Back to Baroque: Die Musiker

Vienna’s Central Cemetery is home to the graves of many famous musicians and composers, none of whom I know much about. A few were buried there originally, but most were relocated from other sites in the late 19th century in order to encourage more tourists to visit the cemetery, which is on the outskirts of Vienna.

The most famous among them are grouped in a special area of Ehrengraben, or “honored graves.” It’s a park-like section designed to invite visitors. We found Beethoven, Brahms, and three Strausses, as well as a memorial to Mozart. Strangely, though there are signs all over Vienna marking places where Mozart lived, ate, or in one case “visited his mistress,” no one knows exactly where he is buried. He lies in an unmarked grave somewhere in St Marx cemetery.

I do know who Antonio Salieri was, of course. He was the most interesting character in “Amadeus” and looked just liked F. Murray Abraham, duh. We tried to find his tombstone, which is not in the honored graves section for some reason, but we must have walked right past it.

We also missed Falco, who I remember from “Rock Me Amadeus” and “Der Kommissar,” both big hits when I was a teenager. I had no idea he was Austrian. Or dead, actually.

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