Home » Articles by Duncan J. D. Smith (Page 4)

Antonio Vivaldi’s Bones

One of the most recognisable pieces of classical music is the first concerto of Antonio Vivaldi’s Four Seasons (Le quattro stagioni) for solo violin and orchestra, evoking the unfettered joys of spring. Popular and influential during his lifetime, Vivaldi ranks today among the most widely recorded of Baroque composers. It therefore seems strange that few […]

Hard As Nails

A longstanding Viennese tradition concerns the tree trunk preserved outside Stock-im-Eisen Platz 3. The name of the city centre square – and the lively figures over the building’s doorway – recall how Vienna’s journeyman locksmiths would hammer nails into the trunk for good luck. Soon encrusted with nails it became a venerable symbol of the […]

Vienna for Valentines

February 14th is St. Valentine’s Day, when lonely hearts woo would-be lovers with anonymous missives. All very odd given that the saint in question was an obscure third century Roman poet, with little proven interest in targetting Cupid’s bow. That said there is little doubt regarding Vienna’s part in the most romantic day of the year: […]

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