On Monday 31 of august, we crossed the border to Czech Republic and Austria in a place called “Mitterrtezbach”, then drove around 70 km to arrive in Vienna. This is the home of classical music. With its Philharmonic Orchestra that dates from mid nineteenth century (1845). Birthday of great composers like Haydn, Mozart. And also place where other composer such as Beethoven lived. After advice from my cousin Anne-Camille, we paid a visit to the “Musik Haus” (Music Museum). In the article Olivier posted a few days ago, he showed the video we have taken of a piano player in the museum.
There are lots of other things to discover in Vienna, but we preferred to take it slow and just enjoy the marvelous weather and the scenery.
By Wednesday 2nd of September we decided to leave the town and hit the road to Slovakia. We only drove 80 km in order to reach the capital of Slovakia, which is Bratislava. So difficult to imagine that during communism these two countries and cities were separated and yet so close to each other. But that time is behind us now.
In Bratislava I was particularly embarrassed by my ignorance. I saw that in some shops they were showing prices in Euros and also Slovakian Krones. I thought that as they are closed to the border with Austria they accept Euroswhile their real currency is the Slovakian Krones. In order not to have unfavorable exchange rate, I decided to go to the bank to change money. The bank clerk tranquilly told me that it was not necessary to change the euros, as in Slovakia they also have euros as their currency. Not taking that as an answer I insisted to understand why two prices are being presented ? He told me that it is done to facilitate things for the elder people. This double pricing is like it is still done in France, with the difference that in France the euro has been introduced 7 years ago. So quiet embarrassed I got out of the bank. Later on we understood that since January first 2009 Slovakia indeed use the Euro as their currency.
We didn't have a such a warm welcome arriving in Slovakia, as the first person we spoke to was a policeman that charged as 20 euros for entering a street where no cars were allowed (didn't see the sign). The first impression was of a somewhat devastated city and less organized world of what we have seen so far in other European countries.
It is a good thing that we don't stick to our first impression. We visited the old town, which is quiet pitcturesque. We went in search for musicians and met a Jazz Band that agreed with us to record them the next day.
So that next day was Thursday and it was our musical day in Bratislava. While visiting the city we introduced ourselves in a vernissage of two artists. Paintings and sculptures were exposed. At that vernissage we met two Slovaks teenagers playing guitar. They agreed for us to record them. So we have a very nice recording from Michal Gazdik and Ivraj Sufliarsky.
Later in the evening we went to Studio Café, where we knew we could meet Milan Rucek, a percussionist. He was playing with three other musicians. They agreed with us recording them and they gave an absolutely great performance in the café. We got a chance to record a music piece composed and played by Anton Jaro, the bassist player. Please enjoy the musicalperformance captured with our recording equipment. The name of the track is "Xola" composed by Anton Jaro and played by Anton Jaro and his band.
Afterwards we continued our musical journey and went to Jazz bar in order to meet Jozef Brisuda and his band. The DD Jazz Band is composed of three musicians and a singer. We registered a few of their tunes too.
We are very happy and pleased to have met these artists and to have exchanged with them. We gratefully thank them allowing us to record there wonderful tunes.
On Friday (03/09) we left Bratislava with the purpose to visit other parts of the country. We paid a visit to the town called Nitra, where there was a nice church overlooking the city. The day after we went to Banska Brystica. The city in itself was nothin spectacular, but the region was nice. A lot of forests and mountains, as the city is situated in the lower parts of the chain of mountains called Tatras in Slovakia.