36 Years Ago

36 Years Ago, Vienna 1971—A Student Journal

Day 026: Mahler’s 8th Symphony; Schönbrunn Palace


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

Day 26 — Mahler’s 8th Symphony; Schönbrunn Palace
28-August-1971 (Sat.)

Schonbrunn Palace gardens 01


Started practice. Taking it easy.

Had first bad luck with Kodak. Had to pay twice for developing. Will try to straighten it out. (My mistake.)

Went to Schönbrunn Palace and gardens. Very beautiful gardens and grounds. Spent a lot of time walking around (with Anjali).

Achille left for home today. I was sad to see him go. He was a great friend and we did a lot together. He’s going to be a doctor of economy. Will be good at it. I hope to keep in touch with him.

Mahler’s VIII Symphonie—performance at Wien Konzerthaus with American choirs, orchestra, organ, and Vienna Boys' Choir, and soloists. Was sold out. I had to get in on a scalped ticket (15s). Only thing I didn’t like is that the seats and floors creak too much. [Concert 05]

Fantastic performance. I never heard anything like it before. Just the sight of the whole stage filled with performers was unbelievable. 8 horns–first horn great player (vibrato) and great horn parts.

The quality and emotion of the performance cannot be explained.

The symphony is so emotional. It kept on building to its final climax—It sent shivers up and down my spine and it stayed that way. When I thought of how all those performers felt and
how I felt, I felt like crying—that is why I must be in music and why I’ll never leave it.



Practicing the horn. Let’s get the boring stuff out of the way (for you readers). I start to practice the horn, remember it’s brand new. That’s good and I need to get working on playing. As the journal progresses, I’m certain that I’ll start mentioning very routine things (like practicing). I probably will mention it occasionally but will not spend much time talking about it.

Schonbrunn Palace 01
Schönbrunn Palace and gardens. A nice visit to this incredible palace. Schönbrunn Palace was the summer home of the imperial family and was completed by Maria Theresa in the mid-1800s. Some summer home. The palace grounds and gardens are immense and beautiful. If you are going to visit any palaces in Vienna, put Schönbrunn Palace on your list. (And the Imperial Hofsburg complex in the center of Vienna.) For a great diagram of Schönbrunn, see DK Eyewitness Travel Guides "Vienna," pp. 172-173. (Love these DK books.)

I didn’t write a lot about Schönbrunn but I know that I’ll have some great pictures (I hope). Since pictures speak a thousand words, I don’t need to talk a lot. What I will do is eventually get a sightseeing section on this site.

Schonbrunn Great Hall Bernhard Vogl

Photos and panoramas of Vienna: Bernard Vogl and Dativ.at.
I am inserting a new entry into this post because I have discovered a website which has beautiful photos and panoramas of Vienna. The photo above of Schönbrunn's Great Gallery (© Bernhard Vogl) is a still photo capture from a 360-degree panorama by photographer Bernhard Vogl. Click on the above link (Schönbrunn) to link to the panorama. These 360-degree panoramas are stunning and a wonderful way to see sights in remote places, as if you were standing right there. I discovered this photo from a website titled austria-360.at but then discovered the photographer's own website at dativ.at. I encourage you to visit both of these web sites for more beautiful photos of Vienna, Austria, and Europe. Quicktime (Mac, PC) and a fast Internet connection are required to view the panoramas. See also Day 035, Day 060 and Day 145 for other photos of Bernhard Vogl as well as commentary on the Pictures page.

Achille. My roommate Achille leaves for his home, Italy. Even though I don’t write much about my two roommates, I did spend a good deal of time with them in the dorm rooms and at meals in the student cafeteria.

36yearsago becomes a European phenomenon. Wouldn’t it be great if this blog became a European phenomenon (or totally international phenomenon would also be ok) and some of my friends in this journal read about this (36 years later), and then they responded? That would be awesome. Spread the word. Austria, Italy, Germany, France, England, Scandinavia, Spain, Japan, India, and everywhere else. Thanks.

Wiener Konzerthaus
Wiener Konzerthaus. This is the second major concert hall of Vienna, the other being the Vienna Musikverein. A wonderful concert hall with great concerts, capable of handling Mahler's Symphony No. 8, below. I remember that the seats creak a bit. Maybe it was just my seat. I did not have a picture of this hall of this in my slides. Here is a picture found in the Wikipedia article on the Wiener Konzerthaus. The picture comes from Wikimedia Commons and is published under the GNU Free Documentation License.

Mahler’s Symphony No. 8. I love Mahler and Late Romantic music, especially symphonies. Actually, I really enjoy most all music from all over the spectrum, both classical and pop. Obviously, this performances sends “shivers up my spine.” Yes, I’ve heard plenty of Mahler and other recordings on vinyl and cassettes*. But as they say, nothing beats a “live concert” experience—and this performance of the “Symphony of a Thousand” was amazing. Some great horn parts as well.

Vienna Boys' Choir. This is also the first time I’ve heard the Vienna Boys' Choir as part of a large ensemble. The whole stage was filled with the choirs, soloists, and symphony orchestra. Here is a good article on Mahler's Symphony No. 8 in Wikipedia with a picture of over 1,000 performers in the American premiere.

If you’ve never heard this work, see if your local library has a CD and take a listen.** There is a whole beautiful world of music out there for you to listen to. Be legal, the artists and record companies deserve your support. Thanks.

A great day—Schönbrunn and Mahler and friends.

No CDs in 1971
[* The CD didn’t exist in 1971. The CD just the other week had it’s 25th anniversary, thus 2007-25 years = 1982. I know, you’re still in shock. You thought the CD was around forever. Oh, and vinyl was those black, thin cylinders which were played on rotating turntables by placing a needle on the vinyl. In those days, we called them records. Yes, I’m sounding like your grandpa.]

To the RIAA
[** It is a shame that the record industry in America, under the auspices of the RIAA, is so lawsuit-happy and sues any non-licensed playing of copyrighted music on the Internet. The licenses are going to be prohibitively expensive soon for Internet-radio streaming, and the fees for podcasts are based on downloads and are insane and unrealistic. It’s a shame because people like me, and many others, could put together educational podcasts that could reintroduce many, many people to all types and styles of great music. The brief exposure in public schools and college music appreciation courses are not enough to attract life-long listeners. You generally need to be a bit older and mature to get the bug. Listen up RIAA. Audience, new listeners, new purchasers, and record sales would increase. Increase, increase, increase. Instead, the record industry is shooting themselves in the foot. Audiences, especially of “classical” music, are declining. It would be nice if they reconsidered their archaic way of looking at the Internet and change their business model to “grow” their business. The Internet can be an asset. Let’s go RIAA. Change. Make licensing for small podcasts and Internet radio stations reasonable. Thanks. ]

As for you listeners of music, young and old, please purchase your music legally.


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