Tag Archives: Mahler

Euro18: and home

I woke on Friday morning to the iPad NOAA warning about extreme temperatures at Rienosslsgasse 3 in Vienna.

Fortunately, I was home in Saint Louis with moderate weather, but more humidity.

At some point my iPad will figure out that I’m in the USA. I certainly know that I am! Witness:

  • Iced tea!! I went for three weeks without it.
  • Taco Bell. I went for 3.5 weeks without it.
  • Airport staffs who are not multilingual (except in Spanish). Such a change from Europe.
  • Air-conditioning everywhere.
  • Cellular service everywhere without having to think of turning the phone on and off.
  • A fridge and a freezer. (Small fridge only, with no freezer, in Vienna.)
  • Loudness. Americans just talk so damn loudly.
  • Diet Pepsi! I went for 3.5 weeks without it.

But as my friend Alice said on Facebook last evening, she has little compassion for the slight frustrations, given what I was able to see and do. And I expect no boo-hoos for the cultural differences and the weariness because of the seeing and doing.

And DO I did.

The research grant proposed outcomes are essentially complete. The draft report is 75% there, with some details and nuance to ponder and finesse. In other words, I accomplished the stated goals. The grant outcome was successful. Now we move to implementation.

Along the way, I was a tourist nearly every day — in fact, save for last Sunday, every single day of the sojourn in Europe.

What did I not do? Well, I skipped the Salzburg and Venice/Dolomites excursions because I just was not feeling well. Summer allergies are, I’m told, quite severe in Vienna this year. I did not make it to all the art museums I would have wished, and since concert season was over, I attended only two musical performances.

What DID I do?

Enough art to keep me happy for months. Less-frequented locales such as the Snow Globe Museum, the Freud Museum, the Schnapps Museum, the Imperial Crypt, and the old Jewish cemetery at Zentral Friedhof. Anglican Church services in Florence and Vienna. Florence. Choral concert by a British choir at the British Embassy Church. A cruise on the Danube. Cooking class. Visited Mahler’s grave. Walked in the steps of Mozart and Beethoven and Schubert and Haydn and so many others. Melk Abbey. Heurigerabend. Organ recital at the Jesuit Church. Churches and parks and the Naschmarkt and gelato and beer and bubbly and schnitzel and . . . well, the whole five-senses experience indeed.

And I kept up with the daily office work. My email inbox is only marginally more crowded now than it was when I left, and no decisions have been punted to next week.

Now home for a few days, and with days off this weekend with few obligations, I can rest and recharge before the onslaught of the run-up to August 20 when contracts begin.

And I can love on Auggie, who apparently did indeed miss me.

Of all the pleasures of travel, returning home is the greatest joy.

Euro18: the wanderweg

Stadtwanderweg.  Literally, ‘city walking path.’

We’d call it a walking trail, or a greenway.

Friday was the walking path day.

J.P. and Sylvie met me at 2 p.m. at the Staatsoper, and we wandered the First District of Vienna for 2.5 hours.  Along the way, as mentioned in my previous post, we saw important sites for us classical musicians.  And sometimes we just sniffed the air for the DNA of what is left of events that took place 200+ years ago.

The Festsaal at the old university.

Particularly powerful for me were the two times that J.P. called up some music on his phone:

We also walked along a few places that show up in The Third Man.

At Mahler’s grave.

Other sites:

The Jesuitenkirche:

And always Stephensdom:

From the city we went to the country, for a walk downhill through vineyards, with a long stop for dinner at a Heuriger.


On the street Friday, I was certain I was seeing one of the original von Trapp children, now aged, and still in traditional clothing:

Euro18: to the west

After a long business meeting Friday morning, and a purchase of some new shoes (to be unveiled at the right time), I joined J.P. and Sylvie for:

  • a stop at a department store, on the second floor, where J.P. assured me we were within 20 feet of where Mozart died.
  • stops at several Beethoven residences in central Vienna (he moved a lot).
  • a visit to the hall where Beethoven’s 7th Symphony first was heard.
  • gelato.
  • a glance at Schubert’s birthplace.
  • a look at the Jesuit Church (oh my!).
  • stops at several Beethoven residences in Heiligenstadt, to the west of town.
  • a trip up into the hills, and a Heurigerabend.
  • 22000+ steps.
  • a visit to Mahler’s grave.

This was a good day.

In the room where it happened: Beethoven’s 7th’s first performance.
At Mahler’s grave. J.P. turned on Spotify on his phone to play the Adagietto from Mahler 5. I barely held in the emotions. This was the perfect music to accompany the homage to Mahler.
The view to the east, of Vienna, from the hills of Heiligenstadt.

NYC18: Morgan Library

The Morgan is one of my favorite NYC places to visit.

I love the changing exhibits, with different old manuscripts every time I’m there.

And I’ve never taken a docent-led tour, so on this trip I spent an hour with a small group of others, all Americans, I think, learning from a Morgan employee.

And then I had my Wednesday lunch at the Morgan cafe: deviled eggs, a chicken and mushroom toastie.

While at luncheon, I was aware of a clear and certain incongruity: reading (and finishing) a book on the Kindle app on my iPhone while being surrounded by one of the world’s greatest private collections of books and manuscripts!


One of the current Morgan exhibits: The Magic of Handwriting.

Along the way I saw signatures and written letters of Mozart, Machiavelli, Darwin, Goethe, and others.  And a bill from Sigmund Freud.  And a receipt signed in massive script by Beethoven.

And Beethoven:

Beethoven

Here’s a manuscript by Mahler:


And in the North Room, incredibly detailed ancient cylinders that predate the alphabet:

Next trip

My next trip is rushing up to view, with a departure in five day’s time.  I’m off to San Diego on Thursday for the annual meeting of the National Association of Schools of Music.  I love San Diego, and am looking forward to being there.

At this conference, I am actually a panelist on the topic of best practices in student recruitment, so I’ll have a lovely professional credit to add to the CV when I return.

But, most exciting at this point, is that the Philharmonia Orchestra of England will be in town on Thursday, performing Mahler’s Symphony No. 9.  I just procured a ticket for the concert at Copley Hall!

The San Diego Symphony is already on my list, but the Philharmonia is not . . . yet.