Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Saturday Night Fever

a Saturday night fashion extravaganza outside the Opera House, Budapest

Translated from the Hungarian, The Palace of Arts has something of a Stalinesque ring to its name. And although firmly cemented in the twenty-first century, for it was opened in 2005, its architectural style does, to our eyes at least, draw heavily on the Socialist Realism of the past. But that is by the way.

Gergó Teleki plays Liszt at The Palace of Arts on a September late afternoon

So it was that last weekend saw us at The Palace of Arts, as we so often are, this time for a piano recital given in the Glass Hall by our friend, and concert pianist, Gergó Teleki. The recipient of numerous international awards, and having given his first major concert at the early age of just thirteen, Gergó delighted his audience on this September afternoon with a programme of Liszt to include two of the Hungarian Rhapsodies, No. 2 and No. 6, both played with passion and enormous technical virtuosity, as well as the wonderfully atmospheric and startling Mephisto Waltz No. 1.

dancing here as Jack o' Lantern to the music of Liszt is Richárd Gábor Szakács

But we were to be surprised further. For the Transcendental Étude No. 5, notoriously difficult to play, was interpreted in dance by the young graduate of The Hungarian Dance Academy, Richárd Gábor Szakács. We were entranced. As were we all as Richárd, now the Will o' the Wisp, moved to the music with an authority, a confidence and control which left us spellbound and in awe of such agility and grace. Afterwards we were introduced to this Jack o' Lantern; he will come to drinks this week.

self portrait by Robert Mapplethorpe 

self portrait by Robert Mapplethorpe

From the concert hall to the exhibition rooms where we had promised ourselves to revisit the work of Robert Mapplethorpe, the iconic and controversial photographer of the 1970s and 1980s. And whilst we were not disappointed we felt that, on balance, this large show was, somehow, less successful than the smaller exhibition which we saw at The Towner Gallery, Eastbourne last year. Here were the two very distinct sides to this artist, here the portraits, the flower studies, the homoerotic works but, perhaps too full of Liszt's music, we left strangely unmoved.

interior of 'M', a favourite Budapest restaurant of ours 

Dinner at a favourite bistro type restaurant was, as always, deliciously satisfying and, since we are known, there is always the pleasure of a personal greeting. The wall coverings, drawn by a Serbian artist, never cease to fascinate and amuse us with their instances of humour and the absurd.


the exterior of the Budapest State Opera House on Saturday night

But night's candles were not yet burnt out. For before the Opera House an extravaganza of light, music and fashion had drawn the crowds to an outside stage where, interspersed with arias, models, men and women, strutted the catwalk wearing the latest of Hungarian design. A fantasy of the fantastic!

N.B. Images, with the exception of that of the interior of the restaurant, are taken from a variety of internet sources. We shall be pleased to credit them.

223 comments:

  1. What an amazing evening, I am quite jealous. How wonderful to have met Richárd Gábor Szakács afterwards, and to be meeting up for a drink. Wish I could be there, cheers. Diane

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    1. It was something of a fun packed evening, Diane, which began in the late afternoon and went on until quite late. And yes, we were delighted to be introduced to Richárd - such talent!

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  2. What a wonderfully full evening you've had with music, dance, fashion, art, and a night life extraordinaire all rolled up into one. The state opera house looks splendid in the evening lights. I can't help but recall past days in San Francisco when I had the pleasure of going to concerts and ballets there.

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    1. The lighting effects on the front of the Opera House were absolutely amazing, Linda, and so we were most disappointed that none of our own pictures came out - but this is hardly surprising as our camera is very basic indeed.

      One day we hope to see San Francisco which, we understand, to be the liveliest of cities.

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  3. The Opera house looks beautiful all lit up. I can imagine it to have been a very splendid evening.
    Your bistro with the art on the wall , always feels good to go to somewhere that the owner knows us, it makes the evening.
    A very special night indeed.
    I am not familiar with the artists..
    I would have loved that immensely to have listned to liszt's music.
    Thank you Lance and Jane.
    Once again a most interesting post.
    val

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    1. The Opera House certainly looked very splendid on Saturday night, Val, but it is in any case a very handsome building and the interior is very rich in detail.

      The little bistro restaurant is small, unpretentious but the food, or so we think, is always excellent and it is only a short walk from home.

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  4. The perfect Saturday evening! ( well at least for some of us...)
    I look forward to October were I'll be going with some friends to the Norwegian Opera House to watch Madam Butterfly ( I have been before to Tosca, and it was a fantastic experience!)

    I perticularly like the decoration of the bistrò.

    greetings from the North dear Hattatts : )

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    1. 'Madame Butterfly', so very sad, is one of our favourite operas which we are certain that you will enjoy, Demie. As it happens we have tickets for 'Carmen' at the Opera House here in early October which we shall go to with two great friends from England who will be staying with us then.

      The bistro is decorated in such a fun way, we think.

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  5. Well, you have done it again. Gone and had a perfect evening without me! ;) Actually, you have now portrayed a perfect afternoon (a few times actually), now I will just await your perfect morning and we will be all set as far as dream delivery is concerned. Although a morning at your favorite little café in Brighton spent people-watching and chatting and eating delicious things just might qualify! So thrilled for you both for all of the wonderful moments that have comprised this year so far...

    It doesn't surprise me that the Mapplethorpe exhibition hit a false note (heehee) after the dreaminess of Liszt!

    Gros bisous,
    Heather

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    1. Now you really do have to pop on that Eurolines bus, Heather, and within thirty hours(!!) you can be with us!

      This year has been particularly wonderful for us and we are so very fortunate. At long last it seems that all those tortuous months and ghastly treatment in hospital in England are behind us and so, as you may readily imagine, we are catching up for lost time.

      A pity about the Mapplethorpe but, as you say, the dreaminess of Liszt was perhaps still in our minds.

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    2. A mere thirty hours? I'll be right over! ;)

      But in all seriousness, am still hoping that yes, at some point...

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    3. As indeed are we. And this is said in all seriousness. All you have to do is get here - beds are made up and waiting!!

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  6. WOW ........ what an art-packed evening Jane and Lance. You certainly know how to get the best out of your day !! .....and, of course, there's always a lovely little restaurant at the end of it !!
    .....and, you invite the performers to drinks and they say yes !! I'm sure if I asked them back for drinks, the answer would be a resounding ' NO' !!!! You obviously have that 'je ne sais quoi' quality about you both. Can you teach me ? XXXX

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    1. Had we really thought about it, Jackie, we should have most likely believed it far too much for a single evening. In the event, the time sped by and we were, at the end, left with so much to think about.

      We cannot believe that anyone would refuse an invitation from you. Just try us!! In any event, nothing ventured, nothing gained and we are now much looking forward to meeting up with Richárd again.

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  7. What a wonderful, if not exhausting, afternoon and evening, encompassing so many amazing events and experiences. Sounds like fun. Marina

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    1. We were certainly tired at the end of the evening, Marina, but in that very pleasant, contented way and it all was so interesting and great fun.

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  8. How wonderful! PS Please let me know the secret of your stamina.

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    1. Now, Elaine, of us all you are always on the go doing all kinds of different things as we know only too well from 'Pear Tree Log'! We can teach you nothing!!

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    2. Clod-hopping around this place in wellington boots and work clothes is easy! Attending all those wonderful cultural events would exhaust (and delight) me. I fear I have become a true country bumpkin.

      Note to self: I must make more effort; there is life beyond the mud!

