From acoustician Willem Boning’s recent interview with the late Leo Beranek:
WB: I don’t particularly like the sound in Vienna.
LLB: You’re right—Boston is better! And von Karajan and I talked a lot about this. And he liked Boston better.
And what did he have to say about that?
First of all, the Musikvereinsaal gets very loud. It’s very intense noise. Sound, not noise, but sound. And as you go back in there the reflections off the side walls change. It’s not uniform reflections. So it depends on where you sit and what you hear. It’s not uniform.
How does the sound change?
Well [laughs], it changes when the reflections from the side walls change. That’s what you hear.
They become relatively stronger…
… or weaker. And that’s particularly at the higher frequency ranges, you see?