About this Recording
2.110336 - MUSICAL JOURNEY (A) - AUSTRIA: Salzkammergut (NTSC)
English 

A Musical Visit to Austria: Salzkammergut
With music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

 

CHAPTER 1

Salzkammergut: Salzburg • Hallein • Hallstatt • Dachstein • Gossausee

Salzburg, now an Austrian provincial capital, was, in Mozart’s time, ruled by a Prince-Archbishop. Leopold Mozart settled in Salzburg in 1737 and in 1744 entered the service of the then Archbishop, Leopold Anton von Firmian, as a violinist. Von Firmian was succeeded in 1753 by Sigismund von Schrattenbach, to be followed by the less indulgent and reformist Archbishop Hieronymus Colloredo in 1772. The city underwent various changes of regime in the first years of the 19th century, but in 1825 Schubert could express his wonder at the fine churches and palaces of the place. The region known as the Salzkammergut had, by the later 18th century, become an imperial monopoly, a source of revenue with its trade in salt, from which it takes its name. The old town of Hallein drew its importance from salt, and the picturesque market-town of Hallstatt, by the side of its lake, the Hallstättersee, its historical prosperity also the result of salt, lies below the Dachstein range of mountains and the Gossausee. The journey includes the interior of a typical church of the region, with its elaborate altar-piece.

Music Mozart: Serenade in D major, ‘Haffner’, K. 250 – I. Allegro maestoso – Allegro molto

Siegmund Haffner was descended from a family long established at Jenbach in the Tyrol and in 1733 had become a citizen of Salzburg, where he had a prosperous business. In 1768 he was elected mayor, an office he held until his death in 1772. He left four daughters and a son, also Siegmund, an exact contemporary of Mozart, who won a considerable reputation locally for his generosity and was in 1782 ennobled by the Emperor, the occasion for Mozart’s socalled Haffner Symphony, originally a serenade. In 1776 Haffner commissioned from Mozart, who by this time was employed as a concertmaster in the court orchestra of the ruling Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg, a serenade for the eve of the wedding of his sister Marie Elisabeth and the merchant Franz Xaver Späth. The Haffner Serenade starts with a stately introduction, followed by a rapid sonata-form Allegro, its first subject initially shared by oboes, bassoons and strings, these last to be entrusted with the second subject.

CHAPTER 2

Salzkammergut: St Wolfgang

The village of St Wolfgang lies to the east of Salzburg, at the head of the Wolfgangsee. It has attracted visitors as the site of The White Horse Inn (Weisses Rössl), the inn that is at the centre of the operetta of that name by Benatzky and Stolz. Above is the Schafberg, some 5676 feet in height, and beyond, after Bad Ischl and Hallstatt, Dachstein, towering still higher.

Music Mozart: Serenade in D major, ‘Haffner’, K. 250 – II. Andante

The second movement of the Haffner Serenade, marked Andante, is in G major, with the oboes now replaced by flutes and prominence given to a solo violin, which has an extended cadenza, composed for this recording by Peter Breiner.

CHAPTER 3

Salzburg: Hellbrunn Palace

Schloss Hellbrunn was built between 1613 and 1619 to a design by Santino Solari for Archbishop Markus Sittikus. On the outskirts of Salzburg, it is particularly well known for its gardens, with various statues, formal or grotesque, grottoes, water displays and fountains of all kinds. The sculpted unicorns represent the heraldic device of Archbishop Guidobald Count Thun, who reigned in the second half of the 17th century.

Music Mozart: Serenade in D major, ‘Haffner’, K. 250 – III. Menuetto

Originally designed for outdoor performance, a serenade initially gave prominence to wind instruments and included two or three minuets. The Haffner Serenade was given its first performance in the Haffner’s Salzburg garden-house on 21st July. Mozart seems to have set some store by this composition and later made use of the music both in Salzburg and during his last decade spent in Vienna. The first Minuet is in G minor and is scored for solo violin, flutes, bassoons and horns. The solo violin is heard particularly in the contrasting G major Trio, where it is accompanied by flutes, bassoons and horns.

CHAPTER 4

Hellbrunn Palace

In the grounds of Scloss Hellbrunn there is a stone theatre and automata moved by water. These last, installed in the second half of the nineteenth century, include representations of a grinder at work, Apollo flaying Marsyas, a miller, Perseus slaying the sea-monster and a potter’s workshop.

Music Mozart: Serenade in D major, ‘Haffner’, K. 250 – IV. Rondeau: Allegro

The solo violin has an important part to play in the Rondeau, with its contrasting episodes and cadenzas for the solo instrument.

CHAPTER 5

Residenz Palace

The official residence of the Prince-Archbishop lies on the west side of the Residenzplatz in Salzburg, near the Cathedral. It was built by Archbishop Wolf Dietrich in the early seventeenth century, on the site of an earlier building, and was subsequently extended under Archbishop Colloredo. At the entrance stands the fountain of Hercules, and inside are various rooms decorated in rococo style, with an art gallery on the third floor. It was in the second-floor
Guard-Room that Mozart’s opera La finta semplice was first performed in 1769, and in the Rittersaal his Singspiel Die Schuldigkeit des Ersten Gebots (The Duty of the First Commandment) in 1769, and in 1775 his Il re pastore (The Shepherd King).

Music Mozart: Serenade in D major, ‘Haffner’, K. 250 – V. Menuetto galante

The second Minuet restores the key of D major and is scored with oboes and trumpets. Its contrasting D minor Trio is scored only for strings.

CHAPTER 6

Salzkammergut: Hallstatt

At a height of 1675 feet above sea-level, Hallstatt offers a picturesque sight, lying, as it does, on the shores of the Hallstättersee. The lake itself is some five miles long and the houses of the place are built on terraces, ascending from the lake itself. Hallstatt is widely known as the site of an iron age settlement. Historically it owed its importance to salt, as a mining village.

Music Mozart: Serenade in D major, ‘Haffner’, K. 250 – VI. Menuetto

The Andante of the original serenade is omitted, allowing the third of the three Minuets to follow here. It is in the usual form. The D major Minuet is scored for flutes, horns, trumpets and strings, and frames a G major first Trio for solo flute, solo bassoon and strings, and a D major second Trio for flutes, bassoons, trumpets, horns and strings.

CHAPTER 7

Styria: Graz

The second largest town in Austria, Graz is the capital of Styria. From the Franciscan Church with its onion dome it is a short distance to the principal square, with its traditional coloured buildings, and glimpses of the 16th century clocktower on the Schlossberg above. The 16th-century Landhaus has arcade on arcade, and the opera house is briefly seen, a building dating from 1899. Nearby is the city park, with its elaborate fountain. The 17th century Schloss Eggenberg now holds historic objects, including remains of the iron age Hallstatt Period. The Schlossberg, built on a hill overlooking the city itself, provides panoramic views of Graz.

Music Mozart: Serenade in D major, ‘Haffner’, K. 250 – VII. Adagio – Allegro assai

Oboes replace flutes in the last movement. The opening Adagio leads to a sparkling final Allegro.

Keith Anderson

Recording

Takako Nishizaki, violin; Capella Istropolitana, cond. Johannes Wildner [Naxos 8.550333]


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