36 Years Ago

36 Years Ago, Vienna 1971—A Student Journal

Day 062: A day of contrasts


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

Day 62 — A day of contrasts
03-October-1971 (Sun.)


Vienna Choir Boys [Vienna Boys' Choir]

Went to hear them. Excellent. Very elaborate (many priests and a bishop) church service in the Burgkappelle. [They] Did
Benjamin Britten Mass in D-minor for boys choir—contemporary, and I really enjoyed it. Must look into it some more.

For standing room, you must get there extremely early. The only bad thing—too many people.

Spent [the] rest of the day reading and writing. Read “Time” [Magazine]—after reading of all the problems that the U.S. has, we might as well “blow up the world now.” It’s very easy to be a pessimist; especially after reading the news.


Vienna Boys' Choir. Ok, it’s not the Vienna Choir Boys, it’s the Vienna Boys' Choir. This was not a concert but an actual church mass, once again. That’s the third mass that I’ve been to that performed an actual composed mass during its service. Vienna—what a city! You’ve heard that before. Wikipedia: Vienna Boys' Choir.

Benjamin Britten, Mass in D-minor. Benjamin Britten (1913–1976), a British composer, is best known for his work, The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra. I don't remember the Mass that well. Here is some more information from Wikipedia on Benjamin Britten.

I was in standing room again, inexpensive but many people. That’s ok, I was hearing live music. Worth it.

Reading about the world. Well, I spent the rest of the day reading Time magazine. I guess the news wasn’t good—I just remembered that we were still in the Vietnam War (almost forgot), and so my comments about blowing everything up. Obviously, I didn’t like the war. I didn’t blame the soldiers—it is always terrible reading about the casualties of war, and the soldiers are the ones that pay.

It seems like 36 years later,
Time magazine is still reporting about war, this time the Iraqi war. Yes, it’s easy to be a pessimist after reading the news and seeing so much turmoil on TV. All we can do is hope and work to see that these problems that constantly seem to plague humanity can be resolved.

A day of contrasts. What a contradictory day. A day of contrasts. From the heaven of a Britten mass to the hell of war. Looking back, I would say that I took reading about the war a bit too personally. It is harder to do when you are young. We do take these things personally, especially on a topic like war which encompasses real-world suffering. I would generally say that I’m a realist. Often, that means I’m a bit pessimistic. I like to think that my desire is to be optimistic.


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