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Cathedral Curiosities History Lines St. Stephen’s

Visitors seem well-versed in the lore of the Stephansdom. They know roughly where and what it is: a 900-year-old cathedral in the city centre dedicated to the first Christian martyr. But all too many make a beeline for the interior. In so doing they miss some of the building’s more curious features.   A pagan […]

Bringing Salieri home

Legnago, in northern Italy, has requested the return of composer Antonio Salieri’s remains to his hometown, from his grave at Vienna’s Zentralfriedhof. The group “Legnago for Salieri”, comprised of the town’s citizens, has requested to recover the remains from the city of Vienna. The last known attempt to bring Salieri back to northern Italy was […]

Looking at Mozart

Looking at Mozart

After years of dispute over authenticity regarding which portraits actually depict the musical prodigy, researchers are confident of the authenticy of the 12 displayed at the exhibition Mozart Pictures-Pictures of Mozart that runs through 14 April at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. The images add much-needed historical accuracy to the popular likeness that adorns everything from […]

Manfred Honeck’s Requiem

Manfred Honeck’s Requiem

The opening concert of the Pittsburgh Symphony Vienna tour fell on Thursday, 1 November, Allerheiligen, the Feast of All Saints. This a special occasion here, more than in the English-speaking world, when tradition escorts the Viennese to the graves of their ancestors, when the ageless sense of continuity is particularly strong. It’s a sense that […]

Rossini, Mozart and Britten

One of the great attractions of opera is its diversity. Operas can be very long, seriously heavy – even dunkel – and challenging in various ways, but at the other end of the spectrum they can be bright, breezy, cheerful and comical entertainment, and no less significant for being so. The last performance this season […]

Getting Who You Deserve

We know that Mozart was a genius, but it is good to be reminded of it once in awhile. He wrote La finta giardiniera (The false garden maid) shortly before his nineteenth birthday, at a time when his father realized it was about time his son started doing something serious. The cute child prodigy was […]

Magnificent Mitridate

Magnificent Mitridate

A tyrant king returns from the battlefield to his destroyed palace, defeated but not bowed. Full of treacherous wiles and murderous intentions, he is still determined to fight again and conquer. Here is manic self-confidence, coupled in the dark depths of the soul, in the constant fear of betrayal for having chosen the path of […]

W. A. Mozart: A Know-It-All at 13

W. A. Mozart: A Know-It-All at 13

Does a thirty-year old compose with more technique than a thirteen-year-old? Or a thirteen-year-old more intuitively? We had opportunity to entertain such questions at the Theater an der Wien when it followed its July production of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s La Finta Semplice (1769) with an August one of his Le Nozze di Figaro (1786). In […]

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