Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Past, the Distant Past, and the Present

I spent some of 1980 and much of 1981 teaching flute and recorder in a music school in Schladming Austria (I made posts about some of my experiences here and here), and every once in a while I search for Schladming on line.

It had quite a bit of tourism in 1980, and because of its location at the foot of the Planai and the Dachstein (an actual Alp), it was a kind of winter wonderland. I did go skiing once, but it was far too expensive an activity for my small salary to support, so I never went again. I really did like the off season (but it seems that there is no longer an off season), when interesting groups of people would come to town to have meetings. My favorite, by far, was when a conference of nuclear physicists came to town, and a group of physicists knocked on the door of the music school to see if some of them could use a piano to play chamber music. The person who knocked on the door happened to be Hans Grumm, my father's doppleganger. I showed him my father's picture, and Hans' response was, "I could shave in that picture." When my father came to Vienna with the BSO (and I was living in Vienna), I introduced him to Hans. It was a great moment.

This is what Schladming looked like in 1680:

The engraving is by Georg Matthäus Vischer. I taught in one of the buildings directly across from the church. The address was Pfarrgasse 1. Schladming had a fire in 1681, and the city was rebuilt sometime during the 1680s. Pfarrgasse 1 had certainly been renovated (or perhaps rebuilt) in the 17th century.

This is pretty much what Schladming looked like when I lived there (the rebuilt yellow church on the left is in the same location as the one in the picture):

Here's a more current shot from Google Maps:

The music school is now gone, and Pfarrgasse 1 is now CityHouse Apartments.

This could very well have been my teaching studio (which was in the center of the second floor, overlooking the street).

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