In the 1990s, Berkshire Choral International (BCI) expanded its horizons beyond The Berkshires to include weeks in Canterbury, England; Salzburg, Austria; and Santa Fe.
Sometime around 1998 – Pat had just retired – a friend, Dennis Monk and I decided to go to Mondsee, Austria to sing in the Berkshire Choral International. His wife, Kay, and my wife, Pat, were delighted to go along. After the Mondsee experience, we plan to add on Slovenia, where we would be entertained by my friend, Tomaž Bartol, to Castelrotto, Italy, and to Munich, Germany before returning home to Annapolis, Maryland.
In Mondsee, the four of us were assigned rooms in a local home from which we could walk to meals and rehearsals.
On the first day we picked up the music, met other singers – among whom was the choir of an Episcopal Church in Houston, and were checked as to whether we needed “remedial instruction.” Both Dennis and I passed. Our conductor was to be Thomas Bottcher and we would have 4 ringers – one for each part.
Our repertoire was Motets by Mendelssohn and Bruckner as well as Haydn’s Missa in tempore belli (Paukenmesse).
We were scheduled to give to concerts, one at the Basilica of St. Michael Mondsee Salzkammergut and the other in the Salzburg Dom.
A bit about the town. The town, on the Mondsee Lake, is home to the late gothic church which was constructed in the 15th century, If you’ve watched the movie “The Sound of Music” you probably remember the wedding scene in a large late-gothic church. This was the church for the wedding.
Pat and Kay often sat and had coffee or wine in the place near the church where the white tables are. From there, they watched many wedding processionals of Japanese couples who wanted to be married in the church used for the “Sound of Music” – leaving in horse carriages.
Leaving our rehearsal schedule, Kay and Pat drove to Vienna, stopping at Melk . They spent a night with a friend of the Monks in a lovely old apartment and followed the Danube for awhile on their way back to Mondsee.
We gave a concert in the Church (Mendelssohn & Bruckner Motets).
The next day we travelled to Salzburg to give a concert Salzburg Cathedral.
We sang Haydn’s Missa in tempore belli (Paukenmesse) with orchestra as the Sunday mass.
The Salzburg Cathedral (Salzburger Dom) is the seventeenth-century Baroque cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Salzburg. In the seventeenth century, the cathedral was completely rebuilt in the Baroque style to its present appearance. The Salzburg Cathedral still contains the baptismal font from which the composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was baptized on 28 January 1756, the day after his birth. Heavy stuff!
After a night in Salzburg, on to Slovenia.