A baryton (that’s what they call it here, not sure if it has the same name in English) is… what. Like if you had a cello and a gambe? And they mated and the egg hatched? It might be a baryton? Lots of strings – maybe six in front, and more behind the neck to be plucked with the left thumb. The neck is 3 times as wide as normal, because it has what looks like a resonance thing alongside it, for those rear strings. Of which there must be a dozen, judging from all the tuning pegs.
And the whole thing is topped off with a carved head of a guy.
And it was built in 1651, approximately. Mid 17th century, anyway.
And it’s being played by an instrument geek, played well, in a trio (violin/viola and cello, 18th century instruments) in the Ruprechtskirche, Vienna’s oldest church.
Josef Haydn and Andreas Lidl.
Alpha and I were there last night, with Jessica and Brendan, the famous bloggers. You would think, with music that good, and company that interesting, and pews that uncomfortable, in a church that cold, it would be harder to fall asleep, but I managed. And I wasn’t the only one, people were nodding off all over.
Still, it was brilliant.
The whole day was.
Here, if a sausage isn’t unhealthy enough for you, they will wrap one in cheese and bacon and fry it if you want, and call it a Bernerwuersterl. I had one for lunch just to demonstrate it to our visitors. For dinner, we weren’t very hungry so we all had sausages standing up at a sausage stand prior to the concert (we were standing up, the sausages were lying down, sliced into pieces).
We did a lot of walking.
We looked at a courtyard.
We had coffee at the Hawelka coffee house, which is miraculously still run by the original owners, who were in their seventies twenty years ago when I first went there. They are still there, ancient and sweet and apparently in love.
No, wait, impossible cause Gamma’s having a slumber party at the same time. Run slumber party, pitch tent in living room for little kids, etc. Give visiting friends directions to their hotel instead and promise to pick them up in town instead, maybe.
Mail them a list of catacombs in Vienna just in case.
No, wait, must go to Sl*venia on business, so scratch the slumber party.
Wait, can’t scratch a birthday party; force wife to do all the work instead. Engage other daughter and her beautiful talented friend to help out…