Salzburg Festival Blog 21 (15 Aug)

Ferragosto-Assumption of the Virgin Mary I forget that this most important of Feast Days is of course a public holiday and so am not able to buy a present for a good friend’s birthday. I do however manage to have several excellent Vienese coffees in Cafe Mozart before our 11.00am Matinee.

Joel had been nervous earlier in the morning after a cold, but is singing. The concert is really fine and all soloists and choir have acquited themselves with distinction. For me there is a surprisingly vigorous public response (for such a devout piece) with rhythmic clapping of a sort more commonly found after concerts in France!

Louwrens Langevoort (Intendant of the Koeln Philharmonie concert hall) has attended the concert and I have a quick drink with him and Ken Smith in nearby Hotel Bristol. (The bar in the Mozarteum is closed on this Holy Day) I am invited to lunch at the home of Andreas Steinbauer along with Brenda Hurley. It is his birthday and he has cooked a feast. Smoked renke (a freshwater fish from one of the Salzburg region lakes) and veal.

Afterwards I drive into town to meet Sophie de Lint (currently a distinguished agent and designated Opera Director of the mighty Zurich Opera. She is staying with me for a few days and we catch up on the latest news over dinner in Schloss Aigen. The garden of this impressive restaurant is idyllic after a day’s work.