Review: Valerie Sajdik Captivates the Crowd at Neue Galerie's Cafe Sabarsky

The Viennese chanteuse took all on a magical musical journey on April 11th

By: Apr. 14, 2024
Review: Valerie Sajdik Captivates the Crowd at Neue Galerie's Cafe Sabarsky
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Outside it may have been cold and raining, but inside there was the warmth of a cozy fireplace at Cafe Sabarsky’s Cabaret presentation of Valerie Sajdik with John di Martino on April 11, 2024. Decorated in rich wood paneling lit by exquisite chandeliers, this secret gem of Old World charm, culture and sophistication is neatly tucked within the walls of the illustrious Neue Galerie.  A haven from the modern world, Cafe Sabarsky serves as an homage to the famed cafés of Old World Vienna - the cornerstones for great artists during the late 19th and early 20th century. These coffee houses in Vienna, we were told, became the mainstay of the artistic community during this vital period of intellectual creativity and growth.  Inside a coffee house one could sit for hours and hours over a single cup while discussing, writing, painting or even just drawing inspiration while being “alone in company.”  How fascinating!

Clad in a silver  and black sequined top, black trousers and black sparkling killer heels, the dazzling Valerie Sajdik shone like a beacon as she sidled next to the grand piano of her accompanist, John Di Martino, to begin the evening’s enchanted show.  The Vienna-born chanteuse proceeded to take the elegantly attired audience on a musical journey through the magical time of the  “Wiener Moderne '' or Viennese Modernism period, which fell between 1890 and pre-World War I in Austria.  The songstress seamlessly included many references to famed artist of the time Gustav Klimt, whose many works are on permanent display at the Neue Galerie, especially the renowned “Woman in Gold.” 

Singing in German, French and English, the powerful vocals of Valerie Sajdik brought us from her native Vienna to her current home in the South of France and back again.  From her sonorous renditions of chansons from Viennese operettas such as  “Im Prater bluhn wieder die Baume” (Robert Stolz) and “Je ne suis pas ce que l’on pense” (Oscar Straus) to the witty, charming and delightful performances of “In einem Kleinen Kaffee in Hernals”(Hermann Leopoldi) and “Coucou” (Django Reinhardt), the fair-haired songstress brought out loud applause from patrons.

Valerie Sajdik, it seems, is not just a talented singer but also a prolific songwriter.   Presentations of her “Poisson Rouge”, which she performed for the 2018 film, “A Simple Favor” along with her band, Saint Privat (named after her current home town in the South of France), as well as “Les Nuits Blanches” and “Regen,” delighted theatergoers.

This reviewer was thoroughly captivated by the melodious vocals of Valerie Sajdik!  What a lovely means of traveling back in time to an era of artistic freedom which was punctuated by such vibrant songs.  Valerie Sajdik has absolutely captured the energy and vivacity of that glowing “moment” in time and succeeded in passing it on to the present generation of audiences through her music.  

Valerie Sajdik with John di Martino at Cafe Sabarsky at the Neue Galerie featured the impressive singer / songwriter Valerie Sajdik and her accompanist, John di Martino on piano.

Find great shows to see at Cafe Sabarsky on the Neue Galerie website here.


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