Pfalzgrafenstein Castle near Kaub – at one time a toll castle. This was taken as we passed through the Middle Rhine Valley, and yes – the weather really was this glorious!

28 October–4 November 2022

THE SCRATCH® RHINE MAIDEN VOYAGE

A musical cruise along three European waterways

Another successful cruise, enhanced by glorious late-autumn weather. The sun shone most of the time (the image on this page has not been enhanced!), and nowhere was this more welcome than on the afternoon spent cruising through the Middle Rhine Valley. Brian Kay kindly agreed to alter our rehearsal schedule to allow everyone to experience the ‘romantic Rhine’ which inspired poets, painters and composers like Byron, Heine, Schlegel, Turner and Wagner, and the views from the upper deck of the Amadeus Silver II were unimpeded as castle after castle appeared around each bend of the river. A few malfunctioning lock mechanisms caused changes to the published schedule during the week, but the crew took every setback in their stride, and there always seemed to be delicious food on hand to compensate.

Other highlights were the visit to Siegfrieds Mechanisches Musikkabinett in Rüdesheim with its amazing collection of mechanical musical devices; a highly entertaining on-board illustrated lecture from Chris de Souza entitled ‘1685 and All That’; and a wine-tasting in Würzburg where we not only tasted the wine but also tested the generous cellar acoustic with a spontaneous performance of the Hallelujah Chorus.

The acoustic in the ship’s lounge where we held our rehearsals was leaden by comparison and caused a few problems. But these were largely overcome at our end-of-cruise performance venue, the spacious and vocally rewarding Grote Kerk in Edam, just a few kilometres from Amsterdam where the audience heard pieces by the German and Austrian composers we had been studying during the week. The church’s organist, Frans Koning, wrote to say ‘We had good feelings about the concert of last Thursday. The audience was very positive! All in all a successful concert and I assume a fruitful trip for the members of the choir.’

Our cruise pianist was Maria Marchant who, in addition to her accompanist duties, gave us a mid-week recital and contributed solo pieces to the concert. She was also spotted enjoying impromptu piano duet sessions afloat with cruise participant Alice Dallosso, another professional musician.

Feedback from our singers:
‘Such a wonderful week spent with very special people!’ Anne K.
‘What a fantastic week we have had on the Rhine cruise. Great weather/boat/company and finishing with a great concert in Edam. Thank you to all the staff of TRBC and Specialised Travel.’ Liz S.
‘What I loved about the Rhine trip was getting out again and being able to take pleasure in travelling and singing – and meeting so many like-minded people!’ Alice D.

Click here to view photographs from this cruise 

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