36 Years Ago

36 Years Ago, Vienna 1971—A Student Journal

Day 055: A Haydn Mass, Chicago II


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

Day 55 — A Haydn Mass, Chicago II
26-September-1971 (Sun.)

Vienna Musikverein concert hall


Another musical day.

Mass in Augustinerkirche. Pretty nice.

Couldn’t get in to see Vienna Choir Boys [the Vienna Boys Choir]. Difficult.

Extremely frustrated in practicing the horn. My embouchure seems to be getting worse. I never play the same way twice and when I can play well high, I can’t play in the middle register and vice-versa, and in other combinations.

I honestly feel like giving up. ??

Chicago [Symphony] concert. Extremely good again. Haydn, Berlioz, and Stravinsky. You can tell how musical Vienna is by the reception and applause given to a good concert—unbelievable. Sat in my “orgel-balkon” [organ balcony] seat—rather I stood, because I couldn’t see anything. When standing in one spot, I could see (from a good angle) the conductor from the front. What a difference it makes (in listening to music) when you watch the conductor as if you were in the orchestra. Carlo Guiliani was the conductor. I like his style—from slightly subtle, to very expressionistic.

Afterwards, went backstage and met Herr G. [my horn teacher] and a couple of “hornists” in the symphony. One was a young man (or boy) who seemed to be younger than me. My God! Now I know I should give up.


The opening photo on this page is not of this concert, but it does show the concert hall, the Vienna Musikverein, and my balcony seats mentioned below.

Horn. A good day for concerts. I’ll ignore my frustration on the horn. Just keep in mind that trying to change a physical habit is not easy and leads to frustration. It’s hard to be un-frustrated when you are frustrated.

Haydn Mass. I didn’t say much about the Haydn Mass in Augustinerkirche. I know that I enjoyed it. The fact that I have already seen in Austria two classically-composed Masses in actual church mass settings is amazing.

Augustinerkirche. I can’t remember how this church looked, but my DK book has a picture of the 14th-century Gothic interior. It looks incredibly ornate and quite beautiful. I wonder if there are any video-guides of Vienna that I can purchase that might show all the tourist sites and attractions. Television shows generally only give a few examples of sites.

Chicago Symphony II. A second concert by the Chicago Symphony with music by Haydn, Berlioz, and Stravinsky. I regret not saving the concert programs. I suspect that I perhaps saved them for a while and then probably threw them out over time. Regardless, I’m enjoying all of this music in Vienna and the enthusiasm of the Viennese audiences. I wonder if it’s the same today. Any Viennese out there?

Vienna Boys choir in balcony
Watch the conductor. This time I had an orchestra balcony seat. The photo (right) is the organ balcony at a different concert. I couldn't get in to see the Vienna Boys Choir in concert today, but they are in this picture.) Apparently, when I stand (certainly against the back), I have a great view of conductor Guiliani as he conducts the Chicago Symphony. While I have seen many conductors, seeing a master conductor from the perspective of being in a world-class orchestra (just a bit higher) was amazing.

Backstage. The kicker—I now go backstage to meet some of the orchestra players because of my Viennese horn teacher, Herr G. I’ve never gone backstage at a U.S. professional concert—I don’t know anyone. Backstage, I see that one of the Chicago horn players is really young. I tender my horn-playing resignation. Only kidding, I loved playing the horn in ensembles, and I knew that I was never going to be a professional horn player. No mistakes, remember?

Is this turning out to be an incredible year of experiences, or what?


- - - -