While the summer twilight lingered over the bright turquoise dome of Karlskirche (St. Charles Church) on July 3rd, audience members took their seats under the churchs swooping marble arches, preparing themselves for the performance ahead.
Thursdays concert, part of the "Concerts in St. Charles Church" series, showcased nine Baroque and Classical works for organ, trumpet, and timpani.
The evening belonged to church organist Davide Moriano. Each inch of the gold and marble walls resounded with his virtuosic performance of Bachs "Concerto in D-minor" (BWV 974).
And speaking of Bach, the company was smart enough to start the concert with the Baroque composers instantly recognizable "Toccata and Fugue in D-minor."
Next up was Charpentiers prelude from "Te Deum," a motet composed in the late 17th century. To follow the dark "Toccata and Fugue" with this joyous exclamation seemed to brighten the audience. It was welcome change of tone.
If ever there were a timpanist who could play like John Bonham and get away with it, that timpanists name would be Martin Breinschmid. The dynamics were dead on as he rocked through Philidors "Marche de Timballes for Solo Timpani."
Someone should have planted a metronome next to organist Andreas Brencic, though. Movements marked "Largo" - meaning "stately" or "slowly"- are harder to manage, yes, but Brencic was consistently ahead of or behind the beat as he bumbled through sections of these otherwise beautiful pieces. It was borderline painful to listen to Telemans "Sonata in D major for Trumpet and Organ" and Vivaldis "Concerto in D major for Two Trumpets and Organ" (RV 537), during which the two trumpeters struggled to keep time with their compatriot on the organ.
Concerts are scheduled every Thursday through the month of October, so if you are new to Vienna, go see one of them. The organ, trumpet, and timpani program is a treat for both well-tempered ears and newcomers to the concert scene alike. Youll make your way to St. Charles Church while you are in Vienna anyways, so your visit might as well have the appropriate soundtrack.