Other highlights of the Salzburg trip

Aug 12, 2006

Miles Berry

The weather, it should be admitted, wasn’t as kind as we’d hoped it would be, although I’m told this is not unusual for Salzburg – we were amused to see a book titled “Salzburg Regnet” and the local science museum had an exhibition of thunder and lightning photos. This meant that we didn’t get out of the city nearly as much as we’d planned to, although we still managed a wonderful afternoon and evening down on Lake Fuschl, and a day out over to Lake Wolfgang, and to the top of the Schafberg, from which amazing views over the whole area. Much fun with our new Ixus 800’s stitch assist function, so some wide panoramas from the mountain top there (see if you can spot the identical twins…). Although I’m not a Microsoft fan by any stretch of the imagination, the upcoming photosynth stuff looks very cool, and I’d love to try this out.

We did get to a handful more music events outside the festival proper, including a packed mass at the Peterskirche to Mozart’s Missa Brevis, a rather lovely chamber recital of some of Mozart’s early quarters in the splendid acoustic of the Neue Residenz state rooms, given by the localMozart Quartett, and a performance of the Great C Minor mass in the cathedral, given by the Tokyo Oratorio Society, who appeared to have all flown over especially.

Being in Salzburg was treat enough, and we much enjoyed soaking up the atmosphere (if not necessarily the rain) in the old town. Although theModern Art gallery building, sat in a prime position overlooking the old town from the top of the Monchsberg, is something of an eye-sore, the temporary exhibition of art with theatrical connections is, for the most part, well worth seeing, more so for Craig and Appia set designs (esp the latter’s Wagner sets) from the early 20th century, than some of the more, er, experimental stuff on the top floor. Great restaurant attached too, and we had a fine lunch overlooking the city, from the only location where you can’t see the Modern Art gallery, and missed the storm by minutes. The Rezidenz Gallery has a great temporary exhibition about sleep, bringing together a collection of disparate pieces from all periods and media and weaving thematic threads through – works really well, and the permanent collection isn’t at all bad for what’s effectively a provincial gallery. The new Viva Mozart exhibition, at the Neue Rezidenz is, I fear, a triumph of trendy modern curating over actual content, but they have a number of autograph scores on view, a fun exhibit where you can fade in or out various parts in a score, and a darkened room in which you can sit and listen to Mozart’s piano & wind quintet, a piece I didn’t know and have subsequently downloaded from itunes. We also made it to some fine baroque (or, as Clare characterized them, bling) churches, including at St Wolfgang and Maria Plein.

We ate well, treating ourselves to a fine meal out overlooking the lake atSchloss Fuschl for our anniversary, although the hotel has been massively, and perhaps inappropriately, modernised and expanded since we last ate there in 2003. Very good traditional fair at the Gasthof Brandstatter just the other side of the motorway, and much more avant garde cooking for lunch on our last day at Esszimmer.