Saturday, September 26, 2009

Mozart Konzerte

This is from a while ago, but Sabine and I went to see/hear a Mozart Konzerte when Oma and Opa were visiting and could babysit Ani and Pascal. The concert is performed in a smallish hall about the size of a high school basketball gymnasium. The performers wear period costumes, so all the men look like George Washington (so it follows then, that the women all looked like Betsy Ross if she ever dressed up for a night on the town). The performance include highlights from Mozart's symphonic works, operas as well as music from other composers of the period, like Haydn. There is no amplification because the room is that small. Sabine and I were sitting in the thin balcony that surrounds the room. It was really quite a pleasure to sit in the opulent room and hear the orchestra churn away below. Very relaxing. (A Japanese man sitting in front of us got so carried away he fell asleep. In the meantime his wife made some pretty good pencil sketches of the singers in her notebook.)

The room is totally ornate, gold this and that all over, bare-breasted women along the walls, adonis like dudes painted on the ceilings, the requisite fat little cherubs playing in the clouds. At some point while gazing around the room I got the impression I was in some sort of playboy mansion from the 18th century, but I think the bare-breasted women and adonis like men were less about sex directly and more about the general idea of fecundity and the pleasure of our senses. Nonetheless judging from the endless ornamentation, and lack of any really serious theme I get the impression that the people of the 18th century (at least the nobility) spent a lot of time thinking about pleasure, and the various ways to be swept away by it. Obviously these people were skating on thin ice (think the french revolution, and the american revolution) but it seems like they were all having a really swell time until reality crashed the party. Although in this neck of the european woods, the Habsburg monarchy seemed to have survived the sweeping changes of history a bit more intact than did their other european cousins.

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