Vienna – Music and Death

Vienna is a cool place for fans of music and cemeteries. On our bike tour we saw monuments to Johann Strauss, Franz Schubert, Beethoven, Brahms, and Bruckner –

The Vienna Central Cemetery (Wiener Zentralfriedhof) is a few miles out of town, a quick Uber ride away if you don’t want to figure out the buses. If you can decipher the map or just wander around long enough you’ll find Group 32A, final resting place of Ludwig Van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms, Franz Schubert, and Johann Strauss.

Vienna cemetery – Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Strauss

There’s also a monument to Mozart (who died in 1791 and was buried in a pauper’s grave in the St. Marx Communal Cemetery).

While you’re at it, you can find modern composer Arnold Schönberg (Group 32C), Mozart’s rival (in the movie Amadeus if not in real life) Antonio Salieri (grave 54 along the outer wall of the cemetery), and a nice little honorary grave to Austrian musician Heinz Neubrand.

Also, remember the weird 80s hit Rock Me Amadeus by Falco? His real name was Hans Hölzel and he was buried in the Vienna Central Cemetery after he died in a car crash in 1998 (grave 64 in Group 40).

All over town you will see Mozart chocolates (Mozartkugel) for sale. You almost can’t help buying a few but please try to resist. They are filled with pistachio marzipan, which tastes like powdered bones.

Mozart candies – not recommended

Instead, spend your hard-earned euros on the most amazing gummy candies you’ll ever try, at Bärenland –

Bärenland Gummi Shop

Favorite flavor: Rote Grütze.

A Whiter Shade of Pale

This song has been stuck in my head since I first heard it in college. I love playing the descending bass line on the guitar and had intended to record a version with a melodica or accordion for the organ part. But it’s too beautiful to mess around with. So, here’s my take using a cheap Yamaha keyboard hooked up to GarageBand with the “Lighter Shade” midi organ sound.

If you are somehow not familiar with the amazing original, give it a listen: