About this Recording
2.110333 - MUSICAL JOURNEY (A) - AUSTRIA / BELGIUM: A Musical Visit to Salzburg and Vienna, Brussels and Tournai (NTSC)
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A Musical Visit to Salzburg and Vienna
And to Brussels and Tournai (Belgium)
With the Requiem Mass by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

 

CHAPTER 1

Salzburg: Parish Church of St Peter • Mozartplatz

Salzburg, ruled by Prince-Archbishops until 1802, when it was secularised, owes much of its architectural heritage to its position as the seat of a Prince of the Holy Roman Empire and to its material prosperity. Today it enjoys fame as the former home of the Mozart family. The Church of St Peter, with its surrounding graveyard in use for some 1300 years, the oldest in German-speaking countries, was built on the site of a much earlier building of the 12th century and even earlier Roman remains. The present church was modified in the 17th and 18th centuries. Its relatively narrow nave, predominantly white in colour, has side aisles and side chapels, with paintings by Schmidt of Krems and large murals by Memberger and the architect of the building, Santino Solari. There is an octagonal cupola and the high altar is the work of Johannes Högler in 1778, added during Mozart’s own absence in France. There is a statue of Mozart in the Mozartplatz.

Music Mozart: Requiem – Introitus: Requiem aeternam

Music for the visit to Mozart's birthplace, Salzburg, and to Vienna, where he spent the last ten years of his life, is accompanied by one of Mozart's last works, his setting of the Requiem Mass, which was left unfinished at the time of his death in 1791. Mozart’s wife Constanze was later to claim that her husband had a premonition that the Requiem was an omen of his own coming death. The work had been commissioned anonymously in July 1791 by Count Franz Walsegg zu Stuppach, acting through his steward Franz Anton Leutgeb or another intermediary, who sought to commemorate the recent death of his wife by the performance of a work of this kind that he might, at least by implication, claim as his own. While no intention of this kind was revealed to Mozart, an initial fee of sixty ducats was paid, with promise of a further sum when the Requiem was completed. In the event Mozart did not live to finish the work. In November he was taken ill and within a fortnight he was dead. It might have been expected that Constanze, who needed the rest of the fee for the work, would entrust the completion of the Requiem to her husband’s pupil and her own frequent companion Franz Xaver Süssmayr. Instead, apparently out of pique, she asked Joseph Eybler, who had assisted Mozart in rehearsals for Così fan tutte, to finish the composition and the scoring. He later gave up the task and the unfinished score finally came into the hands of Süssmayr, so that the best known form of the Requiem is that started by Mozart, continued briefly by Eybler and completed by Süssmayr. Mozart set the Introit to the Mass, Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine, scoring it for an orchestra that included two basset horns, as well as alto, tenor and bass trombones, instruments fitting for a work of this kind.

Salzburg: Cathedral

The Cathedral of St Rupert and St Virgil in Salzburg is largely the work of the early 17th century, designed by Santino Solari, architect also of St Peter’s, after the destruction of the 12th century building, itself on the site of an earlier cathedral, in a fire in the late 16th century. There is a fine octagonal cupola and frescoes by contemporary Italian artists for a building that is a good example of Italian baroque. Paintings above the high altar are by Arsenio Mascagni and Karl Skreta. There is an organ case of the early 18th century, although the instrument itself has been variously renovated and enlarged. Mozart himself served as court organist in 1779-1781 and a good part of his work in Salzburg, until his final departure in 1781, involved the demands of the cathedral.

Music Mozart: Requiem – Kyrie eleison

The Introit is followed directly by a contrapuntal setting of the Kyrie eleison.

CHAPTER 2

Vienna: Army Museum (Heeresgeschichtliche Museum)

Byzantine in style, the Vienna Army Museum was erected between 1850 and 1857 on the orders of the Emperor Franz Joseph I. The museum contains various military relics and memorabilia, with paintings of scenes of war by Peeter Snayers and a record of the exploits of the Imperial Navy, formerly based at Pola, near Trieste, not far from Lissa, where an iron-clad Austrian frigate rammed Italian warships in battle.

Music Mozart: Requiem – Dies irae

The traditional sequence of the Requiem Mass, the Dies irae, offers dramatic opportunities to any composer, with its imagery of the day of Judgement. Mozart left gaps in his scoring of the opening stanzas.