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    3. We are sure that this is not entirely as it is, Elaine! And for twenty-five, or more, years we lived in the depths of rural Herefordshire where the mud also abounded and where we lived in Wellington boots enjoying every minute. This all represents a different stage in our lives which we are also loving.

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  9. Thats the thing about art shows I suppose, they can be so engaging or not at all. L( All in all, it looks like you to had a good time :) I wish you could experience Toronto's Nuit Blanche... Now that is interesting! The whole city is speckled with art shows by any artist who wishes to participate and it goes on through the WHOLE night until dawn! there is always something fascinating and with a map of the city in hand, we wander through the light filed night, really original! :)

    Hugs,

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    1. Yes, Kasia, we do agree that some exhibitions end up appealing rather more than others. The Toronto 'Nuit Blanche' sounds very similar to the Budapest 'Night of the Museums' each June where, for a ticket costing very little indeed, and the public transport becomes free, it is possible to visit any gallery or museum up until 2.00am.

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  10. Budapest seems to be a veritable cultural wonderland! Who'd have thought it.

    Lucky you...no wonder you live there. :)

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    1. You are right, Wendz. Budapest is an exceedingly cultural city which appeals to us enormously. And so much of what goes on is very affordable.

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  11. Enough of my Lisztless rural life: I'm going to move to Budapest to join the glitteratti and trail about in your wake, Jane and Lance, chatting to famous figures. God, it must be at least a month since I ran into a famous figure at our local post office.

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    1. Mise, we love you for everything but, if we were forced to preference, which would in any case be so unseemly, as it is to comment on the comment itself, then it would be for your wonderful, quick wit which adds such sparkle to our lives as, through 'Pretty Far West', it does to the lives of so many others. Now, if anyone should be writing a book.......!

      Incidentally, what days are best for hanging around your local Post Office to meet up with the famous?

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  12. What a golden cornucopia of events, and all encompassed during one afternoon and evening.
    This new extreme challenge of climbing buildings without any aids I find both curios and strange.
    The piano concert by Gergó Teleki appeals as does the dance by your newly befriended acquaintance Richárd Gábor Szakács.
    Congratulations, I see you have mastered the technique of diacriticals.

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    1. Actually, looking back on it all now, it does seem rather much to have done in one evening since the piano recital did not start until 5.00pm. But, Rosemary, we think that you would have enjoyed the concert hugely.

      We too were amazed suddenly to notice two figures descending from the roof of the Opera House. Impressive but, we think, without purpose!

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  13. What a splendid way to spend a Saturday afternoon/evening. I wish I could have seen the dancing, it sounds, as you said, entrancing.

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    1. It was all hugely enjoyable, Tracey. The dancing was truly amazing and a total surprise as we had not expected anything like it.

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  14. Hello Jane and Lance,
    How lovely to spend an evening in such a wonderful Opera House, it looks amazing. My favourite operas are La Boheme and Madame Butterfly which I've seen on countless occasions. Your bistro restaurant looks divine. It's lovely when you go somewhere often and are warmly welcomed. Have a good week.
    Patricia x

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    1. Both of those operas are firm favourites with us too, Patricia, and we always enjoy them immensely no matter how often we see them.

      Yes, we very much like returning to places, such as the bistro, which we like and it is always a great pleasure to be recognized and known.

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  15. Hello Jane and Lance

    To have such culture and live performance right at your doorstep is heavenly. That you also attend and enjoy it is even better. The images and artwork at your favourite restaurant has me curious. I love that you have invited Jack o' Lantern for drinks who will surely illuminate your evening.

    Continued joy each day.

    Helen xx

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    1. We are so fortunate to live somewhere with so much happening, Helen, and when it all becomes too much we can retreat to Brighton!!

      The art work in the bistro really fascinates us and the artist has included many instances of real humour. We are now much looking forward to meeting up with Jack o' Lantern once more. Should be fun!

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  16. An evening of culture and contrast, with art of all kinds, the culinary included. You didn't go dancing as well, or participated in some sports or other, did you?

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    1. No, Meike, we did not go anywhere to dance, as it happens!!! As for any sport......! But we did have enormous fun that evening, as we try to do all of the time.

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  17. Your day sounds like my idea of heaven, music, dance and art, including a visit to an interesting and eclectic bistro oozing in history. A time travelling day, back to simpler, electronic free life. Where did it all go wrong? We are certainly living in the wrong decade I believe.
    Di
    xxxxx

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    1. We are certain that you would have enjoyed it all, Dianne, although we failed to fit in Afternoon Tea which, we know, is one of your specialities!

      Sometimes the past does have a somewhat rosy glow compared with this high tech age!

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  18. I live in a rural backwater of Lancashire, nuff said!. Budapest sounds like life on a heavenly cloud of delights what fun and sparkle.

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    1. But, Susan, as we have said to Elaine [above], for years we lived in the depths of rural Herefordshire. The difference then was that to go to anything required a great deal of planning, and usually a long car drive. Here it is all so easy.

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  19. Adding a dancer to interpret classical music surely makes the musical performance so much more interesting. The jump to Mapplethorpe rather took me aback. In the photo the restaurant looks to be a little too brightly lit, but I like wall lighting and I think it is only a camera interpretation of the lighting. I am sure the lighting is quite flattering. Just another day in Budapest ticked off.

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    1. Richárd's dancing came as a complete surprise but was exceedingly enjoyable.

      The Mapplethorpe was, of course, in complete contrast. We are uncertain as to how well he has gone down in conservative Hungary.

      The bistro lights are neither harsh nor bright, Andrew; our camera is very basic!

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  20. Dear Ones,

    Truly you have an amazing treasure trove of friends and acquaintances and will be adding one more after drinks later this week I am sure. Your evening sounds to have been a gossamer affair of all the best sensory tingling arts available. To travel with Jane and Lance is to be swept along on ribbon of delight in all the culture (s) have to offer. – gary

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    1. We are much looking forward to seeing Richárd again, dear Gary, for we think that he is an amusing, interesting young person and one with an exceptional talent. And what fun it would have all been if you and J could have been with us last Saturday! One day?!!

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  21. This post is so full of things on which I wish to comment, I must collect my thoughts.

    First, Szakacs as the jack o' lantern. This screen capture speaks to me without words and induces me to speak back similarly -- therefore I shall say nothing more about it. And what a tidy, telling detail about being invited to drinks.

    Next, the two Mapplethorpe self-portraits! I'm not sure why but those two stand-alone images are so powerful for me. In reading that the larger exhibit was somehow not as moving as the smaller venue, or the glowing pumpkinesque Liszt earlier in the evening, I am thinking of how so very many variables come into play in order to achieve a transcendent combustion between art and art lover. Like many mysteries, at once forceful and fragile.

    The interior of that restaurant looks charmingly lit but the exterior of the State Opera House will roost in my imagination all day.

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    1. Richárd was indeed wonderful, Suze. We shall hope to see much more of him!

      We too thought the Mapplethorpe images most 'telling' [to use one of your splendid words] particularly for the way in which they suggest the two very different sides of his exceedingly complex character - but we are certain that this you know. And, yes, so much of life is, as you say here, a paradox in much the same way as our strengths are our weaknesses and vice versa.

      The State Opera House which, one day, as with so much else here, you must see, is a remarkable building with a very ornate late nineteenth century interior which appeals to us enormously for all its fabricated grandeur.

