It's late, so I'll give you the cliff notes version of today.
We started with a tour of Scholß Schönbrunn (Beautiful Fountain Palace), the summer palace of the Hapsburg Family. It's modeled after Versailles, but only about 1/4 of the size, meaning that Schönbrunn is a paltry 1,000+ rooms compared to Versailles 4,000 rooms. I cannot impress upon you how beautiful and stately this place was.
We then took a driving tour around downtown Vienna, passing by the Nachstmarket, Musikverein, Staats Operhaus, Hofburg, Carlsplatz, Parliament, and Teater Wien. We had no time to stop in these places...sadly. We also ventured out to Central Cemetery to pay our respects at the graves of Brahms, Beethoven, J. Strauss, and Schubert. I need you to think about this for a second: I stood before the graves of some of history's most important composers. It was another transcendent moment.
We had a brief, and I do mean brief, rehearsal at the St. Stephensdom for our 8:30 PM concert, and then we were given the entire afternoon to go play. I made my way to The Belvedere, a large estate owned by the Hapsburgs for the sole purpose of storing their art. This museum is notable for its large college of fin-de-siècle paintings, including an extensive gallery of original works by Klimt and Schiele. High point: standing before Klimt's "The Kiss." It's one thing to see it on paper; it's quite another to see this enormous piece in person.
We had a great dinner and then a FABULOUS concert at St. Stephensdom with 400 people in attendance.
And now we're home in our hotels preparing to leave for Praha (Prague) in the morning!
I will surely miss Austria...
|Maestro Bill and Organist Jane in front of our poster.|
|The interior of St. Stephansdom|
|Life goal: throw a frisbee on every continent. I have completed this task on N. America, S. America, Asia, and with the help of Brian, Europe. Africa, Australia, and Antarctica are left!|
|The Vienna Staatsoper Haus. SIGH.|
|You just can't get away from home...|