CHAPTER 3

Vienna: Central Cemetery • Karl Lueger Memorial Church • Army Museum

The Central Cemetery in Vienna was opened in 1894. There is a commemorative monument for Mozart, while Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms and Gluck are buried here, with other distinguished composers. The main avenue leads to the Karl Lueger Memorial Church, built in memory of the man who was mayor of Vienna from 1897 to 1910.

Music Mozart: Requiem – Tuba mirum

Although there are gaps in the original score of the Tuba mirum, the Last Trump, Mozart sketched in the vocal line and bass, with the tenor trombone solo.

CHAPTER 4

Salzkammergut: Dachstein Glacier and Landscape

The ice caves and glacier of Dachstein, approached from the Schönbergalpe near Hallstatt in the Salzkammergut, form part of a remarkable landscape. The Hoher Dachstein itself is a peak of 9830 feet, marking the easternmost point of the mountain range.

Music Mozart: Requiem – Rex tremendae majestatis

Mozart's intentions for his impressive setting of the Rex tremendae majestatis, an evocation of divine majesty, are clearly indicated.

CHAPTER 5

Wachau: Fortified Church of St Michael in the Wachau Valley
Belgium: Musée Wiertz, Brussels • Musée des Beaux-Arts, Tournai

The Fortified Church of St Michael in the Wachau Valley, the stretch of the Danube valley between Krems and Melk, was rebuilt in the middle of the 15th century and further changed by Cipriano Biasino in the 17th. It has an adjacent round tower and castellations, fortifications against Turkish attack, with an impressive interior nave and an ossuary. The Musée Wiertz in Brussels was built specially to house the works of the 19th century romantic painter Antoine Joseph Wiertz (1806-1865). Wiertz is an extravagant example of romantic painting of the time and refused to sell his paintings, now preserved in a building that was originally built for him as a studio. The Musée des Beaux-Arts in Tournai has a fine collection of paintings ranging from early Flemish to modern. Among these is a triptych by Roger van der Weyden and a Gaspard de Crayer Adoration.

Music Mozart: Requiem – Recordare, Jesu pie

Gaps in the wind scoring of the Recordare were filled by Süssmayr.

CHAPTER 6

Vienna: Town Views
Salzburg: Church of St Peter

Vienna is impressive in its setting, with its historic buildings, churches, palaces and monuments. The Danube passes through the city and the River Wien, to the south-west, flows past the park and palace of Schönbrunn. By comparison Salzburg is on a smaller scale, but amazing in its concentration of historic buildings, among them the Church of St Peter, with its memorials to Michael Haydn, younger brother of Joseph Haydn, who was employed at the court of the Archbishop in the time of Mozart, and to Mozart’s older sister, Anna Maria, known in the family as Nannerl.

Music Mozart: Requiem – Confutatis maledictis

The dramatic character of the Confutatis maledictis, with sinners condemned to the flames of Hell, is clear enough, although wind parts were left incomplete.

CHAPTER 7

Vienna: Town Hall and Karlskirche
Salzburg: Collegiate Church
Mozart on his Death-Bed

The Town Hall (Rathaus) of Vienna is a Neo-Gothic building, erected in the 19th century under the Emperor Franz Joseph I. It was designed by Friedrich von Schmidt. It is the centre of administration for the city. The Karlskirche, dedicated to St Charles Borromeo, was finally consecrated in 1737. It was commissioned by the Emperor Charles VI in 1713, a year of plague, and later handed over to the Knights of Malta. It was put under Imperial control in 1783 and is one of the most important baroque buildings in Vienna. The Collegiate Church in Salzburg was designed by Fischer von Erlach and completed in 1707. It was built for the University and with its statuary and decorated towers dominates Universitätsplatz. Various legends about Mozart’s death were put about, when he died in 1791, leading to imaginative pictorial representations of a scene most accurately recorded by his sister-in-law, who was present with the composer’s wife. One account tells how, in his last illness, he sang his unfinished setting of the Requiem with friends gathered at his bedside, breaking off at the Lacrimosa, where the composition itself remained incomplete.

Music Mozart: Requiem – Lacrimosa dies illa

Mozart was only able to write out the beginning of the Lacrimosa, and is said to have broken down at this point when he sang parts of the work through with his friends, as he lay dying, if we believe the account left by his young sister-in-law. This ends the sequence, the Dies irae.

CHAPTER 8

Göttweig: Abbey Church

Founded in 1083, the monastery of Göttweig was originally built for Augustinian canons but in 1904 became a Benedictine establishment. After serious damage by fire, it was rebuilt in 1718, creating one of the best baroque buildings in Austria. The church has a baroque façade, with unfinished towers. The 15th century Gothic choir was rebuilt in the 16th century and the windows at the east end of the church have 15th century stained glass.

