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Monday, 7 September 2009

All That Glisters ...

Today started with a quick tour of the Stadtpark. Here, apart from the welcome green space, are memorials to lots of Austria’s great and good from years gone by. The composers include Anton Bruckner, for so many years hardly known outside his home country, and of course the younger Johann Strauss.

The Strauss memorial has a stylised shining golden statue of the composer, and perhaps it’s just me, but it looks like the ultimately tacky tribute. But lots of tourists want to have their photo taken next to it, unlike the smaller and less obvious tribute to Franz Schubert, whose output of songs and chamber music puts the younger Strauss well and truly in the shade.

The standard of Schubert’s legacy is rather higher, too, and had he not been taken too early, at the age of only 31, what he might have achieved is the stuff of dreams. But ordinary folks like their walzes, and so they flock to the golden statue of Strauss.

And even less bother looking at Bruckner. Such is life.

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