Monday, October 17, 2005

Vienna: no notes, mostly comments

It seems that at some point in their lives, all major greats from the file of classical composers lived in Vienna: Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Strauss, Mahler, and Bruckner – they all spent significant amounts of time here. And aside from Mahler, I love them all.

Did I hear a single strain of music during the three days I was here?

Only from street kids trying to pick up a Euro. Oh, and in the Opera gift shop where I was purchasing, somewhat stupidly, a magnet with a picture of a slice of Sachertorte for my fridge.

I hadn’t planned on attending formal concerts, but I expected to encounter music informally, everywhere – in cafés, out of church doors, in hotel lobbies. None of it – I don't think I heard a single note.

Vienna seems to me to be a quiet kind of city. Maybe people would think it offensive to hear classics as background stuff.

Most certainly, they treat concert performances seriously: I have watched them pour out of the great theater halls late at night after a performance and they all were dressed as if there’s no tomorrow, far more formally than most attending a concert in New York, for example.

But no, I have no post nor photo illustrating my musical encounters. There were none. Amazing, isn’t it?

My nod toward the greats? Okay, here’s Mozart himself playing in the park. Oh, and a dude fishing along the canal, which so many assume is the Danube, because, you know, Vienna and the Danube are supposed to be like pb&j. Follow the canal long enough, and you get to the jam. And to the hills, alive, though not with music. That would be in Salzburg. Next time. Today I’m flying back to the States.

Vienna Oct 05 184

Vienna Oct 05 187

P.S. My parting shots though have to be from the last great moments of food and the full moon that followed us around late at night. Weird, because quite coincidentally, in the days we were here, we depleted the supply of the young white, Weissburgunder: Der Vollmondwein at our favorite eating spot (Wiebels Wirtshaus). Translation of the label: Vienna full moon.

Vienna Oct 05 188
avocado mousse with Austrian goat cheese and baby shrimp

Vienna Oct 05 189
venison over chanterelles with potato cakes

Vienna Oct 05 194
Viennese nights with Der Vollmondwein

Vienna Oct 05 195b
chasing the moon

Vienna Oct 05 197b
chasing the moon, 2

Vienna Oct 05 200
chasing the Sachertorte (at the Café Sacher)

Here’s to that final slice of Sachertorte. And to the little one back home.