Music Mozart: Requiem – Domine, Jesu Christe

The vocal parts and bass line of the setting of the Offertory, and its prayer for mercy for the souls of the faithful departed, are largely complete, while it was left to others to fill in the orchestral parts.

CHAPTER 9

Vienna: Composer’s Monuments & History Museum

Monuments in the formal Burggarten (the former Kaisergarten), laid out between 1817 and 1824, include a memorial to Mozart and a monument to the great German writer Goethe, with his friend Schiller commemorated nearby. The principal monument to Beethoven is in the Beethovenplatz, in addition to the memorials in the Central Cemetery. The Vienna History Museum is among institutions holding material depicting some of the great composers who lived in Vienna, including Mozart, Schubert and Bruckner. A painting by Saverio dalla Rosa made in 1770 of Mozart in Verona at the age of fourteen is among various interesting portraits of the composer.

Music Mozart: Requiem – Hostias et preces

Mozart was able to indicate the vocal parts and bass line for the following Hostias et preces, which leads to a repetition of Quam olim Abrahae, As He promised to Abraham and his seed.

CHAPTER 10

Linz: Cathedral

The old cathedral in Linz is the one particularly associated with Anton Bruckner, who served there as organist, before moving to Vienna, where he died in 1896. The city’s connection with Mozart lies principally in his visit there in 1783 and the composition of a new symphony, generally known as the Linz Symphony. The old cathedral, completed in 1679, was later made over to the Jesuits, when it proved too small for contemporary needs, and the new cathedral, now a symbol of the city, was built between 1862 and 1924.

Music Mozart: Requiem – Sanctus

The Sanctus is the work of Süssmayr.

CHAPTER 11

Linz: Cathedral

While the old cathedral had one main aisle, the new building has three aisles, a transept, a choir and a tower of some 440 feet in height. The Christmas crib in the cathedral is characteristic of local custom and craftsmanship.

Music Mozart: Requiem – Benedictus

Süssmayr also provided music for the Benedictus, with its solo voices.

CHAPTER 12

Salzkammergut: Wolfgangsee and Schafberg: Landscape

The Wolfgangsee is at the heart of a particularly picturesque part of the Salzkammergut, a lake some seven miles long, with the resort of St Gilgen at the north-west end of it. St Gilgen was the original home of Mozart’s mother and his sister moved here after her marriage in 1784. St Wolfgang, a nearby village, has won excessive fame as the home of The White Horse Inn, a well-known operetta. The whole area, however, offers spectacular scenery.  Towering above the lakes of the region is the Schafberg, at a height of 5676 feet.

Music Mozart: Requiem – Agnus Dei

The Agnus Dei was left for Süssmayr to complete.

CHAPTER 13

Vienna: National Library
Salzburg: St Sebastian Cemetery & Cathedral

The Austrian National Library, on the Josephplatz, was built by Fischer von Erlach and his son to a commission by the Emperor Charles VI and completed in 1726. It was later connected to the Hofburg and until 1920 was the Court Library. Of special interest is the baroque Hall of Honour (Prunksaal), 250 feet in length, with a width of 46 feet and a height of 65 feet. It has a cupola with paintings by Daniel Gran and statues by Peter and Paul von Strudel, and contains a rich collection of material, augmented by the acquisition in 1736 of 15,000 volumes from the library of Prince Eugene of Savoy. The unfinished portrait of Mozart by his brother-in-law Joseph Lange was painted in the 1780s. It is now in the Mozart Museum in Salzburg. The 16th century Church of St Sebastian in Salzburg, remodelled in baroque style in 1749, has a cemetery containing the graves of a number of members of Mozart’s family, including his maternal grandmother, his father, his sister’s eldest daughter, his widow and her second husband, as well as her aunt, the mother of Carl Maria von Weber, and her sisters, Aloysia and Sophie.

Music Mozart: Requiem – Communio: Lux aeterna

Süssmayr based the setting of the Communio, Lux aeterna luceat eis, Domine, on Mozart's Introit and Kyrie. The fugal writing of the latter is heard again in the final Cum sanctis tuis in aeternum.

Keith Anderson

Recording

Magdeléna Hajóssyová, soprano; Jaroslava Horská, Contralto; Jozef Kundlák, Tenor; Peter Mikuláš, Bass; Vladimir Ruso, Organ; Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, conducted by Zdenĕk Košler [Naxos 8.550235]


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