André Rieu – The Beautiful Blue Danube
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, regarded by many as the greatest musical genius of all time, was born in Salzburg, Austria, on January 27, 1756, the son of violinist and composer Leopold Mozart. The young Mozart began composing minuets at age 5 and, with his older sister Marianne, gave concerts in Munich and Vienna from age 6. At 13, Mozart became director of concerts for the archbishop of Salzburg and in 1782 he married Constanze Weber against her father’s wishes. Although Mozart gave piano concerts throughout Europe and composed more than 600 works, including 40 symphonies, he and his wife were plagued by debt. When Mozart died in 1791, probably of heart disease, he was buried in an unmarked pauper’s grave. It was not until his works were published, in many cases near the end of the 19th century, that Mozart’s genius became widely recognized.
Image: Library of Congress
Kreisky was an Austrian statesman who helped negotiate the treaty that restored Austrian independence and neutrality in 1955 and who became chancellor of Austria in 1970, retaining the office until 1983. As chancellor, he increased Austria’s role in world affairs and presided over a growing economy. He instituted many liberal reforms, such as the decriminalization of homosexuality and abortion. The chancellor, who had Jewish roots, stirred up controversy by appointing whom to his cabinet? More… Discuss
The older brother of Napoleon, Joseph Bonaparte served as French minister to Parma and Rome, and negotiated a treaty with the US in 1800. When Napoleon became emperor, Joseph bitterly protested being left out of the line of succession. In 1806, Napoleon made him king of Naples, and in 1808 he was made king of Spain instead. He reluctantly abdicated after failure in the Peninsular War. He then lived mainly in the US state of New Jersey, where he was reputed to have seen what legendary creature? More… Discuss
Albert the Great was one of the Church’s greatest intellects. He studied at the University of Padua and later taught at Hildesheim, Freiburg-im-Breisgau, Regensburg, and Strasbourg. He then taught at … continue reading
Marie Antoinette was the wife of King Louis XVI of France. Their marriage was designed to ally France with its longtime enemy, Austria. She was initially popular, but her devotion to Austrian interests and her reputation for heedless extravagance hastened the public’s disillusionment with the monarchy and helped to provoke the French Revolution. She was executed by guillotine in 1793, as was her husband. What oft-repeated though unverified quote is attributed to the vilified queen? More… Discuss
Bulgaria was absorbed into the Ottoman Empire in 1396, but Turkish rule was often oppressive, and rebellions were frequent. In 1908, taking advantage of the Young Turk revolution in Constantinople and the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina by Austria, Prince Ferdinand proclaimed Bulgaria independent with himself as czar. Bulgaria then became involved in a series of conflicts—two Balkan Wars and World War I—that led to Ferdinand’s abdication. Why was Bulgaria regarded as the Balkan Prussia? More…
Saint of the Day for Sunday, September 14th, 2014
Patroness of poor peasants and servants in the Tyrol. Born in Rattenberg, in the Tyrol, she was the daughter of peasants. At eighteen she became a servant in the household of Count Henry of … continue reading
More Saints of the Day
St. Notburga St. Caerealis & Sallustia St. Cormac St. Crescentian
St. Crescentius St. Gabriel Taurin Dufresse St. Maternus of Cologne
Madame de Pompadour became King Louis XV‘s mistress in 1745 and remained his confidante until her death. Of middle-class origin, she owed her success mainly to her intelligence and capabilities. She was a devoted patron of the arts and was a tastemaker in matters of art and culture. However, she was less astute in the political arena, as exemplified by her encouragement of the French alliance with Austria that involved her country in the disastrous Seven Years’ War. How did she die? More… Discuss
Despite having little formal education in engineering. Porsche showed enormous natural aptitude. After working in the automotive industry for some time, the Austrian formed his own firm and began designing vehicles on commission—one of which resulted in the original Volkswagen Beetle. His success in making Hitler‘s vision for a “people’s car” a reality led to further commissions, and Porsche went on to design various military vehicles for the Germans. How did this affect him after the war? More… Discuss
