Since the festival performs at churches around Burgenland, a Mass is used for the church services. So far, the Paukenmasse of Haydn has been performed in Vienna at St Stephandom, at the church in Pottersdorf and at the Bergkirche in Eisenstadt. The original manuscript pix of the cover and the first oboe part, page 1 are included here. There are no trombones in this Mass, so I get the day off……
Friday and Saturday, Aug 12 and 13, were tourists days for the festival. On Friday, we toured Forchtenstein Castle (complete with draw bridge entry and moat) and took in Donnizetti’s Elixir of Love at St. Margarethen. The third largest open air opera theater in Europe (the other two are in Italy), it is a still functioning rock quarry and a World Heritage site. The weather held at about 60 degrees, and you buy a bottle of wine and sip it while you enjoy the opera.
On Saturday, the tour was to Melk Abbey, a 90 minute ferry ride on the Danube and lunch in Durnstein. The Durnstein region of the Danube is known for its apricot orchards and one can purchase apricots in all forms, the best of which is as a nectar and a liqueur.
The family on the top deck of the boat:
The Danube from the top of the castle ruins above Durnstein:
Today, we rehearse Haydn’s Stabat Mater and perform it at 5pm today at the Bergkirche. Tomorrow, the final day of the festival, is an important holiday in Austria and we will perform the Paukenmasse one last time.