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The Sound—and Sights—of Music
What closer association to Vienna is there than music? Saturated with musical history and boasting one of the world's greatest concert venues (the Musikverein), two of the world's greatest symphony orchestras (Vienna Philharmonic and Vienna Symphony), and one of the top opera houses (the Staatsoper), it's no wonder that music and the related politics are subjects of daily conversation.
Music lovers can tread in the footprints of the mighty, seeing where masterpieces were committed to paper or standing where a long-loved work was either praised or damned at its first performance. Many former musicians' residences are open as museums. The most famous apartments are where Mozart wrote his last three symphonies and Beethoven's Pasqualatihaus. Schubert's Birthplace. Unlike most of Vienna's composers, Schubert was a native of Vienna. You can visit this modest two-floor house where he was born. Nussdorferstrasse 54, 9th District/Alsergrund, Vienna, A-1090. 01/317-3601. www.wienmuseum.at. €4. Tues.-Sun. 10-1 and 2-6. U-Bahn: Streetcar 37 or 38 to Canisiusgasse.
Kettenbrückengasse 6. 4th District. 01/581-6730. U-Bahn: U4/Kettenbrückengasse.
Joseph Haydn House. In commemoration of the 200th anniversary of Joseph Haydn's death, his last residence has been completely redone and now holds an exhibition worthy of the great master. There is also a Brahms memorial room. Haydngasse 19, 6th District/Mariahilf, Vienna, A-1060. 01/596-1307. €4. Tues.-Sun. 10-1 and 2-6. U-Bahn: U4/Pilgramgasse or U3/Zieglergasse.
Beethoven's Heiligenstadt Residence. This house is where, at age 32, Beethoven wrote the "Heiligenstadt Testament," an anguished cry of pain and protest against his ever-increasing deafness. Probusgasse 6, 19th District/Grinzing, Vienna, A-1190. 01/370-5408. www.wienmuseum.at. €4. Tues.-Sun. 10-1 and 2-6. U-Bahn: U4/Heiligenstadt, then Bus 38A to Wagenwiese.
All the above houses contain commemorative museums. Admission is EUR 2. Most are open Tuesday-Sunday 10-1 and 2-6, but note there are exceptions. Johann Strauss the Younger's House. The most popular composer of all, waltz king Johann Strauss the Younger, composed the "Blue Danube Waltz" at this house in 1867. Standing in the huge salon of this belle-epoque building, you can well imagine what a sumptuous affair a Strauss soirée would have been. Artifacts include Strauss's Amati violin. Praterstrasse 54, 2nd District/Leopoldstadt, Vienna, A-1020. 01/214-0121. €4. Tues.-Sun. 10-1 and 2-6. U-Bahn: U4/Nestroyplatz.
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