KUSC 2011 Tour – Blog 2
Wednesday April 13, 2011
What great composer was actually BORN in Vienna?
On our second day in Vienna we started at 9am with a walking tour of the old city, led by our guide throughout this two-city adventure, Brigitte. In addition to two of Vienna’s major churches and the cathedral, we visited several Mozart-related sites (the name Mozart being a powerful marketing tool on the street), but he wasn’t born here. We traveled to Heiligenstadt, the small village where Beethoven penned his moving Heiligenstadt Testament, attempting to explain the grief his increasing deafness was causing him, but he wasn’t born here either.
Along the way he happened to be walking past the famed Lipizzaner Riding School as several of the noble breed were peering out into the courtyard, but the Lipizzaners didn’t originate in Vienna either – they came from Slovenia.
At day’s end we found ourselves in an area of the city that used to be woodland suburb but is now part of the hubbub that is Vienna. There we visited the tiny two bedroom apartment where a family with fifteen children once lived. One of those children died young, but not before giving us symphonies, chamber works, piano music and more than 600 songs. Yes. We entered the Schubert Geburtshaus.
And then, oh yes, we walked into a small recital hall that is now part of the apartment complex for a private recital by tenor Wilhelm Spuller and pianist Stephen Delaney. We were treated to songs by Beethoven, Mahler and several of those 600 gems that are the brilliant body of work known as Schubert Lieder. Quite the day. Did I mention that the answer to the question is Schubert?
– Rich Capparela