yourCO! - Sylvia Linhart GmbH
yourCO! - Sylvia Linhart GmbH
Sylvia Linhart
Phone: +43 (0)1/596 52 00

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Mon, 23.10.2006
pts20061023008 Culture/Lifestyle, Media/Communications
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China Tour a big success in spite of harsh weather conditions
Flood, tropical temperatures in the concert hall and a rapt audience
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Vienna (pts008/23.10.2006/10:00) - Matthias Soucek P.i.a.n.o performed in the cities Changsha, Fuzhou, Suzhou, Hangzhou, Shaoxing, Beijing (Peking), Tianjin and Quingdao on this year's China-tour. Upon his arrival he was confronted with the consequences of the typhoon. The entire city of Fuzhou was fl ooded. Travel by car or public transportation was almost not possible. The artist was brought by car to the backstage entry but had to be hoisted over the water surrounding the building by some strong men. The interested Chinese audience did not let such a thing stop them. They took off their shoes, the men rolled up their trousers and the women lifted their evening dresses, and came in from the streets with bare feet.

The thermometer read a tropical 37°C in the concert hall. Like so much, the air-conditioning was out of order. So even the Mozart that Matthias Soucek P.i.a.n.o. performed in the beginning was a rather sweaty affair. The conditions also affected the Bösendorfer Imperial, which had to be tuned during the recital. In the second part of the concert Matthias Soucek even played with his short sleeved shirt mostly unbuttoned and at the end of the recital performed Ravel's La Valse in such a manner that the audience couldn't be held back any longer. As encores he presented Piazzolla and Gershwin which, by the reactions of the rapt audience, were perfect for the Chinese ears. After the recital the artist's dressing room was stormed. For a long time Matthias Soucek signed concert programs, pictures and CDs before he could return to his hotel through the wet streets.

This scenario after the concert was repeated in every city along his tour. Beijing (Peking) was the highlight of the tour. The Forbidden City Concert Hall was not located inside the Forbidden City but right next to it in Zhongshan Park. Therefore Matthias Soucek did not see any parts of the Forbidden City except its outer wall. He was compensated for this with an enormous hall to play in, a very wide stage and a wonderful Steinway D grand piano. Immediately Matthias Soucek started playing and enjoyed the predominant acoustics and fantastic sound in this hall already during the rehearsals.

The evening of the concert was a truly sidereal hour. At 19:30 sharp a feudal gong sounded three times in the hall, and then the light in the entire hall went out for about fi ve seconds - a moment of suspense before the stage was bathed in the spot light. The door was opened and the artist appeared, ready to begin the concert. Later Matthias Soucek described the atmosphere of that evening as very uplifting, similar to that in the Viennese Musikverein this May. The recital ended with loud cheering, unusual for the upscale Chinese audience. Matthias Soucek's encores of Ravel, Gershwin and Piazolla were rewarded with especially loud rounds of applause. In the artist's dressing room not only many autograph hunters were present but also the superintendent of the Austrian culture forum Gabriele Feigl with other ladies from the embassy and a commercial agent. In the embassy's car they were brought to the Paulanerstube in the Kempinski Hotel where the big concert evening with Matthias Soucek came to a joyful end.

Those were wonderful days in China. To Matthias Soucek it felt like most Asians are very open towards the European and western culture, more often than not they have an outstanding knowledge of it even at a young age. He gained the friendship of many and knew how to delight the audience with his brilliant performance. Hearts went fl ying up to him after every concert. He has already been invited back for more concerts next year.

A longer report can be found under:

Submitter: yourCO! - Sylvia Linhart GmbH
Contact: Sylvia Linhart
Phone: +43 (0)1/596 52 00
yourCO! - Sylvia Linhart GmbH