Just ten more days of shorter days and longer nights, then the axis turns and we start going back up again.
Despite my 30 plus years living in Austria, I can’t help noticing how it gets darker earlier and earlier and literally count the days to the solstice to start looking forward to summer again.
Yet, this morning, it was so pretty, I couldn’t resist, I had to take a snapshot of the snow in the flower bed.
The tree on the corner, now surrounded by flowers and snow was only just planted the last couple of years.
One of the lovely things about living in Austria at this time of year is the Christmas markets and Christmas concerts.
This year it was Christoph who faithfully dedicated his time to choir practice and today we enjoyed the ADVENTKONZERT “Träume unterm Christbaum” mit Wien-Schwerpunkt together with family and friends. It was the choir made up of all former VBC singers, now grown up.
The concerts have been held over the years and it is our pride and joy to invite others to come share the spirit.
For us it is a reminiscence of the years gone by when our boys were singing in the Vienna Boys Choir (VBC) at the Sunday mass. Now it is the former Vienna Choir Boys in the men’s choir: Chorus Viennensis
What an institution. On my way back down the stairs after the concert I noted the sign claiming the founding date as 1498. Yep. It was 500 years, exactly half a century later that our first son joined the VBC and Christoph then the following year when I began to work in Vienna.
We were living in the distant cold “Waldviertel” the forest quarter of Lower Austria and Josef had been travelling to Vienna every Monday and Friday to take Godwin into boarding school and pick him up again. Our first son joined for the five hundred year anniversary of the VBC. And we accompanied our children there for 16 years! We were told it was a record, five sons from one family in the world famous choir.
Now we had made a role change and I was working in Vienna. It meant that we left the forest quarter and moved to the wine quarter. And since Christoph decided that he did not want to part with dear friends twice, he announced that he was ready to join the VBC now too. Little did we know at the time that my new job was just around the corner from the famous school in Augarten. For that first school year when he was still too young for the boarding school, we commuted together and I dropped him off at school before continuing on to work, then collected him again on my way home. I became a familiar face in Augarten.
So, all the more joyful today to see some old faces and reflect on those days.
Vienna Boys Choir
Our five boys all went through the fourth year in the primary school, the four years in the choir in the grammar school, and the last one, even another four years in the upper grammar school.
You don’t have to sing in a choir after being in a choir school. You do know however that they say those who sing and are exposed to music from an early age grow up to be more intelligent?
Whatever. It’s that time of year. We just experienced a lovely Christmas concert in the Imperial Palace. It’s where the masses are held in the chapel. We had seats upstairs in the front row.
You know me already. I can’t keep my camera down. I did not record everything – my kids have scolded me in the past. Last year it was my own youngest son recording the official version and I was not scolded.
This year I’ve stalked the Facebook pages and have not really found much else shared. So I guess I will upload what I have and post a link.
I know the rules. If someone complains – I delete.
However this is great advertising and too beautiful to keep to myself.
Christmas in Vienna
I had never heard of a contra-guitar, let alone seen one, until tonight. My research showed me this is really a typical Viennese musical group, named after the Schrammel brothers – Philharmonia Schrammeln, the music was enchanting. The company was good. There was time for sharing afterwards. Yes, it was freezing cold outside. It was snowing. The Christmas markets and punch stands are open. Christmas is coming. We’re having Christmas in Vienna.