36 Years Ago

36 Years Ago, Vienna 1971—A Student Journal

Day 300: Big music day at Mai Fest


Vienna 1971—A Student Journal
A year of music, study, travel, sightseeing & friends.

Day 300 — Big music day at Mai Fest
28-May-1972 (Sonntag–Sun.)


Gundula Janowitz

Big musical day of Mai Fest. Dropped in at church to see the Vienna Choir Boys [Boys’ Choir].

After that, at 11:00, was able to sneak in (kostenlos) to my orgel-balkon standing place for the opening concert: Wiener Philharmoniker with David and Igor Oistrach in an all Mozart program. Enjoyable, but for me seemed too “Beethoven” (dynamic, heavy, and forceful) and not “Mozart” (light, happy, and gay).

Night saw premiere of
Der Freischütz—Staatsoper. Really fantastic. Music (conductor Böhm), Janowitz singing and the stage setting was so fantastic. The visual impact of the 3rd scene was so strong. I found it so great and am now really more enthusiastic about the visual, than ever before. Of course, the old argument arises—it “took away” too much from the music. Of course; but an intelligent observer can achieve a good balance and the total result is what counts.


Choppy writing. My writing is getting choppier and my spelling of names is probably all wrong (the Internet fixed that). The biggest issue is that I am having trouble reading my writing.

300 days of blogging. That’s amazing. And a lot of content. Google doesn’t reward consistent content, they reward popularity. The number of visits, and the number of people linking to you are more important. Content is not king. Take that, Google.

Big music day. Today was a great day for music:

Vienna Boys’ Choir. A pleasure to see the boys’ choir in the morning. Mass.

All Mozart. Before noon, an all-Mozart concert with the Vienna Philharmonic. Apparently, I’ve returned to my criminal ways and snuck into the standing room in the organ balcony. I don’t think I have enough nerve to do this on my own, so I’ll attribute this to my following the shepherd’s flock. Not all Mozart is light, happy, and gay and so I am equating dynamic, heavy, and forceful with being Beethovenesque. Well Mozart can be powerful as well.

Der Freischütz premiere. I am blown away by the Staatsoper premiere of Carl Maria von Weber’s Der Freischütz. The stage settings were amazing, making me appreciate the “visual” aspect of opera. Legendary conductor, Karl Böhm, was in charge. Soprano Gundula Janowitz headlined. As always, in my mind’s eye, I don’t remember the specifics of a performance, I am interpolating based on what I am writing in the journal. Wouldn’t it be incredible to see, today in 2009, this specific performance and compare it to my journal? What I need is a time machine. If I can find this performance on YouTube, I’m going to faint. (See below. I’m feeling a little faint.)

The Amazing Time Machine – The Internet. Holy cow! I do a Google search (“May 28 1972 Vienna” concerts and operas) today and look what I get.

Oistrach Mozart. The exact concert program and information from the David Oistrach Mozart concert on May 28, 1972. Today. The Internet and Google are truly a time machine. This was the opening concert of the “Vienna Spring Festival.” Below is a picture of the concert program from the Oistrach (Oistrakh) page.

Oistrach concert program

(2) Gundula Janowitz sings. A listing of Gundula Janowitz’s performances includes today’s opera performance of Der Freischütz. The opening photo is from that page. It also looks like there are recordings available. Here is a musical example on YouTube of Janowitz singing from Act III in Der Freischütz. No video, just slides. Below are the credits to this day’s performance from the above website.

janowitz performance

ORFEO CD C 732 072 1. The Der Freischütz performance of this exact May 28, 1972 opening of the Vienna Spring Festival performance is available today (in 2009) on CD from Orfeo. How incredible is that? It’s not a YouTube video but it’s pretty close. The album description on the Orfeo website is like a review of the actual concert and being there. Once you get to the page, search on “Der Freischütz.” Now, I’m fainting.

Other links:

Der Freischütz in Wikipedia


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