36 Years Ago

36 Years Ago, Vienna 1971—A Student Journal

Day 146: My Christmas present


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

Day 146 — My Christmas present
26-December-1971 (Sun.)


Went with Lisa and Dolores to the gigantic Vienna cemetery. Very spooky (fog) and weird. Saw the honor tombs of the composers. The whole experience was wild.

Came home and found a Christmas present (candy). I was very surprised. Frau Pollak told me it was from the lady whose money I found. She was an elderly lady. And because she obviously appreciated the fact that someone was honest and returned it, I was really, really happy. I felt really good. In fact, she’s going to cook me a very big dinner.

Now, if only everyone was more honest…

Went to opera,
The Bartered Bride. Not bad.


Vienna's Central Cemetery. This is Vienna's largest and most famous cemetery. It contains the tombs of many composers, including the Johann Strauss' I and II, Schubert, Beethoven, Brahms, and Arnold Schönberg. There is also a monument to Mozart who is buried in St. Marx's cemetery. I went with Pavel’s sister and friend. Was it a coincidence that there was fog at the exact time of our visit? It was eeirie. Were the composer’s spirits trying to tell me something? “John, compose music…write, write, write.” Or perhaps, “John, don’t compose music, you’re not us.” No, they would have been nice and encouraging, telling me to compose on. Winking

My Christmas present. This story relates back to the large amount of money (3,000s plus 100 DM) that I found on the bus a while back and returned to the police station. ay 105: I find money, a lot of it">See Day 105. Since that time, I received a 300s reward as a finder’s fee, indicating that someone claimed the money. Today, however, was my true reward and Christmas present. A package of candy from the elderly woman whose money it was. I was very happy to find out that the money was returned to an elderly person, its rightful owner, and that it prevented some hardship in that person's life. It was a special feeling. Honesty is always the best policy. It's a good way to live. I still live by this standard today.

The Bartered Bride. This opera, by Bedrich Smetana, is a comic opera. I believe I saw it performed at the Volksoper. If you haven't guessed by the title, the opera is a story of two young people who meet and want to get married. Of course, the father is looking to marry his daughter into some wealth. There is arranging of marriages and bartering galore. Just read the plot in the article below for a good laugh, and just try to follow the story line. Here is the Wikipedia article on the opera and its composer, Smetana. Smetana, a Czech composer, and a teacher of music, is known for his nationalistic Czech style and melodies. He is most known for both The Bartered Bride and his symphonic work, Ma vlast (My Country), which includes the famous work, The Moldau. You've heard it. (La la__ la la__ la la__ la__, la__ la__ la____.)

I enjoyed this opera.


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