The Sound of Music: Being There

Trapp Family music

Interesting find on the free music table at ISSMA contest last week — a piece of music arranged for the Trapp Family Singers, by their companion and composer, Father Wasner.

The Sound of Music has always been my favorite movie, as you might have guessed from the blog’s title. It was the first movie I got to go see in a movie theater as a toddler. I remember my excitement when I would hear its annual network airing advertised on TV. In our family, only The Wizard of Oz created as much excitement. I think its combination of music, breathtaking scenery, suspense (could they escape the Nazis?), and romance made it the perfect movie for me.

So, when I had the opportunity to visit Salzburg, Austria, where it was filmed, I jumped at the chance to take The Sound of Music tour and see several locations where it was filmed.

Sound of Music Tour

We saw the outside of the house where it was filmed, but learned that actually two houses were used in the filming (Frohnburg and Leopoldskron Castle) – one for the inside, and another for the outside.

We saw the gazebo where Liesl and Rolf sing “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” – and at the time you could actually go inside and leap around like they did on the benches (I have learned that because of vandalism you can no longer go inside the gazebo)! The gazebo was on the grounds of Leopoldskron Castle at the time of the filming, but now it has been moved to Hellbrun Castle.

We visited the church where the wedding takes place in the movie (Pfarrkirche at Mondsee) – although we were told that the real wedding took place in the Salzburg convent (not nearly as grand).

We drove past the Rock Riding School (the building where the family sings “Edelweiss” just before fleeing) and stopped at Mirabell Gardens, where Maria and the children were playing during “Do Re Mi”.

Some interesting facts we learned during the tour:

  • When they married in 1927, Maria was 21 and Georg was 46. They went on to have three children of their own in addition to the seven Georg already had.
  • The graveyard where the family hides while being pursued by the Nazis was not actually in the convent, although it appeared to be in the movie.
  • The family didn’t flee over the mountains to Switzerland, as the movie showed, because that border was closed.

Throughout the tour, the movie’s soundtrack was playing on the bus. Hearing the music as we drove through Austria’s spectacular scenery was a memory I’ll keep forever!

The tour was fascinating for a real aficionado of the movie, like me. I highly recommend it if you ever visit Salzburg!

You may also enjoy:

World of the Trapp Family book review


6 thoughts on “The Sound of Music: Being There

  1. Your mention of the Sound of Music music being played on the bus as you toured reminded me of our cruise in Hawaii. I LOVED the Hawaiian music continually being played on our ship, The Pride of America. I asked a Hawaiian one day, “Do you just listen to Hawaiian music?” She replied, “Oh no!” I guess it is for the effect, but it sure rang my bell! I loved hearing Israel Kamakamiwo’ole singing Over the Rainbow!

  2. The Sound of Music is my favorite movie of all time. Several years ago, I got to hear the musical performed here in GR. It opened with the nuns standing in aisles throughout the auditorium. The one standing nearest to us had a spectacular voice. I loved the performance. If I would ever have had the opportunity to visit Austria and take that tour, I would certainly have done it.

  3. My Grandmother on my Dad side was a Trapp I wonder if its a relation to the Von Trapps?

  4. Bloomerbear, that’s interesting! I read that the family dropped the “von” from their name after coming to America, so it’s a possibility.

Comments are closed.