Veronika is already sitting in the audience during the soundcheck. She’s put her Almdudler down on her walking frame: “The music’s really beautiful,” says the sprightly 69-year-old resident of the Maria Jacobi old people’s home in the Third District: “It’s here that I started liking concerts.” Her friend Rosa, who’s taken her place in the first row, right in front of the stage, can only confirm this: “I’ll sing along. I know the words because I can remember lots of Wienerlieder from the wine gardens.”
The Kultursommer Wien is enabling a little of this wine garden atmosphere to fill the old people’s home. These so-called garden and courtyard concerts, which are reserved for residents, are taking place in 25 “Häuser zum Leben”, right across the city. This one officially starts at 14:30, but the duo Stickler & Koschelu, who are Wienerlieder specialists, are already warming up
Knowing 1,000 Wienerlieder by heart
“The audience is full of experts, who often have unusual requests,” explain the two musicians. Fortunately, the experienced duo has a huge repertoire of classics that they can call on at any time. Rudi Koschelu (counter guitar and vocals), a true Wienerlied institution, knows around 1,000 by heart. He and the considerably younger Marie-Theres Stickler (accordion and vocals) represent two generations, who are united by their love of the Wienerlied.
Of course both can also yodel and whistle. They usually play between the tables in wine gardens but this time there’s a small improvised stage. The weather is holding up, the sunshades in the green courtyard are open. The mood is relaxed, hugos are being served for refreshment. And there are little bowls of glass noodle salad and beef, just like one usually only finds in a posh wine garden.