At the Cusp of a New Year

Beethoven’s house in Baden
The Beethoven-Haus was Beethoven’s home in the early 1820s. It was here in 1821 where he worked on the Missa Solemnis as well as the canons O Tobias and Gedenket heute an Baden. In 1822 he commenced work on the Ninth Symphony and composed the overture Zur Weihe des Hauses and the canon Kühl nicht lau for his friend and admirer, the composer Friedrich Kuhlau. In this house Beethoven was also visited in 1823 by the composer Carl Maria Weber. Nowadays, the house accommodates the Beethoven memorial, which documents the composer’s life.
It has an additional association with Helmine von Chézy,
the librettist of Schubert’s Rosamunde.

With the start of a new year, it is always good to summarise the highlights of the previous one and reflect on ways to make the very most of the one to come.

The year 2012 has been busy. We successfully revamped Interlude, unveiling a new site in July with more focused content. Over the course of the year, we also welcomed four new writers, and made a productive start on the website’s very own social network.

Interlude is extremely lucky to have a team of wonderful contributors, without whom Interlude would not be Interlude. Here I would like to extend my gratitude to all of them for their work, support, and most of all, their friendship. I wish them all the best in 2013.

I was also fortunate enough to reconnect with old friends and build new friendships, as well as to travel extensively. Every new destination, besides the usual London, Paris and Shanghai, left me with fond memories of love, friendship, music and food. Listening to a special rendition of Bach in Brighton, debating on who sang the best Winterreise in Vienna, or counting the number of Beethoven’s houses in Baden – these and many more have left their mark on me.

Or how about attending the Madame Butterfly premiere in Guangzhou, waltzing to Chopin in Lisbon, enjoying the sunrise in misty San Francisco, or the sunset in windy Bali? One must not forget sake tasting in Tokyo, les caves des bubbly in Reims, and of course, the unforgettable Hainan chicken rice in Singapore! So many special moments to be treasured and remembered from 2012.

Sunset in Bali

2012 was also a musically intense year, filled with my fair share of operas and concerts – and yes, there were some memorable ones…

My heart racing at the sight of a half-naked Gerald Finley in Don Giovanni,
… transported by the Pavel Haas Quartet performing From My Life,
… thrilling with the amazing He Hui as the Butterfly,
… delighting at Henning Kraggerud at the HKICMF,
… and melting with a very special Sarabande with Piotr Anderszewski.

And finishing the year en beauté: a special meeting with Maestro Zubin Mehta in Guangzhou!

Looking forward, there are already several concerts, operas and festivals on the horizon for 2013, though the major part of the year is still to be written – the part in which I am grasped by the unexpected: a special concert perhaps, or an unforgettable piece; encountering a remarkable artist or chancing upon a quiet moment with a loved one.

I wish all of you such happy surprises for 2013. May the year bring you memorable moments of music, love and happiness.

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