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Baden - Helenenthal - Cristina Heiligenstadt - Cristina Beethovengang - Cristina Gneixendorf - Cristina

Cristina Barbieri

Cristina is from Argentina. She lives in a far away part of the country. In a ski resort in the Andes Mountains.

She is a psychologist and psychoanalyst, married and mother of three, and very very very much interested in Beethoven, personally and professionally.

She loves Baden and... well, you better read what follows. Please note that Christina took all the pictures on this page: she has got many talents...

Two more texts on this website are written by Cristina...

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I am sorry to admit that I am aware of the monstrous excess of superlatives I will use in these words. But I am also aware that, after all, IF superlatives must have their place in our use of language, then THIS, here, is their place.

Baden is an extremely marvellous little town some 100 kms from Vienna. Parts of it, are exactly the same as when rebuilt after the fire of 1812. And parts of it, are of course older than that.

Beethoven lived in several places while his stays there. One of them is turned into a small, cosy little museum. The museum itself is housed in the first floor of the building, with the most lovely arched entranced and staircase. There are not originals there, but the overall effect is extremely attractive. It features a very nice portrait (a copy of one of the Klöbers? A real Klöber?) I could not learn it from the extremely kind but only German-speaking staff. Even if I did try. It features a signature that makes me think of him, but otherwise I thought that there were only 3 or 4 Klöbers. It was a nice mystery that I could not solve anyway. I still think that it IS a Klöber. And of course there is still another lock of hair, of a beautiful grey, (well--- safe under glass). A Streicher piano of the right period. And facsimiles of several scores supposedly written in that place.

Baden - Cristina Barbieri

The Neunten haus

Baden - Cristina Barbieri

It is called the Neunten haus. And parts of the Symphony sound permanently in the background.

It is in a couple of very sunny rooms, one of them, dressed as his bedroom (well, more or less) The furniture is not the original of course, but the spirit of the place is convincing.

They also have there a big winter coat, and a top hat, hanging as if by Beethoven. The coat is too big, but the effect is interesting.
Nice little Museum.

Cristina Barbieri

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Now the Helenenthal is another piece of cake. All the surrounding places in Baden are very very beautiful. It is absolutely known that our man, used to walk around extensibly wherever he happened to be. And, while in Baden, the Helenenthal was his very favourite "walk".

Consistently, then, the Austrians have marked lots and lots of "wegs" in the place. (and for that matter, in several Beethoven-places like Heilingenstadt, Mödlin... You are going to find small notices that say: "Beethoven-weg" everywhere)

Baden - Cristina Barbieri
Baden - Cristina Barbieri

The main one starts after having passed the ruins of Rauhenstein, the place where, supposedly Karl shot himself in 1826. From there on, there is that great walk by the side of an enchanting stream. It goes on and on for kilometres. In some few places, the road is some hundreds of meters away from the weg, and in some others the weg is really in the middle of the wood.

I had the most marvellous luck possible regarding the place. The day I decided to make my Beethoven-walk, and to spend most of the day in that weg, was finally the highest day in the autumn.

That is: the perfect day in which the colours of the trees were just as marvellous as they could be. On top of that, it was already low season and there was absolutely no people walking around. And then I was even granted the most marvellous rain of yellow leaves from time to time, and moving in the gentlest breeze I have ever experimented.
The warm and burning colour of the leaves, the trees, the sound of the stream, the birds.
The golden roof, the golden path...
Baden - Cristina Barbieri

Baden - Cristina Barbieri

It felt like being inside of a dream. A dream extremely romantic. Bucolic, romantic, timeless. If the Pastoral had started playing I would not have been surprised (well, I had the piano version of the Violin Concerto in my Discman then, which was just fine).

I do not exaggerate a bit, if I say that THAT day I could experiment Nature in a way that I had not known before. And it was not difficult to imagine how very much our Ludwig had enjoyed there. What source of joy.... The place is SO beautiful, even now. And it was so touching for me to feel the happiness that he must have felt then, and there. It was nice to know that.

Cristina Barbieri

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You listen to...
the transcription for piano, by Liszt, of the first mouvement of the Sixth Symphony - "Pastorale" (Opus 68)

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