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Vienna classical music choices--opinions please

Hi everyone...

If you've seen the following orchestras, quartets etc and can give me your opinion and perhaps a rating of best to worst, that would help me a lot. We have five days in Vienna and I'd like to make the most of them....Here's the list (maybe this isn't all the orchestra's? I got this off a website)
Vienna Residence Orchestra
Vienna Royal Orchestra
Schonbrunner Schloss Orchestra
Salon Orchestra Old Vienna
Kursalon Vienna Concert
Vienna Mozart Orchestra
Vienna Heurigen Show
Mozart Ensemble (Mozart Haus Concerts)
Vienna Hofburg Orchestra

Please tell me anything you know.....this is my first time in Vienna. We are going to Salzburg the following week where we have tx for the Int'l Music Festival. So excited!

One question: There is at least one venue that does not have air conditioning. Its called Orangerie Schloss Schonbrunn. I am thinking its better to pass on a room with 600 people and no air conditioning in mid-July. What do you think?


Posted by
527 posts

Of the above maybe the Kursalon Vienna Concert and Mozart Ensemble. Most of the others, especially Vienna Heurigen Show and Mozart Orchestra are going to be overpriced and pretty mundane. Most of the major and good orchestras will not be in Vienna during the summer. I hope you have rooms booked for Salzburg for the Music will be booked up and expensive if you wait til the last minute.
For Vienna:
During July there is a series of ancient music concerts at St Ruprecht Church which should be fantastic.

Vivaldi's Four Seasons at Karlskirche

A good bet would also be this one at St Peterskirche:

Do NOT go to any that the period costumed people on the street are selling.

Posted by
58 posts

*Alex thank you for the suggestions!
I really would love to hear Four seasons in Vienna. I would have to stay over and leave for Salzburg as we have a Saturday 11am concert. Thanks also for the tip re: not buying tickets from costumed people!

I booked my Salzburg hotel about 4 months ago and I have my tickets as well. I will have to keep the tickets with me or in a safe while I travel.

Do you have any suggestions for hotels in Vienna? 4 stars and somewhere around $250-$300 US?


Posted by
527 posts

Nice budget for hotel...why not opt for a nice classic in Vienna, the Koenig von Ungarn:
You will be right in the center of Vienna and staying in something not cookie-cutter, but very nice and traditional. Here is a link for reviews:
When you are in Salzburg treat yourself to a wunderbar meal at Barenwirt:
Reserve, reserve for this place.

Posted by
4698 posts

I think that you should know that these are all orchestras and groups put together to entertain tourists in typically interesting venues. There will be no locals in the audience. In some cases, the venues might be more attractive than the music. If you are not expecting the Vienna Philharmonic, then you are probably going to be ok with the show. Many of these concerts are posted on youtube, so you can have a look there for an idea of what to expect. I think that Alex's recommendations sound great, so maybe give those a try. It seems that your best bet for good music will be in Salzburg anyway.

Posted by
12040 posts

The "avoid costume concerts" is another one of those travel axioms that needs to be taken in context. The period dress ensembles problably perform the same exact repetoire as all of the groups listed above. Meaning, Vivaldi's Four Seasons, Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, +/- some basic Haydn, maybe the Blue Danube Waltz or Smetana's Moldau. Nothing wrong with that, but it's all the same thing, just different venues, of stuff that you can probably whistle in your sleep. If you really want a challenge rather than just the old familiars, you would need to go with the highly paid professionals of the Vienna Philharmonic, or the associated smaller ensembles. But of course, they're usually on hiatus in the summer.

Posted by
58 posts

*Emily-- thanks for your comments and the recommendation to listen to YouTube...good idea!

Tom--thanks for the comments...fortunately I will see the Vienna Philharmonic in Salzburg

After reading these posts I don't feel any pressure to get tickets. I may go to one or two performances in Vienna but I'll wait until I get there and see what's going on.

Posted by
988 posts

It was my understanding that for the Orangerie Schoenbrunn concerts, the facility was opened up for a pseudo-outdoor performance? Did I misunderstand?? Nephew Helmut's English is sometimes hard for me to understand, BYW, these concerts are attended by locals....altho tourists will always slip in.

Posted by
16883 posts

Looks like you've got the scoop. Also, in late June, but not in July, you can see free outdoor projections of the Vienna State Opera.