Monday in Vienna started with one of the most moving things I can imagine doing: visiting the graves of the great composers. In the Central Cemetery, one can stand in front of the final resting places of Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, J. Strauss (father and son), Schoenberg, and others.
I often recommend that visitors buy a flower from one of the stands outside the cemetery and place it on the grave of the composer of their choice. I usually put a rose on Beethoven’s grave as a way of thanking him for such amazing music. To stand in front of the tombs of these composers and realize that their remains are ten feet in front of me is a moving experience.
After going to St. Mark’s Cemetery where Mozart was buried in an unmarked grave – and where there is a very moving monument to him – we had lunch and then several students wanted to see the Arnold Schoenberg Center.
The Schoenberg Center is an active research center which has the complete Schoenberg archives. It also has a room made as a replica of his study with original items from Schoenberg’s workplaces in Vienna, Berlin, and Los Angeles. The Center also had an interesting exhibit on his life and a reading room with lots of books and other memorabilia for sale. The Schoenberg fans in our group loved it.