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Friday, January 27, 2006


General Discussions: The Magic Whistle Blower

Source: The Times

Today is the 250th anniversary Of Wolfgang Mozart's birth date.

Salzburg gets wild about Wolfgang

The Austrian city made famous by Mozart is gearing up for a year-long celebration of it's prodigal son's music. Tim Hames is your guide

IT IS NOT unusual for a city to have a favourite son. It is, though, rare for a city to become virtually a shrine to a single individual. Yet that is the relationship between Salzburg and Mozart. This part of Austria is so devoted to the composer who was born, raised and lived much of his life here that it seems almost impolite to note that he spent his final years, and then died, in Vienna.

Other figures have lived here, and it is acceptable to mention Johann Michael Hayden. But suggest that The Sound of Music, much of which was filmed in and around Salzburg, might represent an alternative claim to fame and there is the risk of being run out of town. Salzburg wants to be remembered for The Magic Flute, not Edelweiss.

Yet even by these high standards of homage, next year will be exceptional. The 250th anniversary of the great man’s birth will be marked by Salzburg with intensity and style. If there is ever a moment for anybody who is remotely interested in the man to take a trip to this musical centre, then it will come in 2006. There will be nothing like it again until, well, the 250th anniversary of his death in 2041.

Salzburg is not an in-your-face sort of place and the mood is one of discreet enthusiasm rather than brash showmanship. The branding for Mozart 2006 is everywhere, but in the form of modest logos across a range of publications — not on vast posters or hoardings. It is as if those running the London Olympic bid had decided to press their case by printing their message on the back of matchboxes rather than putting up banners across the capital.

In a sense, Salzburg’s proud obsession with its musical genius almost gives the impression that the city has nothing to offer but the memory of the man himself. But this is hardly an accurate picture of one of the most beautiful places in Europe. Even if Mozart had, heresy of heresies, seen the light of day somewhere else, Salzburg would be well worth the effort to visit.

The city is neatly divided by the River Salzach. On one side is the historic older part, dominated by the staggering Hohensalzburg, the largest completely preserved fortress in Europe, which dates from 1077. This can be reached by a testing climb involving several hundred steps — and preferably a private oxygen supply — or via a swift cable railway journey.

The section of the city is also the home of the Residenz — living quarters of Salzburg’s archbishops — state rooms and art gallery, an exceptional cathedral, museums, concert halls and, for those of a less cultured bent, the Stiegl’s Brauwelt (the world of beer).

The other Salzburg, comparatively modern and racy (there are cars), is on the other bank of the river. Most of the major hotels are clustered here, many around the enchanting gardens of the Mirabell Palace, which featured in the film whose name it is unwise to mention loudly.

Cleanliness and convenience are as apparent as in the more traditional half of the city. And although Salzburg has what appears to be an admirable public transport system, two legs remain the best way of seeing what is on offer.

There is much to do, even if one has little interest in classical music. But it is the presence of Mozart that dominates. He even manages to unite what is otherwise a sharp divide between the two sections of the city. His birthplace is on one bank of the river (in the old town), while the more spacious set of rooms that his family acquired once he had become a sensation is on the other. Both are open to the public.

Neither is remotely tacky. The Mozart Geburtshaus (birthplace) is, in reality, a display about his early years located in a cluster of rooms in front of the university area, respectful to the point of deferential. The Mozart-Wohnhaus, his base when not on the road between 1773 and 1780, is similarly informative.
Enthusiasts for Mozart are rather different from teenage fans of a here-today, gone- tomorrow boy band. Those I saw were knowledgeable and fascinated to glean what they could about what in his surroundings might have influenced the man and his music. Strangers would strike up quiet conversations about their observations of the exhibits. Madame Tussauds this is not.

This would be a lot of Mozart at the best of times, but the composer’s two homes, the concert halls and the Mozartplatz will compete for visitors during the anniversary celebrations. The Salzburg Provincial Museum will open the grand rooms of the New Building of the Residenz on January 27, the anniversary of his birth, and, for 12 months, will stage what promises to be the most extensive exhibition on the life and work of Mozart ever put on by any institution anywhere.

Salzburg next year is expected to attract two or three times the number of tourists that it normally receives, but the extra visits will be spread evenly across several months and will not make high summer an unbearably busy experience. Those who book within the next three months should still be able to stay at the hotels they want at the time they desire. I would not leave it much later than Christmas to secure a firm reservation.

If next year is anything like the success that Salzburg hopes and expects then the longer-term consequences for the city could be considerable. This is a place that is barely 90 minutes from London, packed with more than enough to do for a long weekend, but which has not yet become an established part of the short-break scene for the British. My bet is that anyone going to visit for the anniversary will be tempted to visit again — just so long as they don’t mention Julie Andrews.
Interesting place Salzburg

Kandas have you seen the MacDonalds sign in Salzburg- the one close to the Geburtshaus? Quite a classic

A really interesting place to visit.

Alongside with Julie Andrews- do not mention Adolf Hitler

They do not like it.
Ah I see...

Nobody comments on this nice thread 'cause it is not Noot vir Noot!!!!

Bloody uncultivated lot!
Sorry OO

You are not included

By the way, you dont want to send me something on The Revolution for the new site?
Shyte this software is doing funny things!!!!!

Co-workers are the moer in with me as we are listening to Mozart today in the Office. Also a bunch of uncultivated thugs.
Ok Kandas

Will do

expect it tommorrow

only request the background colour is not red but?

ofcourse ORANJE ;-)
Salzburg Shmalzburg

Be careful, TafelbErg will get hold of you for not spelling it SalzbErg
So what is up with the big E

Estrogeen ?
Hallo OO

Earl, Ease, Ebullient, Edible, Educated, Eager Effeminate, Exciting, Eau

Take your pick

Effordable, damm, just had to try it.
Albert van den BErg
BErg Rheinstein





TafelbUrg 1, Anonymous 0

Okay, like I give up already!


Tafelberg! There, i said it.
Jeez Tafeltjie sEnsitivE  
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