Robert J Farr
, August 2012
The city of Nuremberg owes its importance partly to its geographical position which has made it a significant centre for trade since the late Middle Ages. By the 16th century it had become a centre of trade and of artistic activity. In art it could boast the presence of Albrecht Dürer and in poetry Hans Sachs and the Guild of Mastersingers, later to be celebrated by Wagner. For many it is the latter association that brings the name of the town to mind. During the Second World War the town suffered considerable damage, however, its old medieval city is now restored. For others Nuremberg is remembered as the centre for the trials of Hitler’s henchmen in the aftermath of the last war and the defeat of Nazism.
The present video tour opens with views of the Museum Bridge which crosses the river Pegnitz. From it can be seen the Heilig-Geist-Spital, founded in the fourteenth century, later enlarged and largely destroyed in the twentieth century; it is now rebuilt (CH1). Also seen are the twin towers of the thirteenth century Sebalduskirche with its twin Gothic spires. The ornate Marriage Fountain is also known as the Hans Sachs Fountain. It was installed in 1984 and masks an air shaft for the underground railway. The work of Jürgen Weber, it depicts the joys and sorrows of marriage as described by Hans Sachs, mastersinger and shoemaker, the subject of Wagner’s opera.
Nuremberg is famous for food, notably the Bratwürst sausage. These are cooked and served with sauerkraut, fermented cabbage. These are appropriately, even tastefully, accompanied here by the short rondo of Mozart’s Violin Sonata K, 378! (CH.3). Food is also the theme with a visit to the well loaded stalls of the fruit and vegetable market (CH.7). In between, visits to the Imperial Castle, restored after 1945, and the interesting architecture of the old town (CHs.4-5) are captivating as are the views of the richly ornamented façade, coloured tower and spire of the Gothic Church of Our Lady, or Frauenkirche (CH.6). The well-played melodic Violin Sonata in F major, K.376, accompanies all these latter views.
This musical tour concludes with a visit to the remarkable toy museum, created in 1971, which celebrates the long tradition of the skill in Nuremberg, particularly with mechanical toys (CHs.8-9). © 2012 MusicWeb International