Last night’s concert at Auersperg Palace was the ultimate Viennese experience. Sure the State Opera is a bit more impressive, but if you don’t love opera, these Viennese favorites are just your cup of coffee – and maybe a piece of chocolate cake as well.
Mozart and Strauss were performed the Vienna Residence Orchestra at Auersperg Palace in downtown Vienna. The concert was one of AMADolce’s “optional” tours. Tailored for music-lovers, two busloads of passengers spent the evening at the Palace.
Shepherded by a guide on a coach that picked us up where we were docked in Vienna and let off at the doors of the beautiful Palace made for a great evening. The musicians were awesome in their interpretation of Mozart and Strauss standards, an operatic duo performed several numbers and a pair of ballet dancers shone. The theater itself, a beautifully elegant jewel box of a performance hall, features wonderful acoustics.
Vienna tourism includes the requisite visit to St. Stephens’s, the Ring Strasse, a view of Parliament and shopping venues, but it is music and the inevitable chocolate cake – the Sacher torte – the most Americans treasure. The original recipe was trademarked by the Hotel Sacher in 1876.
The hotel is still in existence, still featuring the world famous torte. The torte consists of two levels of chocolate dough, apricot jam separates them and the whole thing is topped by a dark chocolate icing. A newer version features raspberry jam. Both are traditionally finished with clouds of whipped cream.
WINE AND THE DANUBE FLOWS ON
The guest wine experts this cruise are from Rodney Strong wineries in California. Today’s wines compared sauvignon blancs produced by an Austrian vintner with the California version. Tastings of the two were included and it was a splendid and informative way to pass through one of 10 locks on our itinerary.
The Rodney Strong reps, Christopher Sawyer and Stephen Soltysiak conducted the session and explained the differences. Old worlds wines, is appears, are fermented in oaken barrels, the Rodney strong version in 90 percent stainless steel. They discussed keeping wine at moderate temperatures and Sawyer described the wine as “racy” and good with seafood, salads, and cheeses.
Tonight’s outing is to a local winery here in Krems, Austria.