Archive | January, 2017

Skating on the Danube

29 Jan

I made it just in time. Now it is snowing so the ice quality will not be this good again this winter, but it was an amazing skate on the New Danube (rarer than on the Old Danube) today. What a city! 🙂


Special Vienna kind of cold

24 Jan

Years ago Vienna taught me why some people might want to wear fur coats west of Moscow, and I am being reminded now. The temperature hasn’t gone above freezing in the last week or more but yesterday, although the mercury rose a little, we were reminded how bone-chilling it can be here. The mercury has risen but so too has the wind and the humidity making the -7°C or so we had all weekend vastly preferable to the -4° we have now. It’s a very special Vienna kind of cold–and that’s from someone who grew up in New England and knows.

Women’s March on Washington in Vienna

22 Jan

Just wanted to report that there was a sister march in Vienna. Apparently, about 2000 people showed up in spite of the temperature (about -7°C or approximately +20°F). We started out at Karlsplatz, looped around to Stadtpark. In the photo above, you can see that someone put a pussy hat on the gilded Johann Strauß statue there. 🙂

In Düsseldorf

19 Jan

Am waiting to board the last plane to Vienna this evening and am interested in the information about Vienna they are showing on a screen–that there are more people buried in the main cemetery (2.5 m) than live in the city (1.8 m) and that there are over 300 balls a year. Fun to have another perspective!

Three Kings 2017

6 Jan

Charles Dickens in his book “A Christmas Carol”described the weather when Scrooge wakes up after his encounters with the three Ghosts thus, “No fog, no mist; clear, bright, jovial, stirring, cold; cold, piping for the blood to dance to; golden sunlight, Heavenly sky; sweet fresh air; merry bells. O glorious, glorious! ”

We don’t often get days like this in Vienna, but today is such a day. 🙂 And it is a holiday. Double :-).

New Year’s Concert 2017 – Second Half

1 Jan

OK, now they’re having fun. 🙂

New Year’s Concert 2017 – Intermission

1 Jan

Hats off to the ORF (Austrian broadcasting) for the creative intermission film they put together, showing the cake and waltz side of Vienna as well as the skilled handworkers.

New Year’s Concert 2017 – First Half

1 Jan

Gustavo Dudamel, this year’s conductor, is the youngest at 35 years of age. After listening to (and watching) the first three or four pieces I have to say I’m afraid he’s a little too young for the task. Not that the age itself is a problem, but he doesn’t seem willing to let go as an older, more experienced conductor might. (Karajan towards the end conducted more or less using only his little fingers. This is an orchestra that doesn’t need more than that.)

I hear / see this in two ways. He has been charging through the pieces, pushing rather than pulling any hypothetical waltzers, all very clear but a little cut-and-dried. He also seems to be trying to exercise too much control over the orchestra. Maybe he’ll relax as he goes along. If not this time, then next time.

He does look nice in the new Philharmonic suit, though. 😉