July 25, 2018

The Musicality of Salzburg

Tomoko and her husband Desy wanted to get married in his native country of Hungary, but it wasn’t safe for him so they decided to wed in Salzburg. And as Tomoko says, "I wanted to get married in Europe because I love Europe, especially Austria, and it was close enough to Hungary for my husband's sake." Musically, it was a wonderful choice. Here are a few reasons.

Probably the best known aspect of musical Salzburg is its annual festival, featured in the 1965 film Sound of Music.  The summer festival was officially established in 1920, and is held at Cathedral Square. Operas and dramas, orchestras and chamber music have all been performed at this festival. And this festival is just one of the many musical events that happen throughout the year in Salzburg.

There is a long tradition of music in Salzburg. The first opera performed north of the Alps happened in Salzburg – in 1617: Monteverdi’s “L’Orfeo.” It was considered the first opera ever, and took place in a former quarry that was transformed into a rocky theater.  The opera tells the story of Orpheus and his descent into Hell to bring back his dead wife.

It might not be a surprise that Mozart was born in Salzburg: in 1756. He grew up there, and stayed in Salzburg until he was 25 years old. Two museums are now dedicated to Mozart, and the most extensive Mozart library in the world is in Salzburg.

Salzburg’s most famous Baroque building is the Salzburg Cathedral, where Mozart was baptized. As a court organist and concertmaster, he composed sacred music to be performed there. Tomoko’s wedding was held at St. Gilgen's, where Mozart's mother was baptized. It might well be that Tomoko could feel the spirit of Mozart, certainly of music, as she and Desy exchanged their wedding vows.

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