October 26, 1986 |
When Vienna's Volksoper gives a performance of Ralph Benatzky's sweet, lighthearted operetta Im Weissen Rossl, a musical extravaganza that by no standard compares to any of the Johann Strauss or Franz Lehar masterpieces, it becomes the hottest ticket in town. The Viennese go en masse to the Benatzky show, with its overdose of schmaltz, because it gives them a chance to go back to the good old days when life was merry and there wasn't a care in the world, or so it seemed. But more important, the "hero" of the operetta is the Emperor Franz Josef, who, when he arrives on the scene in a lake boat, decked out in his pompous, medaled uniform and famous sidebars, receives a sustained outburst of applause from the Viennese.
May 1, 1994 |
Most visitors to the Imperial Palace, seat of the old Austro-Hungarian Empire, come to take in the Flemish tapestries and portraits of such ill-fated Hapsburg family notables as Marie Antoinette and Archduke Franz Ferdinand. But across the courtyard from the Royal Apartments and up five flights of stairs is a little-known museum dedicated to a little-spoken language some people still hope will eventually sweep the world. At the palace, streams of tourists line up to pay 25 schillings - a couple of dollars - to visit the royal living and sleeping rooms, and shell out 40 schillings more for the self-guided tour booklet in their language of choice.
May 13, 1990 |
It is usually actors who talk about undertaking roles that are a "stretch" from their repertoire. But for James F. Pyne Jr., a resident designer now in his 14th season at The People's Light and Theater Company in Malvern, The Devil and All His Works has presented its own challenges. "This show is definitely the most ambitious thing we've done from a physical production standpoint," Pyne said of the play set in 1895 Vienna. "It was the biggest stretch for me - I normally don't design in this style.
July 6, 1986 |
As British writer John Berger posits in his seminal essay, "The Moment of Cubism," major aesthetic upheavals reflect deeper revolutionary currents in the general society. Berger's essay points up a simple but frequently overlooked truth - that art is not divorced from life, as we so often perceive it to be, but an integral component of daily existence, even if the relationship isn't always readily apparent. The new exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, "Vienna 1900: Art, Architecture and Design," doesn't have anything to do with cubism, but in its illumination of a culture teetering nervously on the cusp of the modern era, it recalls Berger's thesis.
January 22, 1989 |
It was a new sign, at the side of the airport highway (also new), and to a longtime lover of Vienna like me, it was a bit of a shock. "Wien ist Happy dass Du kommst," it said in tall white letters on a bright red board. Wien ist Happy? What language was that? Certainly not the precise, proper German of the gracious old dowager city I knew. In that Vienna, custodian of the highest Germanic culture and tradition, any billboard welcoming visitors would have declared correctly, if pompously: "Wien freut sich, Sie herzlich willkommen zu heissen" (Vienna is pleased to welcome you)
January 13, 1987 |
Austria and the city of Vienna are offering Philadelphia a unique gift for its "We the People 200" celebration in the form of a newly composed mass. The work, by young Viennese musician Roland Baumgartner, is titled "Missa Pacis" (Mass of Peace). The mass will be given its world performance on July 1 at the Academy of Music, with possible performances several days later at the Kennedy Center in Washington. Its many styles and varied non-denominational sections were chosen by the composer to emphasize the diversity of musical cultures among the peoples of the world.
September 30, 1986 |
The musical ferment in turn-of-the-century Vienna was the end of something or the beginning of something, and the Swarthmore Music and Dance Festival spent its first concerts helping audiences decide which. In this segment's final concert, held Sunday, the program at Lang Concert Hall viewed the ferment in terms of song. James Freeman chose songs by Brahms and Schoenberg, but it was Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire that held chief interest. In that 21-song cycle, Schoenberg said goodbye to traditional melody and vocal technique in a search for a musical language capable of expressing deeper meanings.
April 3, 1988 |
We're going to visit Hungary in July, then we'd like to go from Budapest to Vienna by steamer on the Danube. Can you tell us how long the trip takes? Do we need overnight accommodations? What will the price be; do we need reservations? How should we book passage? Although there are a few options for a Danube cruise from Vienna to Budapest - anywhere from a 12-hour, one-way trip to a meandering one-week round trip - the same is not true in the opposite direction. The upstream currents make a cruise impractical for a trip in one day. There is a paddlewheel steamer, the SS Schoenbrunn, that goes from Vienna to Budapest in 12 hours (9 a.m. to 9 p.m.)
May 9, 1992 |
Mark Bruce Dworkin, 42, a Camden native and chairman of the department of molecular biology at the Ernst Boehringer Institute of Vienna, Austria, died April 30 of cancer in Vienna. Dr. Dworkin graduated from Cherry Hill High School West in 1967. He earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics at the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1971 and received his doctorate in biology in 1976 from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn. He completed post-doctoral work in biochemistry at the Carnegie Institution in Baltimore, the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., and the University of California at Davis.
August 9, 1989 |
On a midsummer night two years ago, Felix S. Bloch and I sat in a parked car on a deserted street in Vienna and talked about something concerning us both. Today, the setting reeks of conspiracy. Yet the conversation was not. We had met a few hours earlier under impeccably normal circumstances. Bloch, then deputy chief of the American Embassy (and today America's most famous spy suspect), was leaving his post under what was thought to be routine rotation. That evening, a senior official of the Austrian Foreign Ministry had given Bloch the sort of farewell party that normally marks the departure of a top diplomat.