Sunday, May 22, 2011

Salzburg, Austria, birthplace of Mozart

We traveled from Munich to Salzburg on a gloriously beautiful Sunday morning. The name of this largest city in Austria literally means "salt castle" and refers to the castle overlooking the city that was built in the 4th century on the ruins of a Roman fortress. The castle, Europe's largest, today provides a stunning view of the town and city spread out below.

Salzburg is the birthplace of Mozart and its 17th century Salzburg Cathedral, noted for its Baroque architecture, was where he was baptized, sang in the boys' choir, and served as organist.

After a late morning rehearsal, the Singers and Professor Oakley went into the cathedral to participate in the 11:30 am Mass. They were accompanied by the director of cathedral music.

Professor Oakley was allowed to play one of the seven pipe organs during the service from the organ gallery. The Singers as usual provided wonderful music appropriate to the setting and service.

Nici Brouillette played the violin to accompany students Ginny Weant and Michelle Chaffee to a Mozart composition, "Laudote Dominum." As the piece concluded Nicu had years streaming down his face. He described the experience like this:

"Playing in Mozart' church was the most moving experience I have ever had while playing the violin. Not only was I able to play his music in his church, but I was able to be conducted by his successor, the director of cathedral music. I will never forget the moment when that director took my hand and said, 'Bravo! Bravo!' I was overwhelmed."

After Mass, the Singers and others in our group enjoyed an independent lunch, shopping and sightseeing in this UNESCO World Heritage site

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