Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I died in Salzburg and woke up in Vienna

     Let's just say that Salzburg didn't steal my heart....it was cool an' all, but there was something about it that just didn't feel complete. While the locals' biggest business seems to be in tourism, no one actually seemed to like tourists....
     And then we came to Vienna.
And suddenly.
No one smirked as we asked if they speak English.
No one gave us sideways glances on the U-Bahn.
There was so much to do.
There was so much to see.

     Maybe this all came together because, since they day we got here, we've all been floating on air. We can thank the Vienna Philharmonic for that...wowing us with incredible performances of Beethoven's 7th, Stravinsky's Firebird Suite, and Ravel's Bolero. We really couldn't function after that concert....the precision and power of the Philharmonic just left us all dumbfounded....and giddy....and teary eyed.
Musikverein, home of the Vienna Philharmonic

Interior ceiling of the Gross Saal (Large Hall)
     Thus begun a whirlwind classical music binge that has left our hearts and minds wedged somewhere in the standing room section of the Musikverein....
Vienna Staatsoper for "Der Rosenkavalier"
     "Der Rosenkavalier" was a bit of a heavy-start to the Opera genre. Strauss' style is definitely an easy one to follow, and left most of us with leaded eyelids...
     There was a performance of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra...a rather rambunctious group of musicians on stage with quite a bombastic conductor, seeing the riders train the famous White Stallions at the Spanish Riding school (which is the HOLY GRAIL of horsemanship, I might add...), and sordid history of the Hapsburg Empire.
     I don't think it's quite sunk in yet....here we are, seeing things most people only dream of experiencing. We've seen performances of world famous groups (Okay, let's not forget about the Vienna Boys Choir in the Hofburgkapelle for Sunday morning mass) in world famous buildings. I don't know what to do with myself other than try to just take it all in.

Now for some pictures of the awesomely amazing architecture! Ciao.

Playbills at the Musikverein

Awesome detail on the side of Imperial Palace

Gargoyles through a window at St. Stephen's

The Spire at St. Stephen's

Interior Basilica at the Zentralfriedhofkirche

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