Zwack Museum and Visitor Center – Barefoot Musicians – 2016.

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New classical music salon at the Zwack Museum and Visitor Center

District, IX., 1. Dandár Street – Budapest

The Zwack Museum and Visitor Center launched its first music program in September, 2014., within the series of four quarters. Each season a different musical is taken the audience to the journey of classical music. The aim of these joint concerts encounters between different branches of life.

Before the “Barefoot Musicians” concert, the visitors were called on a tour down the basement where massive and large in size of wooden barrels were standing through the corridors. Was told that most of the barrels were taken away by the russians during WW2 for the sake to build bridges, but before taken the barrels into pieces they drank all the unicum.  The only wooden barrel remained before drinking all the unicum was the one with the iron plate indicating 1937 … it was the biggest in size and extremely heavy for them to take apart.

At the Unicum tour the visitors received from the tap  tastes of Unicum. The 42% alcohol had its results … getting into the mood by the time walking up the stairs to the concert hall for the start of the Barefoot Musicians concert.

The Baroque couplet title itself refers to the strong contrast that characterizes the structure to the music concert. The most beautiful Baroque concert arias and chansons of the last century Hungarian world and of sound in the world although very different. They share the extreme sentimental reflection.

Arriving  on April, 29., an hour before the concert, visitors could take part in a guided tour into the Unicum Heart, the distillery and cellars of old Unicum.

The „Barefoot Musicians” event contained popular baroque arias, chansons and couplet.  On stage were: Mariann Falusi – jazz singer – actress, Péter Sarik – piano, Eva Bodrogi – singer, Katalin Koltai – lute and Sándor Szászvárosi – baroque cello, viola da gamba.

Additional concerts to come in the series of Barefoot Musicians  will be including János  Lackfi – poet, László Fekete – Jewish cantor, Elsa Valle – jazz singer, Kornél Horváth – jazz percussion  on stage at the Zwack Unicum Museum’s Hall.

The Zwack Unicum Heritage Visitors Center in a nutshell  of its website … “The Museum follows the story of a drink and a family that spans six generations and goes hand in hand with the history of Hungary. The Zwack Museum covers the time of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, followed by World War One and the carefree boom years between the wars when the Duke of Windsor was a regular visitor to Hungary and a fervent fan of the Zwack Barack Pálinka, or apricot eau de vie. Then came the devastating bombardments over Budapest when the factory was completely destroyed, the Jewish persecutions and the equally devastating “liberation” by the Russian army, the Communist take-over of all private property, the grey years of the Communist regime.
The Museum follows the Zwack family into emigration, via Ellis Island, and their life in New York and Chicago which coincided with the Hungarian Revolution in 1956. The family returns to Hungary in time for the fall of the Berlin Wall and the gradual return of the country and the factory to present day prosperity and freedom, while the visit ends with a tongue-in-cheek vision of Unicum in the future.
The Museum also houses a collection of 15.000 miniature bottles which may well be the largest in Europe. (Credit for a considerable part of the artifacts and the entire collection of miniature bottles should go to Emil Gerencser, a one time director of the factory.)
A visit to the Museum begins with a twenty-minute film in English, German, Italian or Hungarian and ends with a tasting of Unicum and other Zwack products in the turn of the century tasting room.”

Update and snaps by Aggie Reiter

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