One of my favourite things to do before travelling, particularly in Europe, is to set up a playlist that is relevant to where I am going. This playlist is often largely made up of classical music works, with a few other things thrown in. Listening to certain pieces of music/songs in the area where they were written/where the inspiration came from is something absolutely magical, and adds something to the experience. Some of my best memories include moments where I was just taking it all in, with a soundtrack accompanying! Here are a few of my must-dos/have-dones:
1. Walking through the Viennese woods, listening to Strauss waltzes.
1a. Sitting by the Donau/Danube river, listening to that one Strauss waltz (The Blue Danube).
1b. Seeking the Schubert spots in Vienna - some of the church organs were once played by him!
2. Finding the hidden spots in Paris where certain artists lived and certain works were composed, such as Rue Cardinet, where Debussy's "Pelléas et Mélisande" was composed, or the birthplace of Maria Malibran at Rue de Condé.
3. Jamming Paganini Caprices while exploring Genoa.
4. All of the Mozart, everywhere, in Salzburg.
5. Listening to Bach cantatas in the churches of Leipzig.
5a. Listening to the Brandenburg Concerti in the region of Brandenburg (where Berlin is) - I did this at the Brandenburg Gate.
6. Conjuring Carmen in the streets and by the walls (ramparts) of Seville.
7. Following the Moldau in Prague.
7a. Dvořák in Prague.
8. Wagner in Bayreuth - but why else would you be there, right?
9. Soaring voices singing Puccini in Lucca.
10. Messiaen, Jewish composers, and other composers who were imprisoned at the concentration camps and memorials.
Some of the above I have done, some are still on my list. Where do you want to go, and what is on your playlist?