Gijs Kramers writes: Right, we just got to Bupapest. Glorious day here, nice and crisp which is just what we need since this moring the alarm clock went off at 5.15. Ouch! Yesterday we rehearsed Beethoven's Eroica symphony and Pohjola's Daughter, a great piece by Sibelius about a Finnish guy who has to fulfill an arduous assignment in order to get closer to an unbelievably beautiful woman, but failes miserably to do so. All this results in a stunning piece with a truly spectacular passage near the end where pounding brass cords are accompanied by a thumping groove by the strings, all on upbows so we all look like we're digging a hole in the garden.

Now we're on the way to the hotel, then to the hall, to rehearse for tonight's concert, where we will play Sibelius and Beethoven 7. We got very good reviews of the Beethoven after last Thursday's concert in the RFH, so looking forward to it again, especially to the finale, labelled by Esa-Pekka as a "Napoleonic disco"! But what I'm probably looking forward to most is the clapping tradition of the Hungarian audience, which is like nowhere else in the world. We'll let you know more details in the next blog!