Tuesday 3/13 Vienna

Off to a better start this morning. Funny, the hotel owner had recommended that I walk to dinner last night, based on the address I told her, but this morning when I told her where Iíd walked she seemed really surprised and said "oh my, thatís really far to walk!" Probably something got lost in translation the first time around.

Anyway, got off to a faster start today. Walked up to the Statsoper (State Opera House) to see if I could get in on a tour; not this morning, but now I have a better idea of the schedule there. Iím hoping to get to an opera there at some point, as well. So I went back to Karlskirche, since I had enough time to see it thoroughly. Such an imposing large Baroque church from the outside, and quite lovely inside, though a lot is obscured by scaffolding (what else! Itís Europe). They are in the process of restoring the ceiling frescoes; the interesting bit is that they have a lift (elevator) installed right in the sanctuary, and tourists are allowed to go up and see the frescoes up close Ė also take 110 stairs up to view the city from the lantern at the top of the dome. Personally, I find the frescoes more attractive from ground level, but it was an unusual opportunity. The view from the lantern takes in most of the city Ė too bad the glass was cloudy and covered with Ĺ inch chainlink fencing. But of course, if I hadnít gone up Iíd have always wondered.

Beautiful marble (and faux marble as well) throughout the church, lots of lovely oil paintings as well as all the frescoes, a wonderful church.

I didnít have a lot of time left, so I went over to the Secession, an early Art Nouveau building with design elements by Klimmt. Also something called the Beethovenfriesse by Klimmt, which I must say turned me off completely. Inspired by Beethovenís 9th, but mostly dealing with ideas of despair and degradation before the joy is discovered. Just not my cup of tea at all. Oh, well.

Then back to the pension (small hotel) to move to my apartment, which is now available. The hotel owner drove me over with my luggage, which was very helpful. Nice apartment, just a studio but quite spacious and nice. Everything is supplied here, even washing machine and stereo; also internet connection. And the location is very good, just two blocks from Karlskirche so Iím close to the U-bahn (underground) and the city center.

In the afternoon I went out to Nancy Van de Vateís apartment to spend some time with her on her pieces that Iím performing. As always, a delight to spend time with her, and to get to discuss her pieces with her. Since Iím recording them later this spring for commercial release, I do want to be sure I get them the way she wants them! Today we just went over the 3 Iím performing here Ė later in the trip weíll talk about the other 9 pieces. Then I spent an hour or so practicing on her piano, we had a late lunch (early dinner?) nearby. And then I had to rush back to my place, grab my performance clothes, and meet Michelle to go to our concert venue.

This evening we did a concert for the Ė how to translate Ė Austrian Society of Composers I guess is close enough. A really nice Bosendorfer grand piano, a wonderful, intelligent, interested audience, a really delightful evening. The performances went very well, and I think Michelle and I were both happy with the way things went. Afterwards there was a reception with champagne and snacks Ė one of the audience members turned out to be a clarinetist with whom I had played chamber music at University of Southern California when I was an undergrad! I havenít seen Damien since then Ė at the time he was a grad student, already married with children and a dual citizen of US and Austria. He came back to Austria after his degree and has been here ever since. That was quite a surprise to encounter him.

After the reception, the head of the Society, his wife, and a couple of others joined us for a late meal. We had a fun time talking and eating until nearly midnight, finally broke up and headed home. A busy day, but fun.

Tomorrow (Wednesday) is a day off at last! Iíll be meeting up with Michelle and Susie in the afternoon, but they want to just relax in the morning so I'll do some things on my own. Should be a good day.

Love to all,


Last updated 12/07. Copyright 2007 by Richard C. Morenus. Questions? Send email to richard.c@morenus.org