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Music in Vienna

Of all the arts, dance and poetry are my true passions.

So I’ve seen a lot of dance in Vienna. Been to the theatre a few times. I have yet to see an opera.

The dance this season has been deeply disappointing since the fabulous Jan Fabre-blessed season at Tanzquartier a couple of years ago. The dance which is being commissioned and presented is conceptual. Abstract.

Hardly dance at all.

So in despair I have turned to music, buying a host of albums which I will review here, going to concerts at Flex, becoming a member at Porgy and Bess.

I’ve often said dance is the poetry of motion. One could turn the definition on its head and say that poetry is the dance of language.

At the root of both poetry and dance is music.

There are only a few things which Austrians do better than anyone else in the world. One is skiing. The other is music.

The ballet orchestra at Staatsoper is head and shoulders above any other in the world. I recently attended an evening of As You Like It. The choreography is dull, the characterisation trite, but to hear the Staatsoper orchestra play Mozart made for an excellent evening.

I would never have guessed that a people who are so repressed emotionally – living in Vienna is like a timewarp to English Canada 30 years ago where repressed emotions were also the order of the day – could be so expressive emotionally.

All this repression can be agreeable at times – very rarely does one see people shouting at one another in the streets here. Bar fights or harsh words are rare. People are remarkably calm in the course of a day’s interaction.

Somehow all this repression must force the emotions out elsewhere.

And it appear the outlet is music.

I am tired of second-rate dance or worse not dance masquerading as dance.

So I will be writing a lot about music this year.

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