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Friday, March 06, 2015

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres





Marife Hernandez of the American Friends of the Grafenegg Festival and the festival's host, Prince Tasillo Metternich-Sandor.


"Last night Joel Bell and Marife Hernandez hosted a reception for Prince Tasillo Metternich-Sandor.  Tassilo as his friends call him is a direct descendent of the famous 18th/19th century politician Prince Metternich who was Tassilo’s great-grandfather x 3. His country 'house' Schloss Grafenegg, about an hour’s drive from Vienna, has been in his family for centuries via another ancestor Victor II, Prince of Ratibor and Corey, Prince of Hohenlohe-Schillingsfurst. Few Americans know anything about this family, namely Prince Metternich, although quite a few Europeans often have an idea. The chancellor was the man who 'sorted out' the European situation after Napoleon had his day in the Sun and made a mess of everything intending to conquer the world, alas. Metternich was famous among his people for his Viennese police spies. Franz Schubert, the composer, was surrounded by young political radicals whom Metternich often pursued (and occasionally jailed) through his spies, suspicious of subversive activities.The Germans were there, of course, during the Second World War, and afterwards the Russians used it for their headquarters. When the family got it back in the mid-1950s it was in a empty mess. The Russians took the castle’s contents – furniture, books, pictures – and removed them to Moscow (except for a 20-volume set of the lives of Lenin and Stalin which were left behind for the survivors). Tassilo, born after the catastrophe, grew up in a villa on the other side of the castle’s moat. But that was then, and this is now. The madness of someone else’s megalomania (my take, not necessarily, a historian’s) has gone the road of Franz Schubert. Tassilo Metternich. Eight years ago, he converted the family pile into a destination for music lovers, created a concert auditorium, a state of the art open-air auditorium that can serve an audience of up to 5000 without electrical amplification." (NYSD)



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