Friday, June 1, 2012

Exploring More of Salzburg and a Musical Finish

06/01, Friday
The weather is not too good...raining. We had planned to go to Zell am See, a small town about an hour away from Salzburg by train. A late start trying to find a wifi shop slowed us down. Salzburg is not as wifi'd as other cities we've visited.

We ended up going to the Salzburg City Museum and Panorama, good for a rainy day. Got tickets for Zell for tomorrow. The museum was very extensive and quite new. Built in 2007. It described the city problems and growth through the lives of the artists, political figures and musicians.

They started early promoting tourism since people enjoyed coming to the Baroque City. The Panorama (360 degree wall art) was done in the early 1800's, before photography, and showed the marvelous setting of Salzburg from the perspective of the fortress. It toured Europe for many years before becoming a fixture in Salzburg.

This part of the museum also showed the making of "Sound of Music" and many original scripts, posters and other interesting tidbits. Julia Andrews was just paid $250,000 for making the movie and it has brought in hundreds of millions.

Other actors that were considered for her part were Grace Kelly, Leslie Coran, and Doris Day. Other male actors that might have portrayed the baron, played by Christopher Plummer in the movie, were Sean Connery, Bing Crosby, and Yul Brenner.

Certainly the highlight of the evening was a program Salzburg has once a year on June 1st called Lange Nacht der Kirchen (Long Night at the Churches). Again our timing was right on! All the churches offer frees concerts and we were entertained or I should say mesmerized for four hours.

We happened to choose St Peter's out of 21 other venues. That was our very good luck. We walked in just before 8:00 and the church pews were almost filled. We found good seats in the choir on the side behind the performers. About 25 chorus members paraded in and at least 12 orchestra players, all in black...very formal. For the next 1-1/4 hours we heard a live performance of Handel's Messiah...I guess 12-15 movements. The group was superb. The performance and the surroundings were profoundly touching.

As we were about to leave for another church, we noticed a woman carrying her medium-sized harp forward for the next set of music. Mom loves the harp, as you know, so we immediately took seats near the front on the aisle. The next two hours of music was unusual and intriguing...we loved it.

The group, d' Salzburger Nockerl, of five players were very talented on their instruments and vocally...harp, accordion, flugelhorn horn, double bass, guitar were the primary instruments, wight he addition of several sized didderydoo, drums, bells, monoharp...essentially Aboriginal instruments. (We will look them up on You Tube.)
The music and their beautiful voices was breath taking, not to mention the setting. An ornate gorgeous church with hundreds of lit candles. Another definite highlight of our trip.

We left thoroughly entertained at 12:30am and walked home through the picturesque streets of Salzburg. Wow !
On Display in the
Salzburg City Museum

The Sound of Music.
Is that Julie Andrews or Mom?

Orchestra and Chorus
Handel's Messiah

A Variety of Instruments
Played by
D'Salzburger Nockerl.

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