Francis II, the last Holy Roman Emperor, came to power just before the outbreak of war with Napoleon’s France. His armies were defeated, and he ceded the left bank of the Rhine to France in exchange for Venetia and Dalmatia. In 1798, he joined the Second Coalition against France, but he was again defeated. He eventually consented to the virtual dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire and assumed the title of emperor of Austria. Though he despised Napoleon, Francis allowed him to marry whom? More… Discuss
Researchers are attributing an uptick in suicides in North America and Europe to the recent economic crisis. An analysis of data from 24 European countries, the US, and Canada attributes 10,000 suicides to the recession. It is perhaps not surprising that unemployment, losing one’s home, or being in debt drives some to take their own lives, but it is interesting to note that this is not the case everywhere. Austria, Sweden, and Finland showed no increase in suicides. All three invest in programs that help people return to work, suggesting that there are ways to mitigate the psychological burden brought on by economic troubles. More…
European Journey – The pulse of Europe: Austria
Slovenian Philharmonic String Quartet with guests
Oliver Dizdarević Škrabar – solo violin
Žiga Faganel – violin
Irina Kevorkova – violin
Maja Rome – viola
Gordana Keller Petrej – cello
Petar Brčarević – double bass
Slovenian Philharmonic – The Slavko Osterc Hall
September 23, 2012
Mesmer was a German physician who experimented with an early form of hypnosis, known as “mesmerism.” He developed a doctrine of “animal magnetism,” believing that harmony could be restored in the human body by inducing “crises”—trance states often ending in delirium or convulsions. He carried out dramatic demonstrations of his ability to “mesmerize” his patients using magnetized objects. Accused by Viennese physicians of fraud, he left Austria for France. What scandal plagued Mesmer’s career? More… Discuss
Though the union of Austria and Germany was forbidden by the Treaty of Saint-Germain in 1919, the Nazis annexed Austria in 1938. The German term Anschluss—”annexation“—is most frequently used in reference to this event. When the Nazis entered Austria to enforce the Anschluss, they encountered no military opposition and quickly took control. The US, USSR, and UK signed a declaration proclaiming the Anschluss null and void in 1943, yet Austria did not regain its sovereignty until what year? More…Discuss
The only surviving child of Charles the Bold, duke of Burgundy, Mary inherited the vast Burgundian domains in France and the Low Countries upon her father’s death in 1477. Louis XI of France immediately annexed some of these and, hoping to gain possession of the rest, proposed that she wed his son Charles. She instead married Maximilian of Austria, establishing the Hapsburgs in the Low Countries and initiating the long rivalry between France and Austria. What Great Privilege did she grant? More… Discuss
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg, Austria, on this day in 1756. His achievements in composing operas, chamber music, symphonies, and piano concerti have earned him a reputation as one of the greatest musical geniuses of all time. Mozart’s birthday is observed by musical societies all over the world, who often give concerts of his music on this day. The city of his birth also honors him at the end of January with Mozart Week. More… Discuss
Published on Feb 9, 2013: 4,590,957 views!
A mix with some of the best classical pieces in the world.
Compositions name list:
00:01 – Albinoni – Adagio in g minor
10:44 – Pachelbel – Canon in D major
16:55 – Beethoven – Moonlight Sonata
22:59 – Carlos Gardel – Por una cabeza
30:03 – Dmitri Shostakovich – Waltz no 2
33:52 – Eugen Doga – Grammofon
36:20 – Gheorghe Zamfir – The Lonely Shepherd
40:40 – Johann Strauss II – Vienna Blood Waltz
47:46 – Johann Strauss II – Voices of Spring Waltz
53:31 – Juventino Rosas – Over the Waves Waltz
59:20 – Mozart – Rondo Alla Turca
1:02:57 – Mozart – Symphony 40 No 1
1:09:16 – Mozart – Lacrimosa
1:12:36 – Nino Rota – Vito’s Waltz
1:15:28 – Nobuo Uematsu – Dance With the Balamb-Fish
1:19:08 – Tchaikovsky – Sleeping Beauty Waltz
1:23:47 – Tchaikovsky – Swan Lake Waltz
1:30:41 – Tchaikovsky – Waltz of the Flowers
1:37:05 – Mozart – Serenade No 13
Nearly three months after Israel’s bombing of Palestine Liberation Organization headquarters in Tunisia, terrorists retaliated in two nearly simultaneous attacks at European airports. At Leonardo da Vinci Airport in Rome, Italy, gunmen opened fire and threw grenades at the Israeli airline’s ticket counter, while at an airport in Vienna, Austria, terrorists threw grenades into a crowd awaiting a flight to Tel Aviv. In all, 19 people were killed and more than 100 hurt. Who claimed responsibility? More… Discuss
Concierto de Año Nuevo de la Orquesta Filarmónica de Viena, dirigida por Franz Welser-Möst, en la Sala Dorada de la Musikverein de Viena (Austria) el 01/01/2013.