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  22. Dear Jane and Lance, I see why you don't have a television, when on earth would you fit it in. Sounds like a wonderful concert, and to have the extra surprise of the dancer, what fun! I love the decoration on the restaurant walls, what a great idea, to keep diners amused. Shame you weren't overly impressed by the exhibition, but perhaps you were just 'cultured' out?
    Many thanks for your visit, I will pass your kind words about 'Hammy'on to Lois, she will be pleased. Perhaps if people getting married today thought more about their vows and less about 'stuff' there would be less divorce? Lots of love to you both, Linda x

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    1. Indeed, Linda, we have come to the conclusion that, with some notable exceptions, television wastes a huge amount of time and can become slightly addictive. The dancing was great fun and we are so pleased to have seen it.

      Yes, the restaurant walls are covered with the drawings of this Serbian artist, whose name we should find out, and certainly make for interest. And he has included some very funny touches.

      We do agree with what you say about marriage, but these are such very different times making it difficult to judge. We thought 'Hammy' to be lovely!

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  23. Dear Jane and Lance,
    I guess you can scale the walls of any palace as long as you're wearing red!
    Your Teleki and Szakacs seem to be entirely 'in the moment' - a wonderful experience.
    Yes, Mapplethorpe may have been confronting to Franz Liszt, a more melodious creator.
    You are missing nothing in Hungary. The reverse is true: you are uncovering riches I, for one, have been unaware of.

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    1. Perhaps, Faisal, but you may be surprised to learn this that we are going to pass on this one!!

      Yes, Teleki and Szakács were a wonderful combination - such extraordinary creative talent in people so young. We enjoyed it immensely. Perhaps as Linda says [above] we were too 'cultured out' for Mapplethorpe but that is not to say that we found the exhibition of no interest. Far from it.

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    2. I'm glad you found Mapplethorpe revelatory. Perhaps he was a tonic, lean and honest, after the romanticism?

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    3. Perhaps, Faisal, that is exactly so. The exhibition of his work which we saw last year did impress and interest us hugely for he was, or so it seems to us, such a very dual personality in almost all respects. And this is in no way to denigrate him, quite the reverse for we feel that his unique character enabled him to look at the world, and translate it through his work, with an immediacy, an urgency even, which we, the outsider, might so easily not see.

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    4. That's an interesting comment. I've always found him so New York, like on another planet, but he's really dealing with people as they are, or how they aspire to be, which in itself, is very New York.
      I was very close, once, to a transvestite, a punk James Dean/Hollywood movie starlet, who would have made a perfect model for Mapplethorpe.

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    5. Yes, Mapplethorpe, so New York, beautifully put. We get the impression that Mapplethorpe was hungry to photograph anything and everything which could be posed in front of a camera. As the work progresses, we feel that it becomes less raw,more classical in its composition and all the more powerful because of it. Your friend does sound as if he would have made a perfect Mapplethorpe model and we know several people who could also fit the bill!!!

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  24. Your very full evening sounds splendid. To live in close proximity to the arts is such a gift that enriches one' s life so much.

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    1. It was, thinking about it now, Arleen, something of a 'full' evening but with so much happening in Budapest we feel we need to experience as much of it as possible.

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  25. I wondered whether there were visible and ongoing remnants of communism there, I suppose it is entwined culturally now after so long. I always enjoy the New Year's concert in Vienna as it encompasses dancing with music, they are meant for each other and it is so wonderful to see more and more of it demonstrated. I can understand that, after being entranced by the musical part of the evening that the artistic was not as appreciated as it could have been, after all good music fills the senses so much and is a pleasure to take away with you and dwell on.

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    1. Rather surprisingly, Carol, there are many aspects of the previous regime which not only linger on but are actually quite prominent. It is quite difficult to eradicate a major part of modern history.

      Yes, we so agree with what you say here about music; as we become older we learn to appreciate it more and, indeed, to want more of it in our lives.

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  26. It all sounds like an evening made in heaven.

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  27. A magical evening in a sophisticated metropolis, indeed. Thank you for sharing the photographs and experiences. I would have loved to be there with you, taking it all in with the pleasure of your erudite company. Reggie

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    1. And for our part it would have been enormous fun to have had you and Boy with us, Reggie. But perhaps one day you will see yourselves across the Atlantic to Eastern Europe. We hope so.

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  28. I would have enjoyed the Liszt...is it just my imagination or is he being programmed more often these days?

    I think those years in wellies gave you the stamina to enjoy such a packed programme!

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    1. Possibly so. Certainly here in Hungary where much was made of his bicentenary last year which might well account for it.

      The 'Wellie' years were fun but we are not sorry to have parted company with them!

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  29. All of your senses were involved on this special night!
    I'd love to have joined in.
    Those wall drawings are wonderful :)

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    1. Indeed, that is so Phyllis. And it was a most interesting evening in every respect.

      Yes, the wall drawings are such fun. We MUST find out the artist's name and something about him.

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  30. Friends, what a time you've had! Everything my heart would desire as well! Music by List, a friend who plays like a god, a young dancer moving with grace towards your tea table, a fabulous cafe and fashion play outside the opera.... a weekend extravaganza indeed!
    I love Budapest and I love you, darlings!
    We will go to the Met end of the month to see Puccini's Turandot!
    In the meantime I enjoy Juliet Barker's biography of the Bronte's! The labour of love!

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    1. What a wonderful way you describe all of this, Victoria, for it was indeed an extravaganza something which, like you too, we simply love. And such kindness from you as well.

      To the Met for 'Turandot'!! How wonderful. Do tell us all afterwards. We have tickets for 'Carmen' at the start of October and now we are tempted by 'Aida' in Verona early in the New Year. Oh dear, always so much to do!!

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  31. Dear Jane and Lance - could it be your soul was so filled with truth and beauty it rejected all else?
    I dearly love opera; are you surprised? When I lived in an urban setting, I had season tickets to overflow my soul with beauty. So, there are a few things I miss about an urban area -smile-.

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    1. Sandra dear, how could we be surprised at your love of opera attendance at which is, of course, one of the benefits and great joys of an urban life. But the countryside too has so much, which is of course different, to offer; we look back fondly on our Herefordshire days.

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  32. Dear Jane and Lance,

    Saturday night fever, indeed! With the classic grandeur of the Opera house and the cozy atmosphere of your bistrot you were wrapped in a cocoon of arts to delight the senses. How interesting that your evening included the complex artistry of Liszt and Mapplethorpe punctuated with the genius of two performers, Szakács and Teleki. I do hope that you will report on J o'L when he visits chez vous.

    Three of the Liszt selections you mentioned are familiar to me but I just listened to the Transcendental Etude No. 5 in b-flat as I could not recall this exceedingly intricate piano piece. As someone once said, it appears that Liszt might have been thinking that he would write a piece that would be incredibly difficult to play... and then he created Rondo Fantastique!

    Oh, how could I leave out the Serbian artist who added an exclamation point to the art with the wall drawings. The fashion show and visual extravaganza at the end of the evening is almost too much to imagine. Thank you, dear friends, for taking us out for this delightful evening thousands of miles away.

    Bises,
    Genie

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    1. There is, as you hint here, dearest Genie, a school of thought which puts forward the view that Liszt was an egotistical genius who composed to illustrate his technical prowess. Hence, the complexity of the piano pieces and the power required to deliver them. Indeed, it is said that the Bosendorfer pianos became famous as they were the only ones which Liszt did not destroy by his playing!

      We shall, of course, report on Jack O'Lantern who is due here tomorrow evening at 7pm.

      The wall paintings in M restaurant are a delight. They are drawn on brown paper which lines the walls and is used as tablecloths too. The sketches are humorous and beautifully accomplished and add both an attractive and interesting touch to the ambience of the place. The food is good too!

