The Drawing-Room at the Hofgarten
In October 2003 I tell my mother – Munich-bred with a deep love of theatre and music – that Charles Schumann is giving up his bar in the Maximillianstrasse, so as to open Schumann’s at the Hofgarten, which has long been his deepest wish. With eyes beaming, she talks about the old Hofgarten before the war, the elegant cafés and restaurants, the salon orchestra with their captivating walking violinists (Stehgeiger), about Munich’s refined high society, the long dinner-tables with tablecloths down to the floor, row after row in different colours, about well-dressed gentlemen and ladies with eye-catching hats. Taking a photo album from those times, she pulls out a picture of herself, where she is wearing a devastatingly beautiful hat with a long, towering feather. Back then, as a very young girl, she goes to the Hofgarten with her father to listen to the salon music: a scenario almost like the Piazza San Marco in Venice, with music coming out of open windows, through the sweeping arcades into the beautiful ‘inner courtyard’. And if they strike up with Boulanger’s “Krach-Czardas”, she sits no longer, but dances into the night. These nostalgia-laden memories awaken a desire in me to bring back the salon music, to hear the lead violinist again, to be able once more to dance into the night.