I talked to the neighbour. It is his last year at the university. He is very bright and very much into hospitality business (that’s his degree, which I am sure will be with distinction when the time comes next year). “What are you doing this weekend?”, – he asks.
“Oh, do you know Hugo…” – I start.
“Of course!” He looks at me with disbelief. “The number one cocktail last year. Still popular”
After a bit of confused silence: “That friend of your husband who…” (Sorry, Hugo, if you are reading this. Some sentences better left unfinished. You know the boy ).
Hugo Wolf is another Austrian composer who is not necessarily totally forgotten but is not really known today either. He was famous for his revolutionary use of tonality to underline meaning. One of his most famous works is “Italian Serenade”.
What we are going to on the 15th of October is the concert at Burg Perchtoldsdorf. The title is “Hugo-Wolf-Serenade”. Matthias Fletzberger on piano. And Andreas Schager – wonderful voice.
Ybbs is a river in Austria, 81 miles long. They say the name has pre-Celtic roots. Ybbsfeldhalle is an impressive venue in a town of Blindenmarkt, which literally means “Blind Market” or the market for the blind (?). I haven’t found yet why. But I am sure there is a story behind. I keep searching.
This year Ybbsfeldhalle is the venue for a premiere. An old operetta was given a new life. Paul Lincke is a German composer. Berliner, to be precise. Born in Berlin in 1866.
The premiere is on the 6th of October. And then runs most of the month, with some matinees available too.
Frau Luna (Ms Moon in a very free translation) is a burlesque. “Castles in the air” is possibly the best-known melody. But somehow I like the march “Berliner Luft” too. Well before all the world wars, good old Berlin where the air (Luft) makes people laugh and dance.
If I say “Pleyel”, many people would think “Chopin”. Because Pleyel is most famous for his pianos. An early piano, which still sounded a bit like a harpsichord, was loved by Frederic Chopin. The was only one concert in Paris performed by Chopin – it happened in Pleyel Hall. Haydn was Pleyel’s mentor. Like Haydn, Pleyel was very successful in London.
But Ignace Pleyel is an accomplished composer and musician on his own. A rare case of a composer famous during his life and hardly played or even known now. 41 symphonies, 70 string quartets and several string quintets and operas.
Ignace Pleyel was born in Austria, in 1757, in Ruppersthal. Now Pleyel’s museum there is not only a museum clearly worth visiting but also a concert hall.
Gaming is not about gambling. Although I did expect a casino or two around the corner when I first saw the road sign. But no. Betting is not what Gaming in Lower Austria is famous for. By the way, it is pronounced G’ah-ming. Or something to this effect.
There is a famous old monastery, the Kartause Maria Thronus Iesu and Franciscan University based there. Many young students, picturesque town and a typical Austrian restaurant in the old building of the monastery.
But there is also something else in Gaming, happening once a year and attracting people from all over the world. Chopin Festival. This year – from the 11th of August till the 13th. Prices are much higher than for other festivals in Austria, but if you like Chopin – it could be worth it.
And this is how the festival looks and sound like. My favourite part starts around 5’07:
If it wouldn’t be for the wind during the outdoor reception (yes, the glasses fell down with all the wine ending up on my skirt), I could’ve said that everything last Saturday was perfect. The programme, the music, the occasion, food and drink, service, but first of all – the idea itself. To bring together the local communities to celebrate probably the most famous Austrian brothers ever born in the region. Haydn brothers. The initiative is called “Haydn Region” and is basically an attempt to capitalise on the famous compatriot/s. And why not, as long as it involves a lot of wonderful music and not much of commercial paraphernalia.
The opening ceremony for the initiative took place in Petronell, an impressive castle not far from Rohrau, where both brothers were born. The Haydn Museum was recently renovated (the cost of renovation is over €1.6 mln), and it is definitely worth a visit. On the 1st of October this year, 11 am there is a matinee there. Adrian Eröd, Baritone, accompanied by Susanna und Manfred Wagner-Artzt. http://www.haydnregion-noe.at/programm.html
But back to Saturday, June the 10th. The opening ceremony included not only perfect, great local food and wine, and a lot of speeches in German, but also a very well thought through concert. Canadian soprano Sarah Marie Kramer and her dramatic „Scena di Berenice“ was one of the most memorable recent experiences. I guess I finally understood what they were writing about here
This was the programme:
And this is Joseph Haydn “Symphonie mit dem Paukenschlag” Nr 94, a very impressive piece. Enjoy.