      Perhaps one day we shall not be thousands of miles apart but shall be seated at the same bistro table. Now, that would be when the town really would be painted red!!

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  33. Budapest sounds as if it is a good place to enjoy a life of culture.

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    1. We can only agree wholeheartedly with this. And, also significant is that the Arts in their many and varied forms can be enjoyed inexpensively too!

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  34. Oh what a wonderful mix of the classical and avant garde--which seems so right for you, and, (as I get to know it through you) Budapest. It seems to be such an interesting city--one day I hope you will tell us how you came to live there.

    You always have the most interesting excursions and friends, old and new! I hope you will tell us about dinner with the Jack O' Lantern.

    I recently saw some Mapplethorpe for the first time since the 80's. Then is was quite shocking, now less so. I suppose because of the internet, movies tv--we are bombarded with images that would once have been sensational--I feel de-sensitized to a degree. Anyway, his pictures have always felt a little soulless to me. However, I recenetly read Patti Smith's memoir Just Kids, about her relationship with Mapplethorpe in the NY in the '70's, and it made me look at him in a new light.

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    1. How well you know us, dearest Jen, for we are indeed drawn to the classical and the offbeat in equal measure. It is a recipe for a life less ordinary we feel.

      We have been most interested to read what you say about Mapplethorpe and his work. We can identify with your sentiments and do indeed feel that the impact of his images is lessened these days by the sensational images which crowd into our everyday lives. However, we find his late portraits beguiling and powerful, especially when one contrasts the photographic image with what one knows of the person being photgoraphed. As you say, sometimes it needs an alternative stimulus to make one look with fresh eyes.

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  35. Oh my, what a wonderful time you both had! I found myself "clicking" on your photo of the Bistro because the decoration by the artist looked such fun! Does it remain the same, or do they come in and add/subtract from it from time to time? I was just wondering........

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    1. We suspect that from time to time there is a little 'touching up' as the drawings are done on brown paper attached to the wall. The wall decoration is indeed fun and includes faux curtains over the entrance to the kitchen and a pretend ceiling fan. Real pictures are hung on the wall in addition to the drawn images too. It is a delight!

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  36. My goodness, what you have filled into one evening is quite thrilling. (I sure hope that young man in the first photo had a net under him!) Would that variety of events be typical of Budapest on a Saturday night?

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    1. Health and Safety considerations are generally sadly and shockingly absent in Budapest. Workers on building sites without hard hats, roof workers without harnesses, stone masons without masks....the list could go on!

      The musical variety, the choice of different places to eat,Opera, Theatre and any number of pop-up events are very much in evidence in Budapest on most nights of the week. We are often spoiled for choice about what to go to. And, when we tell you that the piano recital was free......!!!!

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  37. Oooo, that sounds like a perfect evening and one that you will probably rememberfor some time to come.
    And then you topped it off with a dinner in your favourite restaurant. You do it in style!
    Lovely post and so nice to see people who know how to enjoy themselves and to appreciate things in life.

    Red

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    1. Dearest Red, it was a wonderful evening and one which we know you would have enjoyed too. Such an intriguing cultural mixture and always so heartening to see young artistic talent on show.

      You always say the kindest things, for which we thank you so much!

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  38. What a special evening of music, dance, photography, fashion and food!! Wow, you did much more in one evening than I've done all this week. (That's not quite true, but I'm not counting the lackluster day-to-day minutiae of life.) I do not know much about the Hungarian fashion scene, but I do know many fashion ateliers are showing their 2013 spring lines around the world....NY last week....London this week. Thanks for sharing your evening of culture with us ~
    Cheers,
    Loi

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    1. Hungarian design and fashion is very interesting in our eyes and, when we compare with London, is rather 'grittier' in its use of styles and materials. At the end of September there will be a design week in Budapest focussing upon a number of different aspects of design and we hope to be able to reflect some of this in a future post.

      And, dear Loi, we have the luxury of not having to work. That makes such a difference to the energy and time one can give to cultural pursuits!

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    2. I want to come hang out with you and not work. Can you adopt me? haha :) :)

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    3. We are probably too old to qualify to adopt. Would you settle for being fostered?!!

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    4. We'll do our best - but there can be no promises!!

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  39. Oh what a fun time you must have had! That opera house is gorgeous...the beauty and craftsmenship of the stone worker never ceases to amaze me. Thank you so much for sharing these pictures!

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    1. The Budapest Opera House is a splendid building, even more so inside. The music and fashion show heralded the start of the new season and all manner of good things will be performed there over the coming months. In particular, for two weeks in March each year, the Budapest Spring Festival is held and during that time the most amazing variety of music of all kinds is performed throughout the city.

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  40. Jane and Lance, What a full evening of beautiful events. I love this time of year when many of the arts once again open their doors to a new season. The enthusiasm is contagious.

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    1. Yes, Bonnie, one feels that Budapest almost becomes a cultural desert in August when so many venues close completely. But, then, in September, everything springs to life once more and one is spoiled for choice about where to go or what to see and do. As you say, the energy of the new season is almost palpable!

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  41. Hello Jane and Lance, While going to new places and discovering new sights and talents can be wonderfully exciting, a different kind of satisfaction arises from celebrating the attractions and talents of the people and places you know well. How nice to see friends displaying their best gifts, and in this fashion extending your acquaintance. Your evening in Budapest is a wonderful evocation of putting down roots as opposed to branching out.

    --Road to Parnassus
    P.S. That fashion show looked kind of dangerous--I hope that they had designer stretchers waiting in case of incident.

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    1. You are right, Jim. There is something very pleasurable about seeing someone perform with whom one has a personal acquaintance. Somehow the connection with what is being performed is that much deeper and the enjoyment so much more satisfying.

      We thought that elements of the fashion show looked dangerous too, especially when female models were teetering along the makeshift stage in skyscraper heels!

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  42. What a wonderful and culturally rich and diverse life you lead. That little restaurant looks like a heaven for quiet meals and long chats or indeed long meals and quiet chats!

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    1. M restaurant is a delight, Jason, quite Brighton in some ways, but without the sea! Long dinners and even longer chats for us....as we suspect it would be for you too!!

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  43. Your posts are a delight to read. I would have loved to hear Liszt being played in such an eclectic setting. The Opera House is an extremely beautiful piece of architecture and that little restaurant exudes charm and welcome. Saturday Night Fever - the post title made me smile because, somehow, I knew it would have nothing to do with John Travolta or disco balls; instead it would enrich my world so much.

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    1. As you rightly suspected, Loree, the post had little to do with John Travolta although we have always held a candle for his dancing and the white flared trousers!

      The Opera House is a magnificent building and it looked even more remarkable when lit so dramatically in shades of red, black grey and midnight blue. It was incredibly effective and certainly created an electric atmosphere in the middle of Andrassy Street where the stage had been erected. Now John Travolta would have looked good strutting his stuff there!!

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  44. Dear Lance and Jane,
    I must agree with the other comments in that it sounds as though you had a wonderful 'night out'.
    Liszt is so full of emotion isn't he? And when his music is played well it moves the soul. At least this is what I think. It is no wonder that the photographic exhibition left you relatively unmoved.
    The Opera House looks wonderful. I am thinking that Budapest might be somewhat akin to Vienna?
    And what did you have to eat at that charming restaurant?
    Good night!
    Kirk

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    1. We did indeed have a marvellous evening, Kirk, which was as varied as it was long. Yes, we very much like the music of Liszt which, here in Hungary, is for obvious reasons often played at concerts and so, over time, we have come to know some pieces well.