This is perhaps THE most famous video recording of a Bruckner Symphony.
Many say Bruckner’s 8th is the mount Everest of all symphonies.
Recorded June 4th 1979, and filmed on location in the monastery church in St. Florian, Austria with Herbert von Karajan and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
This video testament is extremely historically important because it helped solidify the international Brucknerfest in Linz after the opening of the new concert hall, the “Brucknerhaus” in 1974. Herbert von Karajan was the first famous international conductor to conduct a symphony in the Stiftskirche in St. Florian, which helped establish the reputation of the yearly festival to this day.
Karajan later in an interview related that he was given special access to Bruckner’s underground tomb located beneath the great organ, where he was alone with Bruckner’s sarcophagus for a lengthy amount of time before the performance.
On a side note:
Boulez’s video version IMO greatly pales in comparison to Karajan’s power, sensitivity and spirituality in this 1979 recording…even Karajan’s video remake in 1988 (in Vienna) does not come as close.
One musical scholar stated about this concert:
“Massive, glowing and infused with cosmic power”.
…so thankfully we can now finally enjoy the performance COMPLETE, and not in chunks!
Holy water may be used to cleanse the soul, but the water itself is often far from clean. A vast majority of the holy springs and fonts tested at Austrian churches and chapels were found to be contaminated with fecal matter, likely the result of poor hygiene. Agricultural nitrates and diarrhea-causing bacteria were also frequently present in samples. To minimize issues of contamination, one priest has invented a holy water dispenser that releases drops of water instead of having the faithful dip their potentially dirty hands into the water.More… Discuss
Neglected by her husband, French King Louis XIII, Anne of Austria stirred up controversy with flirtatious indiscretions. After her seemingly treasonous correspondence with Spain, her husband’s principal minister, Cardinal Richelieu, attempted to limit her influence. When Louis died, Anne was declared sole regent of their son, Louis XIV—contrary to her husband’s wishes—and strove to ensure his absolute power. What did she do that was hailed at the time as “a marvel when it was least expected”?More… Discuss
Luigi Boccherini (1743 – 1805)
Gerald Smrzek (Austria) – Guitar,
Valbona Naku (Albania) – Violin,
Armando Toledo (Cuba) – Violin,
Lina Jihye Kim (Korea) – Viola,
M. d. G. (Italy) – Violoncello
[June 25, 2010 – Salvatorsaal (Vienna/Austria)]
Garibaldi is considered an Italian national hero for his role in the Risorgimento, the movement to liberate and unify Italy. In 1848, after having spent time in South America learning guerilla warfare tactics, he returned to Italy to fight for its independence. He fought Austria in Milan and France in Rome. In 1860, he raised an army of 1,000 and attacked Sicily. By the end of his campaign, he commanded 30,000 men, with whom he seized Naples, before handing all of southern Italy over to whom? More… Discuss
Joseph Haydn (1732)
The principal shaper of the Classical style, Haydn was an Austrian composer who exerted major influence on his contemporaries, including Mozart, and future composers. The first great symphonist, he composed 106 symphonies and virtually invented the string quartet. By his later years, he was recognized internationally as the greatest living composer. He composed important works in almost every genre. As a teacher, Haydn had a difficult relationship with what famous student? More… Discuss