Friday, January 18, 2013

Last Days in Vienna!

So! We got to hang out with Mozart and Beethoven and watch them decompose, it was a lovely sight. On a more serious side, it really was. It was snowing, as usual, and the snow with the graveyard looked really beautiful. It was really cool to be able to do that, to go stand next to Beethoven. I found in interesting how different the memorial sights are in Austria compared to America – they go big or not at all. It is quite wonderful. I LOVED the church that we found, I am so glad we saw this dome shaped building and were like “let’s go in” because the acoustics in there were amazing! Then we got to use our incredible knowledge of music theory to sing chords that continuously echoed throughout the church. We must have spent a good half an hour playing with the acoustics!

That evening we attended Barber of Seville at the Volksoper . I really enjoyed it. There were a few things that I was confused by like the prostitutes but overall it was wonderful! Rosina’s voice was so beautiful! I wish there could have been subtitles so I could have better understood what was happening throughout the play. The music was fantastic I really enjoyed the performance.

We also got to explore the Haus der Musik. I absolutely loved this museum! I spent a large amount of time there. The first floor consisted mostly of artifacts, like different composer’s batons, the style of hat they wore, samples of music they wrote. The first floor also had an interesting game. You would role the dice and whatever number it landed on a certain melody was written down, then “player two” would roll the dice and it would write out the harmony part based on numbers. The next floor was all about sound, I loved getting to learn about how sound works and why it reacts the way it does, and walking into the second floor room where the entire purpose was to show how light and sounds can make you relive your experience in the womb…that was pretty intense. The rest of the floor was fairly normal just playing around with sound and figuring out how it works. Then there was the floor with the different composers and the audio tour – learning about their life. I really enjoyed that part of the museum, learning about the composers, when and why they did what they did. It’s all very fascinating.

The Szymanowski Quartet performance in the Mozartsall of the Konzerthaus was such an interesting concert. I loved the Haydn piece that they played it was done very well and the third piece was so….unique. I would love to know more about it but it was very cool for them that the composer was there to listen to it and everything but the piece was so modern and so different, it involved techniques that I’ve never really seen been used before. The first violinist was amazing to watch, he controlled thr group’s phrases and entrances by inhaling and he appeared to have this strong desire to take his violin and just start dancing around the hall. The second violinist held so much passion in his playing, every note he played had a burning of passion in his eyes. You can tell he loves his instrument and loves what he does. I felt sorry for the viola player, he used a scarf but I imagine that rash under his chin really was bothering him. He was fascinating to watch because he really kept the group together. He didn’t move much, only when the music  “needed” it or when encouraged by another player. He seemed to be the one keeping the group together,  he spent so much time looking at everything besides his music, not that he needed to look at his music I wouldn’t be surprised if the piece they were playing wasn’t even on the stand they all seemed to have the pieces memorized anyhow. The cello player was the one with the shedding bow, but he kept at it although he was quickly losing his bow. All of his movements were very meaningful and he seemed to be the dynamic controller. First he’d push the dynamic and then the ensemble would. The ensemble was ver good at following each other they worked very well together. 

I also attended the St. Stephen’s Cathedral. That was an amazing experience. Miki and I entered the cathedral and looked around, took pictures. We climbed the 343 steps up to the top to find the breathtaking view of the giant city (and not just because we’ climbed so many narrow spiral stairs) that is Vienna and then when we came back down I decided I wanted to go back inside. As soon as we stepped through the doors lights were shining from the top of the organ and the entire cathedral was glowing with purple, blue, orange, green and every color in between. 

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