No, I haven’t dropped off the face of the earth, I promise! so sorry for the dearth of posts in the last few weeks! Just a quick update, as I have six days left in Vienna (!!!!) and about seven million things to do before I leave.
- We were in Budapest this weekend, Friday-Saturday – an awesome lecture on Hungarian music, Liszt, Bartok, and Kodaly; dinner with a “traditional” Hungarian band that played songs from My Fair Lady;
- Last concert at the Musikverein last night; Richard and I came back early from Budapest because we were the only two crazies who wanted to see it – Leif Ove Andsnes playing the Brahms piano concerto and Dvorak 7, which is one of my favorite pieces of all time. Since it was my last time at the Musikverein, after about 20 concerts there, we celebrated in style with champagne and chocolate-dipped strawberries during intermission.
- A visit to the Thomastik-Infeld string headquarters in Vienna, about a block and a half from our flats. My violin teacher here knows them and invited me to come in and try a few different kinds of strings to find the perfect set for my violin and my playing. They gave me two free sets of strings, plus an extra E “because they break first” and an extra D “oh, why not?” I love this new set; they are much lighter than the strings I have been using and make for a much brighter, more ringing sound.
- At the Life Ball, one of the largest AIDS benefit events, I saw Bill Clinton, Natasha Beddingfield, and Janet Jackson.
- A trip to Styr and St. Florian a few weeks ago. St. Florian is the abbey where Bruckner grew up and is now buried; I touched his coffin. We also got a tour of the organ he loved and a partially-improvised concert on that organ.
- Memorable concerts in the last few weeks – Orpheus (a ballet that combined Biber’s music from the late 1600s with 20th century Stravinsky and a contemporary rock group that made for a truly creepy underworld), Hilary Hahn, Die Fledermaus (according to Steve, the best Viennese operetta ever written), Liszt’s Faust Symphony (another favorite, played with MITSPO last summer), the Vienna Phil playing Beethoven 3 followed by the San Francisco Symphony playing Beethoven 5 the next day, with Berg’s violin concerto on both programs, and the Vienna Symphony playing Mahler 5 as our group’s last concert in the Musikverein.
As I mentioned, though, this last week is going to be insane. I have an opera tonight; class, a rehearsal, and a concert tomorrow; one last lesson on Tuesday; a final exam, a final recital and an operetta on Wednesday; a fifteen-page reflection paper due Thursday, a mystery field trip Thursday morning (Steve won’t tell us where we’re going), a trip to the Haus der Musik Thursday afternoon, and a farewell dinner Thursday night. Somewhere in there I also need to pack and say goodbye to this fabulous, incredible city. I’m flying back on Saturday – Avery, Drew and I are all on the same flight back to Boston – and I’ll be home by dinner on Saturday. No, I can’t believe it at all.
back to writing this paper!