About this Recording
2.110539 - MUSICAL JOURNEY (A) - ITALY: A Musical Tour of the Southern Tyrol (NTSC)
English 

A Musical Tour of Italy – The Southern Tyrol
With music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

 

CHAPTER 1

Schloss Velthurns

First mentioned in 975, a castle of Velthurns was established by the Bishops of Brixen (Bressanone) in the 12th century. Until its secularisation in 1807 Schloss Velthurns was the summer residence of the Bishop of Brixen. Work on the present building had started in 1578 under Christoph Cardinal von Madrutz, and was completed by his nephew and successor, Thomas Freiherr von Spaur, in 1587. It is surrounded by battlements, and is seen here in a landscape dominated, in the distance, by the peaks of the Dolomites. Inside, the principal rooms are ornately panelled, with wall-paintings that illustrate the cardinal virtues, mythological scenes, the seven sacraments, the four seasons, virtues and vices, the four regions of the earth and five senses, the life of Christ and the seven wonders of the world. It was acquired in 1875 by the Prince of Liechtenstein and in 1903 was given to the city of Bozen (Bolzano), which remains responsible for its upkeep.

Music Mozart: Posthorn Serenade, K. 320:
I. Adagio maestoso – Allegro con spirito; II. Menuetto – Trio: Allegretto; III. Concertante: Andante grazioso; IV. Rondeau: Allegro ma non troppo; V. Andantino; VI. Menuetto – Trios I & II; VII. Finale: Presto

Mozart’s Serenade in D major, K. 320, is dated 3rd August 1779, the last such composition he wrote for Salzburg students. In 1777 he had left his employment in the court musical establishment of the Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg, in the hope of finding a position elsewhere that seemed worthier of his abilities. His journey to Mannheim and then to Paris brought nothing, and he eventually gave way to the urgings of his father and returned to Salzburg, where a position had been arranged for him, again in the service of the Archbishop. It was finally in 1781 that he succeeded in breaking away from Salzburg, where his father remained, and settling in relatively precarious independence in Vienna, where he spent the last ten years of his life. The Serenade is scored initially for pairs of oboes, bassoons, horns, trumpets and timpani, with strings, starting with a sonata-form movement. This is followed by the first of the two Minuets, framing a Trio section for solo flute, solo bassoon and strings. The third movement, Concertante, is scored for pairs of flutes, oboes, bassoons and horns, with strings. This is succeeded by a Rondeau, with the same instrumentation. The fifth movement, Andantino, in D minor and without flutes, leads to a Minuet for pairs of oboes, bassoons, horns, trumpets and timpani, with strings. This frames two Trios, Trio I is for recorder (flautino) and strings, and Trio II, for two oboes and strings, also calls for the instrument from which the Serenade takes its familiar name, the Posthorn, inevitably confined to the relatively restricted notes available to it and playing sounds familiar to contemporary travellers from the horn of the postillion. The Finale uses the instrumentation of the first movement and is in free sonata-form.

CHAPTER 2

Schloss Runkelstein

Schloss Runkelstein was built by the brothers Friedrich and Beral von Wangen in 1237, but was partly destroyed in 1274. In 1385 it was bought and restored by the brothers Nikolaus and Franz Vintler, merchants from Bozen, who enlarged and decorated the building. It came into the possession of Archduke Sigismund, later to be renovated by the Emperor Maximilian I, who gave it to his follower Georg von Frundsberg. In 1530 it was given to Sigmund von Brandis of Bozen by King Ferdinand I. It eventually returned to the possession of the Prince-Bishops of Trent, who had originally given permission for the building, and then, for 250 years, it was held by the Liechtenstein Princes. It was eventually acquired by the Emperor Franz Joseph, who had the castle restored and in 1893 gave it to the city of Bozen. Wall-paintings in the main building and in the summerhouse include scenes from court life, King Arthur, the saga of Tristan and of Garel of Weinberg, dating from about 1400, unusual examples of medieval secular painting. The surrounding countryside offers views of the Dolomites and of porphyrious rock formations.

Music Mozart: Notturno, K. 286:
I. Andante; II. Allegretto grazioso; III. Menuetto – Trio

Mozart’s Notturno has been dated to December 1776 or January 1777. It was written for some unknown occasion in Salzburg, anticipating, it seems, by a few months Mozart’s resignation from the court musical establishment and his journey to Mannheim and to Paris, accompanied only by his mother, who died during their stay in France. The object of the journey had been to find more satisfactory employment than Salzburg seemed to offer, but Mozart found nothing, and was, in any case, deprived of the immediate advice of his anxious father, who had been refused permission to travel with his son. The Notturno is scored, unusually, for four orchestras, each of two horns, first and second violins, viola and bass. This unusual arrangement allows for multiple echo effects, giving the impression of distance, as repetitions become more fragmentary. The second movement is in sonata-form, without a central development, and the final Menuetto is repeated, framing a Trio without echo effects, scored simply for strings and a single orchestral group.

Keith Anderson

Recording

Capella Istropolitana conducted by Martin Turnovsky [Naxos 8.550092].


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