I was walking down a street in Vienna, trailing the rest of my family by a few metres – if I remember, I had stopped to re-tie a shoelace. Then I saw this plaque.
I like to read historical plaques – they give a flavour to a neighbourhood, providing interesting information you might otherwise have missed. Not everything can be found in the guidebooks, if you are the sort of person who uses guidebooks.
Vienna is a big city for music. Mozart’s influence is practically everywhere, right down to the chocolates. My mind also associates Strauss with Vienna, though I can’t remember why it does that. I’d forgotten about Haydn.
I didn’t realize at first the building was a church, it doesn’t stand out the way most churches do in an old city. Yet the Church of the Barmherzigen Brüder has been there since 1622, so it was already old when Haydn was in its choir.
Now I must confess, offhand I can’t remember any of Haydn’s works symphonic or otherwise. I know he is one of the giants of classical music, and I am sure I learned all about him when I was younger – but that information has vanished from my consciousness. All too often that seems to be the case with what we learn.
When I caught up to the others and told them about the plaque there didn’t seem to be any great desire to retrace footsteps and check out the church. Europe has so many great cathedrals that after a while you kind of take them for granted, and we had never heard of the Church of the Barmherzigen Brüder before.
Maybe next time. I’m sure I’ll learn something interesting.