I have to make one thing clear from the outset: I don’t actually like Schlager songs. OK, if they play one or two at a party, I might sway along or sing with the chorus, just for fun with everyone else, as the songs are mostly sung in a very good mood. Going to a Schlager concert, though... But we all know that you should never say never, and so it was that my mother and my aunt persuaded me to go with them to an event with the rather clichéd name of “Schlager im Schnee [Schlager songs in the snow]”.
A different type of day out in the snow!
But because the “Schlager im Schnee” is being held in a really cool place, up in Reinswald at the Bergrestaurant Pichlberg, I decide to go along to the event. And so my mother, aunt and I all set off late one morning for the Sarntal Valley, namely the Reinswald ski area which, with a maximum altitude of 2,400 metres, is a popular destination for sun-loving skiers and toboggan fans alike.
But today we fit into neither category, as my companions are not interested in such activities. “Today we just want to see Jürgen”, they say, “and a walk in the snow might be nice. But we wouldn’t be able to keep up with you on the slopes!”
Great – a day in a ski area without skiing. Oh well, a walk is also a nice thing to do. But only later in the day, because first we have to take the lift up. And, without a day’s ski pass, there is no admission to the concert! There is a mad scrum of people and I quickly realise that we are not the only ones who on this day “want to see Jürgen” (also known as the “King of Majorca”). The anticipation is huge among (almost) all those present and so is the rush for the lift. We make it into one of the cabins and are whisked up to the top station against a backdrop of blue sky, marked with the occasional cloud.
Schlager singer vs. the lure of spare ribs
I have often been to Reinswald, but it has never been as busy as this. As we arrive a bit late and it is almost noon, we’ve already missed the first act. But that doesn’t matter, as Mum and my aunt think that the three young guys who are rocking the stage are very cool and they plunge into the crowd. These lads are the “Grubertaler”, my aunt happily says, and I notice that I need something to eat and maybe a glass of wine to get me into the right mood. ;)
A delicious lunch in the restaurant is not such a bad idea. We even snag a table in next to no time – seeing the number of people, the organisation of the event is fantastic – and order two schnitzels and spare ribs, then drink a toast to the day with a glass of white wine. Perfect, now I can get into the swing of it too – even if we have unfortunately missed Jason, the local singer from the Sarntal Valley.
Cool voices, cool vibes
As we go outside once more, my full attention is caught by a cool, smoky voice: Alexander Eder, a one-time participant on ‘The Voice of Germany’, is entertaining the crowd with some not-so-Schlager-ish songs. Now that I like too. We find a place further back up the hill where we have a perfect view of the stage and the mountains beyond. From here I can see just how cool the stage is where the young singer is giving his all. The stage is a giant ice sculpture! Maybe it’s not so bad here after all, I smile to myself as I appreciate the views and the poppy songs more and more.
… Yes, it’s Jürgen!
Contrary to expectations, the absolute star of the event is making his appearance next, rather than right at the end. And indeed here he is: “Look, Sabine, here he comes, yes, it’s Jürgen!”, shrieks my mother like a little girl and shakes me by the shoulder. The next half-hour is just one top Schlager after another and I know almost every song, as Jürgen Drews is famous as a top party hit. And when he sings “Ein Bett im Kornfeld [A bed in the cornfield]”, I also become a bit of a child once more, because I really loved this song when I was a kid.
As the main act finishes and sets off back to Düsseldorf, my Mum and my aunt think that that was it for today. But then, when Melissa Naschenweng “whirls” on the stage with her accordion, the whole audience get going – even more than with Jürgen. I have to admit it: I neither knew the singer, nor any of her songs, nor is it my taste in music – these are real Schlager – but the mood is tremendous. The crowd croon along, the sky turns bluer and bluer and the atmosphere, with the snow, superb views and fun music, is absolutely contagious! And then when I see how my mum and my aunt are now really in the party mood, the day has clearly been a major success. :)
Something for the ears, something for the eyes!
Three catchy tunes, two beers and one excited crowd later and we girls are on the way back to the valley station – on foot, as we agreed. The late afternoon still has a sun-and-clouds display waiting for us, so less than an hour later we get back to the car park in a really good mood, with lovely photos.
“Shall we come back again next year, Sabine – what do you think?”, asks Mum on the way home. “Of course we’re coming back!” answers my aunt before I can say a word. I smile out of the car window. Why not, I think. It wasn’t so bad after all.
With heartfelt greetings,