Friday, 7 March 2008

Vienna Day 4: Classical Concert in Palace

A classical Viennese concert in Schloss Schonbrunne (Schonbrunne Palace) is fit for the Empress. In this room, the Palace Ensemble performs, consisting of 5 musicians ((piano, violins and flute), 2 opera singers and 2 ballet dancers.

Mozart and Strauss’s pieces were played, including their symphonies and operas. I have to agree that Italian is the most beautiful opera language because those sung in German were just, how should I say it…. a little less than perfect. No wonder Mozart insisted on producing his operas in Italian (though himself German speaking), as he thought they were superior.

While Mozart’s compositions are majestic and grand, Strauss’s waltzes, I thought, are absolutely romantic.

“If music be the food of love, play on.”

When Shakespeare wrote this opening line for “Twelfth Night”, I wonder if he had heard Johann Strauss (of course you know this is impossible, Shakespeare lived in the 16th century, long before Strauss). As the ensemble played, it felt like being in love, like little flowers blossom in spring and birds chirping in the morning sunlight…. Life is beautiful, when you waltz.

I am no big fan of classical music but it was a great evening. Sitting inside a palace built in the 17th century, listening to music from great composers from almost 200 years ago, it has all the right elements for an evening worth remembering.

Vienna is all about palaces and music, exactly the way I have seen from TV.

Next pit-stop, Danube lake!

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