WHEN IT RAINS IN SALZBURG, IT pours. Schnurlregen–rain not in sheets but in strings–is what the locals call those chill, soggy trials by precipitation, falling straight down for days at a time. Then the clouds break, the sun streams down on the newly whitewashed mountaintop citadel, on me twisting saints of the baroque cathedral facade, on the bustle of the tourists filing past the house where Mozart was born on Getreidegasse, and suddenly, you’re in heaven.
For eight decades now, to be in Salzburg from late July to the end of August has been the dream of music lovers around the world. The reason is not the sheer beauty of the town and environs–so ravishingly featured in the film The Sound of Music that “Sound of Music” tours have outstripped Mozart as the region’s most profitable attraction–but the Salzburg Festival. For the happy few with (more…)