It was a night of records. The 19th Burns Night organised by the “Robert Burns Society Austria”, the 260th Birthday of this famous Scottish Bard, the very, very first time that an Ambassador of Her Britannic Majesty ever attended a Burns Night in Vienna and stars from stage and music performing for us: Cornelius Obonya, Burgtheater, the bewitching trio Artfolk by Landor and the stirring Caledonian Pipes and Drums Burgenland.
The result: A full house which in itself was a record. The only disappointment was the number of “No Shows” amongst our members.
This was a completely “different” Burns to the one we got used to. A Robert Burns who commented on wars and conflicts of his time and that often very forcefully, even outspoken!
What glorious symbiosis of Robert Burns’ poems in “Lallans Scot” and their interpretation in Viennese by Dieter Berdel! What genius! Cornelius Obonya took it to new heights mastering the original Scots as well as the Viennese!
We were promised a Scottish evening and Scottish it was. Haggis, Neeps and Tatties, Whisky and an abundance of tartan rounded off this night, the third the Austro-British Society has attended, occupying a long table in front of the stage. Like the previous years it felt strange though that we were again deprived of our President’s welcoming words but once more he was impressively attired in a kilt. What a shame if you have missed it.
I murder hate by flood or field,
Tho' glory's name may screen us;
In wars at home I'll spend my blood-
Life-giving wars of Venus.
The deities that I adore
Are social Peace and Plenty;
I'm better pleas'd to make one more,
Than be the death of twenty.
I would not die like Socrates,
For all the fuss of Plato;
Nor would I with Leonidas,
Nor yet would I with Cato:
The zealots of the Church and State
Shall ne'er my mortal foes be;
But let me have bold Zimri's fate,
Within the arms of Cozbi!