      Yes, the State Opera House in Budapest is not at all dissimilar in appearance to that of Vienna although we have never, as it happens, attended any performances in Austria.

      On Saturday evening we both, unusually, chose the same for a main course which was an excellent and very delicious Cassoulet, rather more French than Hungarian!

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  45. Oh how I love the idea of listening to a Hungarian pianist playing Liszt in Budapest.
    My ex was a talented pianist and Liszt was one of his specialities so I'm familiar with the pieces you mention - the Mephisto Waltz No.1 always one of my favouities.
    Seems you had a real feast for the sense - and having the Jack O' Lantern to drinks later in the week sounds like an excellent idea!
    Axxx

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    1. Annie, we are so delighted that Liszt is a favourite of yours too and that you know the pieces that we heard on Saturday. We agree, the Mephisto Waltz No.1 is startingly wonderful.

      Yes, we are much looking forward to Richárd's visit which will, in fact, be tomorrow evening.

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  46. Wow, such amazing things happen to you two, how wonderful it all sounded:)

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    1. Not really, Launna. Just a matter of Carpe Diem!!

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  47. Oh my gosh! What an evening. I don't know how you all do it. I'd have to have a nap somewhere in there. Ha.
    Liszt is also a favorite of mine and probably one of the few I would be able to sit still to in concert.
    I love learning about Budapest. I don't know why except ignorance, but I'd always thought it would be more third worldly. The Budapest you all capture is full of sophistication and adventure - thinking of the club you were going to be joining.

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    1. As some books are very readable, so we too feel that Liszt's music can be listened to with ease. Certainly we much enjoyed this particular concert, not least for the dance.

      Budapest is a fascinating city, Rubye Jack, which we love, but step away from the main thoroughfares and it really does become very gritty indeed and one is, very sadly, conscious of extreme poverty and hardship. But with it is huge interest and real humanity.

      Actually we met a friend at 'The Club' only yesterday afternoon for tea!!

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  48. Of course the audience was delighted :) I keep bumping into Liszt in lots of different histories - that man certainly had an impact! Here are a couple of examples:

    1. Franz Liszt visited Bayreuth to be with his daughter Cosima Liszt von Bulow, Wagner's widow. Eventually Liszt died there and was buried in this musical town.

    2. George Sand was friends with the literati of her day, including Delacroix, Balzac and Liszt.

    3. Lola Montez was introduced to Liszt at George Sand's party and had a passionate affair with him; then she met Frederic Chopin and finally she became the mistress of Alexandre Dumas.

    4. King Ludwig II requested the presence of the conductor and piano virtuoso Hans von Bülow and his wife Cosima, who was Franz Liszt's daughter. Ludwig liked Liszt's and von Bulow's music, and thought that was the route to his true passion, Wagner.



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    1. These are yet more fascinating insights into the life of Liszt, none of which are particularly made known here and certainly not in the museum devoted to him where there is not a breath of anything approaching scandal!

      Hungary remains truly proud of him as was very evident last year, his bicentenary.

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  49. Good evening from New York to you, Jane and Lance.

    Just before reading your beautifully written post about the cultural riches to be found in Budapest, I have just read a rather distressing New York Times article about some recent developments regarding funding and possible relocation of treasures that have for centuries been housed at our beautiful Fifth Avenue Public Library Building. Somehow, during this presidential election season, it seems as if many arts and cultural treasures might be under a threat that would have been impossible to contemplate in prior decades.

    Progress? Change? Paraphrasing the old question about the tree falling in the forest, if there is no audience will the arts survive?

    And so, it was a joy to read about all that you all have recently beheld and enjoyed in Budapest. I also liked reading some of the comments and your replies about the effect of a lingering presence of prior regimes in your beautiful city.

    Pretty fabulous to have free access to marvelous music, and to have the opportunity to make a connection with a talented artist. Your comment on the Mapplethorpe exhibit seemed very astute to me. Having lived in NYC for many decades, I had the opportunity to know much of his work during his lifetime, and also have had the opportunity to read Just Kids, presented to me by Patti Smith. I agree that Mr Mapplethorpe was a very talented and complex character.

    Before I test the boundaries of the white box into which I type, I would again wish to let you all know what a pleasure it is to have discovered your site and to be able to have this correspondence.

    xo

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    1. Good morning from Budapest to you, Frances.

      It is so very strange that you should have written here about the threat to the arts in these times of recession, something about which we were talking only yesterday. It is our fear too that the cuts being presently made in these areas will have a long term impact on our values and the way in which society views its heritage. It is, as you say, very distressing and we can well appreciate your anxiety where the Fifth Avenue Public Library Building is concerned.

      Beneath a somewhat at times superficial surface, one senses in Budapest that the past is never far away. This manifests itself in so many different ways, not least in a general mistrust of foreigners, not always easy to overcome, unbelievable bureaucracy, state intervention and control of much of everyday life and, at all levels and so contrary to our own culture, massive corruption. We could go on. But for all of that we love the country and the people and certainly regard it as home.

      The music here is wonderful and if not free, as Saturday's concert, then very affordable. We are so interested to read what you say here about Mapplethorpe. The exhibition did, naturally, include several portraits of Patti Smith but we felt that we had seen better last year in Eastbourne. 'Just Kids' we have never read, something we shall now correct.

      And for our part, Frances, not only do we hugely appreciate your comments but we too must say how delighted we are that we are connected in this way and that 'City Views, Country Dreams' is an on going source of delight and interest. Thank you.

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  50. Oh I would have LOVED to have heard that concert! I plan on teaching some music history about Liszt to my piano students this year. We are delving into the Romantic Period right now, so Chopin, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Liszt, Brahms, etc are all on the list.

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    1. How very thrilling to know that you will be also teaching music history to your piano students this year, and that you will include Liszt. How we should love to be students at the back of your class absorbing all that you are teaching about the Romantic Period. It resonates with its own romance!

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  51. Hello Jane & Lance! This post inspired me to add Liszt to my Pandora stations, and as we speak...Consolations (6) is dreamily lulling me into your wonderful evening of music and dance, now if I could only conjure up that sweet little bistro 'M'...then all would be perfect! I love the art on the walls and I'd want to sit at a different table each time to gaze anew at it all.
    Also, I've just taken a lovely tour of Venice thanks to you, it was thrill to see it from your eyes. What a blessing to know someone such as Hugh to help you become one with the city...learning the intricacies of such a glorious place certainly must endear it to you even more. Seeing such vacant areas off the beaten path surprised me, I didn't think they existed there...it's nice to know that they do. I'm glad you both had such a special trip...thank you for sharing so much of it!
    Wishing you a lovely evening with the Jack O'Lantern!
    xo J~

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    1. This is such a wonderful thought, Jessica, to think that at this moment, across all the thousands of miles, we are connected through the music of Liszt. The higher things in life do indeed know no boundaries and transcend all!

      Over the years, of course with the assistance of 'Hugh', we have come to discover so very many hidden parts of Venice which, lovely and interesting as they are, are never to be found other than empty or, perhaps, with the occasional cat. The tourists as a rule are only in the city for a very short time and do not generally wander away from the principal attractions.

      Jack o' Lantern will be with us this evening; we are much looking forward to meeting him again.

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  52. You are always out and about enjoying what ever happens. I am rather house bound right now. You are diffidently having more excitement and fun than I am !
    The concert sounds wonderful.
    I have had concerts on my mind recently so I must have been thinking of you and didn't know it ! How fun is that ?

