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Classical Notes

Classical Notes: January 22, 2007 Archive

Vienna Postcard No. 1

Posted at 6:36 AM on January 22, 2007 by John Birge
Filed under: The blog

Greetings from Vienna, where our production team is preparing for tomorrow's live broadcast of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra from the Musikverein, the famous concert hall that is home to the Vienna Philharmonic. Tomorrow will be a day of many firsts: the first SPCO concert from Vienna, Roberto Abbado's first time conducting in the Musikverein, and Minnesota Public Radio's first broadcast from there as well!

This is my first chance to do radio in the Musikverein, but I was lucky to hear the Vienna Philharmonic there many years ago, and also to perform there with the Cincinnati Symphony (in my previous life as a horn player). So it was wonderful to be in the hall again today. Our production team of Brad Althoff, Michael Osborne, and I met with the manager of the concert series to see the hall and our broadcast booth to get a sense of what tomorrow will bring.

It's mild in Vienna, about 45 degrees, and a good day to visit the big landmarks, including the famous Stephansdom, the fabulous baroque Karlskirche (where a plaque commemorates Anton Bruckner's Te Deum), the Albertina, and the Staatsoper. Yes, there's now Starbucks and Burger King on the Kartnerstrasse -- Vienna is not immune to globalization -- but it still maintains a timeless elegance and genuine charm around every turn.

But there's work to be done to prepare for tomorrow's broadcast, and meanwhile we await tomorrow's arrival of the SPCO, after their first concert tonight in Budapest. More to come...

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