmonie

I first met Otakar Svoboda, director of Jihočeská filharmonie, something like eight years ago, when he invited mathias and me to listen to Jane Monheit in Budweis. We had a great time, got to know eachother and I started to practice Karel Gott’s 'Lady Carneval' right there and then : ). And now eight years later we were getting ready to not only play our ‘European Songbook’ in Budweis but also record live versions of it, that will be released by the Jihočeská filharmonie. We rehearsed in Vienna the day before and traveled all together in the evening from Franz-Josefs-Bahnhof to Budweis. It was quite the adventure to leave from this particular trainstation in Vienna, it’s a huge construction site that makes it pretty tricky to find the train tracks 😅…we left Vienna round 6pm and watched red evening clouds or ‘Roti Wökli’, as we would say, as we drove towards the border. We arrived a couple of hours later in Budweis and walked through the beautiful old town in search for some ‘Budweiser’. As we were all a bit hungry, we strolled through town looking for restaurants or bars that were still open and serving snacks - and we got lucky!!!We stumbled upon a cozy restaurant up, up a hidden stairwell and were welcomed with tasty antipasti dishes and yesss some more local beer.

The next morning we were getting ready for our recording session. The philharmony, an old church that was turned into a beautiful concert hall, was in walking distance and I stopped for some blueberry pancakes on my way there : ). A wonderful team was taking care of us day in, day out. Thank you to all the kind and warm-hearted helping hands. We had the chance to pre-record some of our set tonight so that we would have alternative takes to choose from for the recording. It was an intense afternoon and we played through almost our entire set. After Ota took us out to a late afternoon lunch at the main square with a sunny view of the Samsonova kašna fountain. After that we all went back to the hotel to gather our strength for tonight's concert.

We started with ‘The Maiden’ by Schumann right on time and were greeted by a wonderful, charming audience who followed our Songbook from the first to the last note. Děkuji to each and everyone who came out to listen to our favourite songs by Schubert, Schumann and Brahms. As always Stano Paluch on violine played incredible soli on ‘My Friend, My Shade, My Guard’ and 'In the morning', Ingridi rocked ‘O tell me my sweet shepherdess’ and ‘In my dreams I’ve been crying’, Hans played an extra : ) extended powerful solo in Schubert’s ‘The numbers and the date’ and mathias shared beautiful lines in ‘In a wonderful sweet hour’. And I enjoyed every moment singing in this beautiful hall and time flew by. Mr Thomas Egger, our sound magician, once again did his magic to blend the sound of the walls with our sound and the other way around – thank you T – what would we do without you : )?

We closed the night with Schubert’s ‘Post’, where Ingridi and Stano shared incredible duo moments – oh yeah!

I truly fell in love with the people and this town – Budweis has so much to offer that I could have easily stayed for many more days to explore. Dear Ota – what can I say – thank you so much for inviting us, for staying in touch throughout the years and for giving us the chance to share our Songbook within this special venue. I can only hope, that the next time we meet will be much sooner than in eight years and until then I promise to finally be able to sing all the verses from ‘Lady Carneval’ : ) in Czech!

💛 Yours Lia 💛


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