A lot of bus time in the last few days took us from Somborn to Dachau - in heavy traffic- on the day of our concert in the Dachau Palace. A full house in a very grand and beautiful room. many had come from nearby Munich, and our second to last My Secret Heart. Although we had only the evening and early morning there, several of us went before our departure for Berlin to see the camp. We were unable to see most of it because Mike Pence was there at that moment. Passing by a very peaceful demonstration by a group of Germans, we heard a voice call out 'great concert last night.' A woman stepped out of that group to thank us for exemplifying peace and diversity. These are the unexpected rewards of doing what we do.
A capacity crowd of 400 people wore their parkas throughout the performances (churches aren't so warm in the winter) and were as attentive and enthusiastic as you could imagine in the St. Anna Kirche Somborn acoustic, which was perfect for the Washing of the Water program. We were presented by the local male chorus, Mannerchor 1891 Somborn e.V., whose members had heard us in nearby Nidda the summer before last. At a post-concert reception they sang for us. Members of a women's chorus were there also. All of this reminds us that the approval of audiences all over Germany in the early days was instrumental for launching our career in Europe.
By bus from Veszprem we arrived further southeast in Hungary, not far from Croatia in fact. Szeged is another historically significant city; the day after our show some of us were able to take a walking tour through the customary winter mist to see the sights.
The concert was in the ballroom of the Tisza Hotel built in the same year-1885- as Prague's Rudolfinum. The room had a good sound, and the audience was perhaps our most raucous in Hungary especially when Brian spoke Hungarian and we sang our Ligeti song which everybody seems to know. Performing in the world's great halls like Rudolfinum is such a wonderful part of our lives. Taking our own example of American artistry further afield is another, and a very rewarding one. Feeling the curiosity of the audience which may not have heard anything quite like us nor much of the repertoire we sing is a special Chanticleer experience. dinner featuring Serbian specialties, and much conviviality, followed.
An historically important city in the west of Hungary where a number of its Queens were crowned was our next destination after Prague, reached after a day on the bus. We had the impression that the people who came to hear us were new to us, our sound, and our ways- including our habit of coming out after the show to meet and greet. Despite the hypothesis that they might not like seeing us after, an autograph line quickly formed and we had a lot of heartfelt thanks, comprehensible across the language barrier. We did our best to cross it with Brian's speech in Hungarian and our encore Hungarian folksong which has vastly amused all our audiences here. Luckily we had time to see the beautiful historical center high above our hotel.