Salzburg Festival Blog 24 (18 Aug)

I wake up late, a little tired after the exertions of the last week and enjoy an hour or two reading Gabriele d’Annunzio’s ‘Book of the Virgins’. There is little time left for reading in this Festival summer now, so I enjoy dipping into this slim volume of four short stories. D’Annunzio’s work has been rather neglected of late, perhaps his scandalous personal life, egocentricity and not least his proto-fascist beliefs (which were well ahead of his time) have contributed to this. However he writes with flair and sophistication and one appreciates the reasons for his huge reputation (even in England) in the first two decades of the 20th century. Not only his political beliefs were ahead of their time; his writing style, with its extreme juxtapositions, anticipates by decades the world of James Joyce.

After this it is time for a completely different cultural world that of ‘Gerusalemme Liberata’, i.e. the General Rehearsal of ‘Armida’. It goes well and we sit together in Triangel afterwards. Many of the Bach Choir have attended the rehearsal and are enthusiastic about another Christof Loy production.