Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Christmas Day Concert at the Berliner Dom

For the evening on Christmas Day we treated our Mothers to a Weihnachtskonzert at the Berliner Dom (cathedral) given by the Berlin Brass Quintett.

The bright, pure notes of brass instruments playing short pieces by Bach, Händel, Kreisler u.a. in such an acoustically resonant setting was the perfect, refreshing, palate-cleansing finish to a day of excessive, enjoyable feasting.

Weihnachtskonzert in the Berliner Dom
(taken on a mobile phone, so apologies for quality!)
Though the concert was spiritually uplifting, the audience sounded like they had come straight from a TB Hospital, myself included; I discovered that the acoustics of the Dom magnified the blast of me blowing my nose as well as they do a brass trumpet. The poor young Mädchen on the pew in front of me nearly fell off her pew and erupted into a fit of giggles.

However, we were not impressed by the Berliner Dom's facilities for wheel-chair users. After waiting ten minutes in the rain at the wheel-chair lift entrance round the side of the cathedral for someone to answer the buzzer, we managed to get the wheelchair and its occupant up the steep steps to the main entrance by ourselves. When we complained to the guy collecting tickets at the door, he said 'well, you've made it up anyway, so that's okay'. Mmm, not okay really. Neither was the fact that the staff only reluctantly eventually unlocked the disabled toilets, and their manner was abrupt bordering on the rude when they took us in the lift back down again at the end of the concert. But to be fair, we hadn't phoned in advance to let them know a wheelchair user was attending the concert, and they did explain that they were short-staffed on Christmas Day. With all the Christmas cheer around, we couldn't really complain too much.

Despite the staccato of coughs from the audience, and the hiccup over disabled access, we all agreed that the concert was a prefect ending to Christmas Day. Even the coffee from Dunkin Donuts (the only place open for refreshments by the Brandenburg Gate - excepting the Adlon Hotel) tasted really good. Frohe Weihnachten!

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