Tuesday, December 28, 2010

17 Dec Friday @ Salzburg -8 C sunny

The most important program today  is the 6.30pm Borodin Quartet performance at the New Mozarteum ( Solitar Saal ). I had stumbled upon this program at the Mozarteum website, after a tip off from travel guide books, many months back. The tickets were purchased through the portal polzer.com, the only agent handling the university's concerts.

The  activities this day   evolved around the concert so that we need not rush back to the Mozarteum and  commit the crime of missing the concert.

Morning market stalls at Universitatplatz
Cheese and fresh produce at the morning market
MDM is raeched by a lift hewn into the Monchsberg
MDM's lift access is at the end of Getreidegasse

Bus 25 took us to Rathaus, where we made a  detour at Universitatplatz to take in the morning's atmosphere and have post breakfast cheese sausages with horse radish. Then it was a walk to the  Modern Art Museum via the Monchsberg lift, hewn into the rock mountain of Monchsberg.
Salzberg beneath the MDM
The footpath between MDM and Festung  is very breathtaking

MdM lies on the same ridge as the Festung, 2 km down. The scenery outside the MdM was extremely beautiful, with the wooded path covered fully with frost and and ankle deep  snow. We see Salzburg dressed in the same white with the valley gleaming in the morning sun . MdM is apparently not a very popular place so we had the whole place to ourselves for nearly 2 hours. It felt far flung although the tourist frenzy is just below our feet.
The view outside MDM kept us busy the entire morning
One of the very few exhibits inside MDM

As for MdM itself, it is a total non event. It was nothing like the TATE modern in London. The lighting at the exhibits were poorly laid planned resulting in reflections  and  viewing was extremely difficult. There were  exhibits with limited themes. If entry had not been covered for by the Salzburg card, I would have asked for my money back.
The food here is decent and service reasonable
A platz beside the toy museum. Beside is part of the Monchsberg

Lunch intermission was at Nordsee, a (fast) seafood chain. It starting snowing and got heavier just as we headed back to the Toy museum at the foot of Monchsberg. The toy and music instrument museum was very small and exhibits hardly interactive. Old toys displayed had no explanations. Again,we  would have scooted off had it not been for the heavy snow.
Toy exhibits inside the museum lacks interactivity

3 pm. We made our way to the Mozart Wonhaus on foot, across the Salzach's right bank. It is located at Markartplatz, steps away from the New Mozarteum. Surprisingly, we had a very educational and enlightened visit, learning about the life and works of Mozart. The audio-guide gave very interesting commentaries, accompanied by , what else but Mozart music in the background. This is one of the best museum visit in Salzburg.
The night scene near Mozarteum

4.15 pm. Our plan to have a snack at the café in the Mozarteum was thwarted because the café closes at 4pm ! We had pre-concert dinner at a very non-descript café , service and food quality non-existant, and by 5pm was back to recee the concert venue. My planning was not too good and we spent a good hour waiting for the concert hall to open. Meanwhile, we waded through the snow to the nearby Mirabel gardens and its Christmas market.

Finally, 6.30 pm came. The Borodin quartet gave a brilliant performance with the works of Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich  and of course, Borodin. This is my first quartet concert and admittedly, it is better than I expected. Violins, viola and cello made a collective voice like a woman making conversation in music. The snow covered Monchsberg glowed behind the musicians, separated by a wall of glass .it was surreal, mesmerizing and dramatic, like an MTV played out before us, by the instrumentalists. Will there be another concert experience as wonderful as this again ?

We had no opportunity to get their autographs after the concert, after all the effort getting the CD. Across the Mozarteum, along Mirabel, we took the bus back to terminus. We ate our second kebab meal in Europe, this time in Salzburg, also after a concert. What can I say ? Kebab stalls are life savers!

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