With only one day in Vienna, there are only two things I want to do -- see the performance of the Lippizaner stallions at the Spanish Riding School and hear the Vienna Boys Choir sing at mass.
The Vienna Boys Choir sings at mass in the Burgkapelle, the Royal Chapel housed within the sumptuous Hofburg Imperial Palace complex. The Imperial Palace was home to the Hapsburg family for more than 6 centuries and is a repository of art and culture.
The music of the choir was truly heavenly. There is something so incredibly pure and crystalline about boys un-changed soprano voices that really can't be duplicated. Add to that the incredible acoustics of the chapel and you have the ingredients for a truly once-in-a-lifetime musical experience.
The Spanish Riding School is where the famous Lippizaner stallions are bred and trained; the breed dates back to the mid 1500's and have been tested in battle as well as in the riding ring. The arena at the school is lavish and ornate, complete with crystal chandeliers. The performance was amazing -- the horses are incredibly elegant and starkly white and it is amazing to the grace with which they "dance".
I'm off on the bus to Budapest tonight....