    The Square Ones send woofs !
    cheers, parsnip

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    1. We do try, as we are sure that you do also, Gayle, to seize each and every opportunity as and when it presents itself. We are most fortunate living in a very cultural city like Budapest to have many many occasions for new and different experiences.

      The concert was indeed wonderful and we so much enjoyed it. And do give a special pat to each of The Square Ones from us!

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  53. What "full to the brim" experiences you have had... I'm only mildly jealous (a lie) and ever so grateful that we get to VOYEUR through your words and images. It is our dream to see Loreena McKennitt play at the Alhambra (as she has already done) because we feel that when Art & Music marries great Architecture you have hit the jack pot for sure. :-)

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    1. As we have said to Gayle [above] we are so fortunate to live in a city where so much is happening although our great criticism is that things, generally, are very poorly advertised and it takes a considerable effort to find out what is going on where. Only last evening, having met a friend for tea, we passed the Italian Institute where people were clearly assembling for a public concert about which we had seen nothing publicised!

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  54. How ever do you manage not to suffer from culture overload? You certainly know how to pack more into an afternoon and evening than most people do in a year. I'm sorry if what I say next offends anyone, and it will probably tell you more about me than I should reveal here, but I have to tell you what my immediate reaction to the first image was. I was instantly reminded of the iconic pose (struggling with the hands of the giant clock), of that other great creative genius, Freddie Mercury, in the video accompanying 'Radio Ga Ga' an homage to Fritz Lang's film Metropolis. There, I've said it!

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    1. We have now watched and listened to the said video with that consummate performer, Freddie Mercury, and have enjoyed ourselves enormously in the process. Yes, we agree, the image does resonate with the video, especially as FM was also dressed in red and there was the curiously captivating juxtaposition of the modern and the old fashioned, exactly the same kind of cultural conflict as the Fashion Show at the Opera House.

      Thank you so much for pointing us in this direction, it has livened up our afternoon which is otherwise going along quietly. Not every day can be a 'culturefest'!!!

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  55. What a perfectly wonderful evening! If not for your delightful posts, I wouldn't have known about Budapest being so culturally colourful, be it these concerts or the architecture.
    I love the oozing warmth of the restaurant and I agree, the walls look quite fascinating.

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    1. How beautifully you put it, Suman, Budapest is indeed extremely colourful culturally. It may not be the most cosmopolitan of capital cities but its cultural offerings are delightfully varied not only in terms of their countries of origin but also in terms of their degree of modernity.There is something for everyone, we believe.

      Indeed, we often remark that, unlike in England, the age profiles of audiences in Budapest have a fair smattering of young people as opposed to the over-50s which seem to us to make up the bulk of English audiences.

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  56. How fabulous! A night of sublime music, dance, art, food, and fashion? Yes, please!! :)
    This is my kind of evening!
    You both are the epitome of joie de vivre, dear Jane and Lance...and I am loving the glimpses of Budapest culture...just beautiful.
    Koszonom!
    Take care, dear friends, and have a glorious week...
    - Irina

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    1. Oh, Irina, if only you could have been there to share the evening with us. Now that would have been a true delight and such fun. We find that, after such evenings, one has so much to talk and think about for days on end.

      We are so pleased that you enjoyed the post and trust that your week is going well too. Take care!

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    2. Oh, thank you!!!You are beyond kind, but perhaps someday?? :)
      Yes, these are soul-filling activities, and again...thank you for sharing your beautiful experiences, and for always inspiring us to "seize the day"!!
      This weekend, we are off to the annual Renaissance Faire...Huzzah!
      Hugs.

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    3. A Renaissance Faire - now that sounds to us to be heaven and how we should love to be joining you. We really hope that you have a marvellous time and that it lives up to all expectations.

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  57. How brilliant your evening was! Cor! It looks wonderful...music, dancing,art and after divine food, fashion and acrobatics, the young man climbing the Opera house, wow!

    You may well have felt a little tired by the end I should think, and sore palms from clapping too!

    My dear Dad's favourite tune was a Hungarian Rhapsody, every time it came on the wireless he would whistle along and do a little jig! Most unusual for my dad! He'd been a Major in the army and I suspect was most likely known as 'dashing' by the ladies back then.

    Hugs Jane x

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    1. Yes, Jane, brilliant is an excellent way of describing the evening and yes, we were quite tired at the end of it all and yes, there was a great deal of clapping!!

      How perfectly splendid that your father really enjoyed a Hungarian Rhapsody. And how wonderful that you write of the 'wireless' for certainly when we were young that was what it always was. When, we wonder, was it replaced with 'radio'?

      And now we think of you as having a childhood moving around with your father's postings. But maybe it was not so.

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  58. Yes Budapest seems like a Eastern European cultural center. I've never had the privilege to visit it thoroughly, I merely passed by it, on my way to Italy, but I was fascinated with the architecture. The Opera House is astonishing it reminds me of the beginning of 20th century. Enjoy your cultural experimentation Jane and Lance :).

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    1. Before we came to live here, Petronela, we had little idea of how much, in the way of cultural activities, there would be in Budapest. We have been so very happily surprised.

      Yes, the Opera House was built at the end of the C19 along with the whole of Andrássy u., the boulevard upon which it stands.

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  59. Dance, art, music, fashion. It's like an afternoon inside Helen's head! As always I enjoy my travels via your blog. The sights and sensations you describe are a delight!

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    1. Nothing, we think, Helen, can ever compete with the richness and variety of your thoughts, but here in Budapest we soldier on!! And last Saturday night did rise to the occasion!

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  60. Lance and Jane - 'A fantasy of the fantastic'..how divine. I can always depend on your amazing writing. You create music with your words, it's true. I can't imagine how spectacular such an evening would be? I would of been in awe. Thank you for sharing such a night to remember!

    Now what's on your schedule for this Saturday night?

    x Deb

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    1. This is so very generous of you, Deb. It was a truly wonderful evening when all kinds of disparate events combined to make a rather thrilling whole. We are sorry though that we were rather on the late side for the fashion show; others who saw it all said that it really was spectacular.

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  61. Dear Jane & Lance,

    Are you having visitors at the moment? I am coming over :-)! There are so many interesting things to do in Budapest at the moment. Jan and I would love to join you!

    The two of you know the most interesting people. I am happy to hear you found someone to play the piano at last, and now a ballet dancer as well......Looking forward to our next visit to Budapest very much!!!! Hope we will meet them ;-)

    Enjoy! Love Madelief x

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    1. Just think of all the fun we should have if you and Jan were a little closer and on hand! We should be out painting the town red night after night! But as it is, we have May coming up to which we are looking forward more than we can say.

      And you will, we are sure, get to meet Jack o' Lantern next time.

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  62. What a fabulously cultural evening. A stark contrast to the cultural desert that is my life at present.
    'M' looks like a great little restaurant. I like to choose a restaurant according to ambiance first and usually find those with the most artistic surrounds also have the most interesting food!
    I'm having trouble with my internet connection, so hope this isn't the second time I have commented! x

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    1. We cannot in any way believe that your life is a 'cultural desert', Penny, but sometimes a great deal happens all at once followed by periods of far less.

      We agree with what you say here about restaurants and we have never, in any way, been disappointed with 'M'.

      No, your comment has appeared without a problem!

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  63. Hello Jane and Lance,
    I shall keep this comment refreshingly short. After all, I can but only echo the sentiments of all those other fine contributors to your exceedingly fine article.
    I'm just delighted that your lives and those you meet, are so enriched with such a wonderful day. Thank you and take care.
    In kindness, Gary

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    1. We consider ourselves very fortunate, Gary, to be able to have a wide range of very different experience, of which last Saturday night was an excellent example.

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  64. Jane and Lance, you seem to have spent a perfectly lovely autumn evening filled with art, nice talks, and delicious meals. I wonder if your impression was different if you saw the exhibition by Rober Mapplethorpe earlier before the music by Liszt. The illuminated Budapest State Opera House is breathtaking.

    Yoko

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    1. Yes, we have really thought about what you say here, Yoko, about whether or not it would have made a difference if we had seen the Mapplethorpe before we went to the concert. In truth, we really do not know. The exhibition we saw in Britain made such an impact at the time and it is just possible that seeing the work again could never have quite the same effect on us.

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  65. Is that Lance? I have NOT missed reading..just being able to comment...wonderful post this is!

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    1. In the first picture of the previous post, Gina, yes, but not scaling down the walls of the Opera House!!

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  66. My dear Jane and Lance, You always lead us to most delightful unexpected discoveries. Be it music, art, books, restaurants or hotels to stay, you've always go for something quirky and sophisiticated. It is always a delight to step into your civilised orbit. EVERYthing in this post is beautiful (incl. the Opera House and works by the photographer Robert Mapplethorpe) Thanks for sharing!! Have a wonderful weekend.

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    1. Dearest ASD how delightful it is to have you join our orbit if only for the time it takes to read a post and comment. We find it positively uncanny how much we share in terms of interests, enthusiasms or pet hates. Surely when the day comes when our real worlds collide [as we dearly hope one day that they will] we shall all have such enormous fun.

      So glad that you liked the pics, both ours and RM's. Happy, happy weekend!!!

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  67. Hello Jane and Lance, this is what I do miss, living in my rural and coastal splendor! I am particularly moved by your account of the Liszt concert as I have wonderful childhood memories of falling asleep listening to my concert pianist uncle playing into the wee hours of the morning.

    And now! I want to have paper on all my walls so everyone can draw draw draw! Divine.

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    1. But, Carol, as we do know there are so very many compensations for living the rural dream and, as you are, so close to the water, even more!

      How wonderful to have had an uncle as a concert pianist and such a pity now that you were most likely too young to have appreciated his playing.

      Yes, let's all have paper to draw on!!

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  68. What a wonderful evening you had. I am envious :-)

    Best wishes

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    1. We are certain that you have many such evenings of your own of which we too should be envious!!

      Kellemes hétvégét.

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  69. Ah, more magnificent adventures in Budapest! I was struck by this, and I suspect I would have felt the same: "but, perhaps too full of Liszt's music, we left strangely unmoved." It's an interesting observation, how two experiences like these, side-by-side, can affect one's perception of each.

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    1. Perhaps there is after all, Susan, the possibility of having too much of a good thing and that one cannot actually have one's cake and eat it. But perhaps this gives a little idea of what awaits you and Josie when you do finally make it here. Which we hope will not be too long off.

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  70. I havent seen those Mapplethorpe's before ..arent they strange ..it looks like he is writing in the hand he doesnt usually use .

    What a lovely opera house so square and sturdy looking with gorgeous carvings..it seems to draw from several influences ..

    Our Opera House is made of white sail like structures.

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    1. Mapplethorpe was an extraordinary and most interesting photographic artist with a wide range of work, some of it most disturbing, some of it beautiful, and all of it fascinating.

      Th Opera House is by Ybl, possibly the best known of nineteenth century Hungarian architects, and is a handsome building both inside and out.

      You must, therefore, be in Sydney where the Opera House stands as one of the world's most iconic modern buildings?!!

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    2. yes I am..I remember the opening of the Opera House by the Queen ..it was Ouse eOpera hOus'

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    3. Yes I am ..would love you both to visit us

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    4. And how we should love to visit and especially to see the Opera House which, of course, we know from pictures but that is not the same at all. We had not realised that it was opened by The Queen!

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  71. you crazy culture vultures.....utterly divine......went to see the San Franscisco Ballet this week and was quite transported by the music and movement.......how lucky to come for drinks...hear my envy!!

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    1. The San Francisco Ballet does sound something we should have enjoyed seeing too. The control of body and synchronisation of movement is absolutely riveting we find.

      More culture this weekend too....!!!!

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  72. WOW what a wild fest!!!! Hello Jane! How are you? It has been a while since I have visited you, but I suspect you are well and enjoying the changing seasons. Have a lovely weekend! Anita

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    1. How lovely to hear from you, Anita. Happily all is well with us as we know it to be with you and, as always, we are very conscious of the wonderful images you continue to find for your posts.

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  73. Dear Jane and Lance,

    Alas no...I didn't ravel with Dad on postings, he spent the war in India and afterwards a short posting to Germany, then was many years in the Territorial Army which was during the time I was growing up.

    Hope your weekend is progressing well!
    Jane

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    1. Oh dear, rather a pity that you missed out on the foreign travel as that would have been most interesting. In the event though your childhood must have been much more settled.

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  74. It was quite a blow to the spirt when I misread Mapplethorpe for that Lincolnshire seaside resort Mablethorpe, I had one of my spasms and had to be brought round with the hartshorn. Living in East Yorkshire as we do, our entertainment is of a tacky nature, hundreds turned out today for the annual pram race seeing big babies, nuns on rollerskates and an array of furry creatures all sporting tattoos, I wanted to weep.

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    1. We can well see what a blow this must have been, Mitzi, but in so many ways more than made up for with the annual pram race, something of which we have been deprived our entire lives. As for all those tattoos, well.......!

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  75. I am so inspired by your cultural entertainment!!! Wonderful!!! I just love the architecture!! I could sit and look for hours at all the details!!! :)

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    1. Budapest is filled with the most wonderful architecture, Suzanne. Everywhere one goes one needs to be looking up to see all of the detail, of which there is much!

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  76. HELLO JANE!

    We spent a glorious day out today in our autumn weather, enjoying the changing colors of the leaves! Oh how wonderful to see you and yes, isn't that red dress just exquisite?

    Have a magical Sunday!! Anita

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    1. How wonderful to have enjoyed such a lovely autumn day, Anita. We love it when the leaves start to turn - so utterly glorious.

      Thank you so much for becoming a Follower. It is much appreciated and we shall certainly look forward to staying in touch.

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  77. It seems that you lead a very interesting life, which is full of exciting events. After looking through your photos, I have a feeling that I wouldn't be against living in Budapest for a while :)

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    1. Budapest is truly a wonderful city, Olga, and we are sure that you would find much of interest and a great many subjects for your photographs.

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  78. Deaerest Jane,

    Your visit today was like a chord in the melody of fine art....knowing that we all have been a friend, have BEEN a friend or just know how to tap into our humanity through creative connection is such a joy. I love your world here, and I am so grateful to have found you again.....many wishes for a splendid day! Anita

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    1. This is so very sweet of you, Anita, and we too are delighted to be connected in this way. As it happens, our blog really is a joint effort from us both with both posts and comments divided between us!!!!

      We did so enjoy your post of today.

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  79. What an entertaining post, Jane and Lance. As usual, I feel as if I were there spending the day and evening with you. This is what I love most about the internet and blogging - the lives we get to look in on, the events we get to share. Thanks for blogging, my friends. Thanks for being so generous with your time and energy.

    That opera house lit up at night looks enchanting.

    We're having an extraordinarily fine weekend here in New Jersey. The sun is out but there's a hint of Fall in the air and the breeze is perfection. Gone is the exhausting heat of this past summer.

