Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Hey everyone! I finally figured out how to make this work! This post will probably be long seeing as how I have to cover over a week of material. I am bad at elaborating though so maybe you will find this short. So my take on Salzburg is that it is an absolutely adorable town. I love all the old architecture in the center, and how many cute shops there are. As I'm sure you all know by now, I also loved the shopping there. It is absolutely exquisite. I could shop there all day every day. I was surprised that I was able to find food that I liked so frequently in Salzburg. I know how picky of an eater I am and everyone told me that I wouldn't find much I like in Europe, food wise. Now to the musical culture of Salzburg. I am absolutely blown away at the fact that I have been to places that Mozart composed, ate, performed, and lived. It is such an honor to have gone to those places and I will cherish those memories forever. Of course I plan on returning to the places we go on this trip, but that will likely be many years down the road. I can't pick a favorite thing we did in Salzburg bacause it was all very enjoyable. I really want to go to the Mozarteum for grad school, but I know how extremely impossible it would be for me to get in. One still can dream though. I also really enjoyed the museum in Mozart's Geburtshaus. When I saw that violin I went bezerk. I was looking at a violin from Mozart's time, and it was but inches away! The dinner we went to with the Mozart Quintet was awesome. Not only did I like the food, but the performance was amazing. The quintet was so in sync with each other it was crazy. It is like they were communicating telepathically or something. Also their technique was astounding. The first violinist made everything look and sound so effortless. I have played quite a few of the pieces they played, and they are not too easy. Mozart pieces are deceivingly tricky and they rocked it! I had never been to a ballet before we saw Swan Lake. I thought the dancers did a fabulous job. I could never do that in a million years. I really love the music of Swan Lake, so it was slightly disappointing that there was not a real orchestra playing the music, but none the less the performance was great. Salzburg is a great little place and I had fun just walking around and seeing all the pretty buildings and churches.

When we first arrived in Vienna I did not think I was going to like it as much as Salzburg. That has changed dramatically since. I guess it is because out hostel is in a quiet, dirty part of the city. Once we went on the walking tour I instantly fell in love with Vienna. It is so interesting how much the architecture differs not only in different sections of the city, but also from building to building. I can say with certainty that so far my favorite part of Vienna, and this trip so far, was seeing the Vienna Philharmonic perform in Vienna in the Musikverein! Oh my goodness gracious that was beyond amazing. It has been my dream for years to see them perform, and I have loved that dream. Not only that, but the repertoire was phenomenal. To hear Beethoven's seventh, Stravinsy's Firebird suite, and Bolero in the same concert, performed with precision by one of the best orchestras on the world, is beyond words. The second movement of Beethoven's seventh is to die for as it is. When it was performed on Saturday I thought I had died and gone to heaven. The way in which that orchestra communicated blew my mind. They were so good that the conductor was hardly needed except for beginning and ending the pieces. I so wish that I could be in an ensemble that good. Hopefully one day I will be able to conduct an orchestra like that. As I was watching the perfomance I thought of how it would be to conduct such an orchestra, and I knew then for sure that that is what I want to do. I especially enjoyed how every single string player had the same bow stroke, bow speed, and bow placement. The only mistake I saw was that the fifth stand inside player of the first violin section started his bow the wrong way once. I would have had my bow going every which way, and would have missed plenty of notes. Everyone in that orchestra is amazing and I love them. I am not the most religious person, but I can say that I found the Sunday mass to be very powerful. The Vienna Boys Choir is outstanding and they all are so adorable. I want to adopt them all! Even though the opera on Sunday evening was long, it was great. I have never seen an opera before besides Die Zauber Flote at PLU. The singers all had amazing, powerful voices, an the music was lovely. The plot was pretty messed up, but hey, that's opera. I thoroughly enjoyed the performance of Der Rosen Kavalier and I also enjoyed wearing my dress. I am not a huge fan of horses, but it was a nice experience to see the Spanish horses training session. Now about the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. I absolutely loved their energy. Coming from Tacoma Youth Symphony I know how fun it I to play with such excitement. They all seemed to be enjoying themselves. I also got very excited when I realized that the concert consisted of  both Beethoven's seventh and the Egmont overture, which by the way they performed fantastically. I'd never heard the Egmont live before, and now it really is one of my favorites. Even though I am not a fan of twentieth century music, I respected the Guber piece. It must be an honor for him to have his piece performe in the Musicverein. Over all the performance was great. When I heard that we were going to the cemetery with many famous composers I was very excited, but I didn't expect to enjoy it so much. It was really awesome. I know this will sound weird, but I have pictures of me with Beethoven and Mozart's graves where there bodies are. Don't jugde. The accustics on the done were awesome! I love how we were able to start singing Silent Night with harmony. We are pretty amazing. I love you all, you guys are great!

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