Belgium/Netherlands/Germany Tour 2018 (2)

Saturday 28 April 2018

Our next gig was a private concert in the house of our friends Falk and Silvia in Der Alte Brauerei (old brewery) in Kornelimünster, near Aachen, Germany.

 Outside the old brewery, venue for our house concert.

It was a real pleasure to return here and play for the invited audience, many of whom were also old friends (and even relatives) of Reidun’s. The performance space was suitable for playing without amplification, and it was what promoters call an “intimate concert” – very pleasant for us, and the audience were very appreciative. Falk joined us on his bracciolino d’amore (a 5-string violin with sympathetic strings) for a set of reels, and Silvia sang “My Lagan Love”. To round off the night, there was a communal supper with some of the visitors, and a small post-concert session with two local fiddlers.

Sunday 29 April

The following day we set off back to Belgium, to attend a concert series in the baroque Chȃteau de Seneffe, near Charleroi (south-west of Brussels). After an eventful history, the chȃteau is now owned by the Belgian state, and the buildings and landscape have been largely restored.

Main approach to the chȃteau (photo by

The first concert was held at 2:30pm in the Orangerie, where Ensemble Kheops played a Brahms trio for piano, violin and horn, and a Dohnanyi sextet for the same instruments plus viola, cello and clarinet.

Orangerie (photo by

The second concert – and the main reason for our visit – was by the harp duet of Aurore Grailet and Reidun’s former teacher Sophie Hallynck. Playing in the beautiful Petit Théȃtre, they presented a delightfully varied programme ranging from baroque to contemporary. From our seats in the front row we had an excellent view of the harp technique (including some intricate pedal work). An excellent concert.

Petit Théȃtre (photo by

The final concert was back in the Orangerie, interpretations of Astor Piazzola by Ensemble Astoria. Unfortunately we heard only the opening numbers, as we needed to get on the road to Liège and our base for the following week.

It was in Liège that we achieved our ambition to eat some good Belgian frites (chips) with mayonnaise!

Belgian chips with mayo, in the fresh air!