    My friends are off for a Mediterranean cruise which will take them as far as Istanbul, with beautiful stops in between. I'd rather be there than here, but you know, here isn't so bad. :)

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    1. We could not agree more with you, Yvette, with the way in which through the internet and blogging one gains so much insight into other cultures and lives and, at the same time, one forges very real friendships. Certainly we believe that our own lives are constantly enriched in this way.

      New Jersey we believe to be a most beautiful part of the country and so you should not feel too wistful at your friends embarking on their cruise. That said we should love to visit Istanbul. Perhaps one day?!!

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  80. Hi!!!

    I really like to appreciate a great live music or dance performances. I believe that your evening was amazing!

    How awesome is the entrance to the Budapest State Opera House.

    Another day, near here, there was a nice recital outdoors. The place was very cozy and the weather was cool.

    Kisses from Rio de Janeiro

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    1. Somehow, anything 'live' is always so much better than seeing it in another way and this we think, like you, is especially true of dance and music.

      The Budapest State Opera House is a really splendid building with an ornate interior to match. Happily the opera is still affordable compared with so many other places.

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  81. Sounds like a great night of art! I have never seen an interpretive dance piece, but I am intrigued.

    The lovely bistro art looks very whimsical & inventive.

    e

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    1. It was indeed a most enjoyable evening and the dance was especially good, rather in the manner of the London Contemporary Dance but with a single performer.

      The bistro is great fun and the food excellent; we go there quite often.

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  82. Posts like this one expand the world for those of us who live in rural areas, without such access to the richness of cultural expression. What a treat this post was! I couldn't help but think that I might have been unmoved by Mapplethorpe's work if I'd first experienced the music, dance and other offerings, so full of real life.

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    1. This is most generous of you. In all the years that we lived in the depths of the Herefordshire countryside, it was access to the many cultural events which take place regularly in the city which we missed the most. That said, the countryside has so much to offer in its own right and in some ways more than compensates for the bright lights!

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  83. Oh beautiful word imagery as always - how delicious to mix Liszt with Mapplethorpe and add dance into that box of delights. Your far ranging tastes are a reflection of far reaching minds I think. Could you possibly help me recall a market in Budapest? I remember travelling through the city (to the outskirts possibly), almost derelict areas and there was a wonderful flea market selling fake Galle and genuine 'fin de siecle' in equal quantities! I also remember only have 10 US dollars on me at the time and had to be very retrained! Am I recollecting that market correctly do you think?
    Many thanks as always for such deliciousness
    Best wishes
    Jenny

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    1. Thank you so much, Jenny, for this very kind comment. Dancing into a box of delights was exactly what it was.

      Yes, you remember very correctly. We think that you must have visited Ecseri Flea Market which is, as you recall, on the very edge of Budapest off a rather dreary road which finally leads to a motorway. It still exists and is, as you say, a mixture of the fake and the genuine and somewhere a bust of Lenin is always available. We go there from time to time but seldom buy anything as the prices cannot altogether be trusted and can be made up according to the cut of your coat!

      In essence though we doubt that you would notice many changes from when you visited. Interestingly the City Council is forever intent on closing it down but somehow it survives!

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    2. Thank you so much for providing this information - that must indeed be the very market. I know only too well how prices are adjusted according to the cut of your jib! When in Thailand my brother in law (from Laos) is sent ahead to carry out negotiations...
      I hope that the market carries on in the finest tradition of cut and thrust selling!
      Thank you again
      Best wishes
      Jenny
      (apologies for spelling mistakes in previous reply!)

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  84. Dear Jane and Lance,

    As always you open up a whole new world for me to one day discover. I have wanted to go to Budapest and hope to one day make it, the opera house looks amazing, as does your little favorite eating place.

    Thank you for sharing your exciting evening,

    Regards, Tammy

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    1. It is so kind of you to say this, Tammy, but we can also say, in all sincerity, that we love our visits to The Drill Hall Emporium and only wish that it were just down the road to see it all in reality. We should have no difficulty filling our shopping baskets!!

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  85. Liszt ... how lovely! What a delightful way to spend a Saturday! Suddenly the supermarket run, dog walking, subsequent boot and paw cleaning, and an evening by the fire blogging seem very inadequate ;)

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    1. Not all Saturday nights are made of this we have to say, Annie. Although, we have to admit that dog walking and its attendant duties hold less appeal in bad weather. Nevertheless, the draw of a warm fire is always appealing as the nights become autumnal.

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  86. Wow!! What an enchanting atmosphere!! Would have loved to see such a thing and be in such a place. Never seen anything like this. I love opera houses and their architecture, some of the finest :) Thank you for bringing these into my world :) And thank you so much for the precious comment, was so kind. I wish you a wonderful and happy week xx

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    1. We so enjoyed reading your post and are thrilled to welcome you as our latest follower.

      The atmosphere of the whole evening was magical. Sometimes, evenings are just perfect and this was one of them. The Budapest Opera House is a magnificent building and is wonderfully glamorous on the inside too.

      Hoping your week is a happy one too!

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  87. I believe this is what is called "magic"!

    I love Mapplethorpe but it sounds to me as if those arts wouldn't mix well, especially after being so powerfully moved and inspired. Hope you can enjoy him again (separately) another time.

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    1. Mapplethorpe is indeed a favourite photographer of ours but we suspect that it was the nature of the exhibition rather than the works themselves which did not work for us on this occasion. When we saw a previous exhibition of his work in Eastbourne which was much smaller but far better in its selection, it had a most moving effect on us both.

      It was a magical evening and one which we shall remember fondly for some time.

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  88. What a wonderful evening, of culture and delights for the senses. City life is a different world from mine - it's good to read how different it can be through your blog.

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    1. After years in the deepest Herefordshire countryside, which we loved, it is true that we now embrace the many delights that the City has to offer. And, we are most fortunate in Budapest to have a wealth of choice at hand.

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  89. Dear Jane and Lance, What a rich spectacle! To hear a friend playing Liszt . . . then to dine in such a charming atmosphere and stroll (I imagine) out in front of/across the street from the Opera House lit up in such a festive way . . . what an enchanting Saturday evening. The added spice of Mapplethorpe makes the night most alluring. Again, it is a joy to see your world and the intriguing personalities you mingle with.

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    1. Yes, dearest Carol, it was indeed a cultural banquet! Sometimes an evening is just magical in every regard and this was one of them. It will linger in our memories for a long time.

      The event outside the Opera House was on a temporary stage set up across Andrassy Street which is the main boulevard in Budapest. Traffic had been stopped for the duration of the evening. Indeed, it never ceases to amaze us how quickly a stage can be put up anywhere and roads blocked off, all without much notice!!

      How perfectly you describe the 'spice' that is Mapplethorpe!!!!

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  90. An evening to remember, what glories you experienced!

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    1. Some memories are destined to stay in the mind for ever and we are fairly certain that this evening will be one of those.

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  91. Lance and Jane,

    Your post was a treat for all of the senses I could hear the music in my mind and almost "see" the dancer fluttering around like a butterfly.

    I LOVE reading your posts! Your blog is a gem and each time I visit I am transported to another age, of refinement, grace, gentility, and culture.

    Thank you for sharing your magical evening!

    Elizabeth

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    1. Thank you, Elizabeth, for your most kind and generous comment.

      Richárd's dancing was an entirely unexpected but a most warmly welcomed treat. He has such presence and vitality, quite beyond his tender years we think.

      We do like the way that blogs can transport one to a different time zone, culture or continent without ever having to leave the room. It is a wonder of the modern world!

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