World Music from the Waldviertel: Litschau, Austria’s northernmost city, is the birthplace of the traditional “Schrammel” music. In July, the area surrounding the Herrensee and the Herrensee theatre serves as the location for three days of Austrian folk music, sometimes conventional and occasionally eccentric.
It begins in the morning with a matinee in the festival tent and continues until late in the night: the three-day Schrammel.Klang.Festival, held on historic territory. This is where Kaspar Schrammel was born in 1811, the father of the Schrammel brothers, who created the style of “Heurigen” and dance music that bears their name. It is thus only natural that the festival presents a wealth of Schrammel music in the classic instrumentation of two violins, clarinet, and contra-guitar. But that’s not all: Roland Neuwirth and his Extremschrammeln, Kollegium Kalksburg, Wolfgang Puschnig and his band, and countless other distinguished musicians who appear in Litschau testify to the lasting vitality of this music.
And because Schrammel music has long become a worldwide phenomenon, the Schrammel.Klang.Festival also features musicians from Asia and North and South America. But even the most diehard Schrammel fans need a break now and then, and there is no better way to relax than a dip in the refreshing water of the Herrensee, or a hike in the rolling woodlands. But be sure to return in time for lunch at the “Schrammel Heurigen”, and then restrict your hiking to the “Schrammel Path” leading to the natural stages surrounding the lake. Instead of the fragrance of the forest your nose will be filled with the smells of bratwurst and poppy-seed cake. Musicians perform on the main stage right on the lake until the small hours of the morning, and because this is, after all, “Heurigen” and dance music, there is always plenty of wine flowing. www.schrammelklang.at