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Indie Scene on The Big Screen

Indie Scene on The Big Screen

Vienna may be a city of music; but on the alternative scene, many non-German speakers may find it difficult to dig deep and find some true Viennese local bands. Some may just play it by ear and pick any locals they spot randomly along the way. But the annual festival of music videos, Screen Sessions, […]

Pat Martino: Born-Again Jazz

Pat Martino: Born-Again Jazz

American writer F. Scott Fitzgerald said “There are no second acts in American life.” Too bad he couldn’t meet American jazz guitarist Pat Martino for he might have changed his mind: not only did Martino have a second act, he also got a second chance at life. How many musicians do you know that have […]

The Lady & the Sax

The Lady & the Sax

Jazzland, Saturday Mar. 14 was a night for the cognoscenti. Every one of the player’s club owner Axel Melhardt had brought together was a draw for those in the know, names trailing glittering resumes of awards and acclaim. On tenor sax, Herwig Gradischnig the Pied Piper of the Vienna Art Orchestra and 2004 winner of […]

Theater in Review

Theater in Review

I Do, I Do In an era where half of all marriages end in divorce, few people give credence to the “happily ever after.” Which can make it a risky choice to stage the 1960s musical I Do, I Do on a contemporary Vienna stage. And at the English Theater, no less.  (“It’s not really […]

Hausmusik 6., Theobaldgasse 7

Hausmusik 6., Theobaldgasse 7

You could say that their house is haunted: For the musical spirits of Gustav Mahler, Giacomo Puccini, Erich Wolfgang Korngold and Bruno Walter all hover in the hallways of Theobaldgasse 7, in Vienna’s 6th District, a lovely 1902 secessionist building off Gumpendorferstrasse. Just a short walk from the Vienna State Opera, it had been home […]

The Sound of Color

The Sound of Color

We don’t usually expect the avant garde in the jewel-like Brahms-Saal of the Musikverein, that most perfect of all chamber music concert halls. It’s a small treasure of a room; acoustically vibrant, it also radiates serenity and calm. The sound is due to some perfect combination of its width, length and height, and a wooden […]

Mucha’s Women

Mucha’s Women

Delicate figures of pale women with knee-long waves of silky hair vaguely supported by a large flower, frail hands, large piercing eyes and seducing forms: This is the Mucha woman, an image of romantic perfection and part of the enduring mystique of fin-de-siècle Vienna that is the subject of a major exhibition at the Lower […]

Händel’s Partenope

Händel’s Partenope

Slowly, revivals of lesser-known works by George Frideric Handel are beginning to reappear on concert schedules, helped by 2009 being a “Handel year” (250 years after his death). Still, these are rare enough, so we must applaud the Theater an der Wien for offering us two obscure baroque riches in one season (in addition to […]

Being British Part II

I’m not a regular at my local sauna; I don’t have my own peg and I’m not on a first-name basis with the attendant, although it’s probably Martin.  Still, I have from time to time ventured through the steamed glass door to the horrors that lie beyond. In an Austrian sauna there are pine benches […]

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