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2.110342 - MUSICAL JOURNEY (A) - AUSTRIA: Salzburg / Vienna / Gmunden / Waldviertel / Drosenberg (NTSC)
A Musical Visit to Austria
Salzburg: City Scenes
Mozart was born in Salzburg in 1756. The city has an ancient history dating back to Celtic and Roman times, with its first cathedral built by St Virgil in the 8th century. Its status was enhanced in the 13th century by the elevation of the ruling archbishops to the position of princes of the Holy Roman Empire. A long line of religious rulers of Salzburg ended only during the reign of Mozart’s second patron, the Archbishop Hieronymus von Colloredo. Salzburg’s any churches and palaces are evidence of its historical prosperity. Above the city looms Hohensalzburg, once an 11th-century fort, further enlarged and fortified over the years. Nowadays Salzburg is famous, above all, for its association with Mozart, whose principal employment, until he settled in Vienna in 1781, was in the court musical establishment, where his father served as Vice Kapellmeister. The house where Mozart was born is now a museum, with portraits of the family, Mozart, his sister, his wife Konstanze, and his father and mother. Instruments preserved include violins, a clavichord and a fortepiano. A large room is preserved in the house to which the family moved in 1773. Here a group portrait of the family is shown.
Music Mozart: Eine kleine Nachtmusik, K. 525 – I. Allegro
It was only in 1781 that Mozart was able to break away finally from his and his father’s employment in the musical establishment of the Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg. Dissatisfied with the limited possibilities of the place, in 1777 Mozart resigned his post as concertmaster to seek his fortune elsewhere, while his prudent father, Vice-Kapellmeister in Salzburg, was obliged to remain behind. Unable to find a suitable position either in Mannheim or in Paris, both important musical centres, in 1779 Mozart reluctantly returned home, now to serve as Salzburg court organist. An opera commission in 1781 in Munich, however, was followed by a summons to join the Archbishop’s entourage in Vienna. It was there that Mozart remained, having secured his dismissal. For the rest of his life he lived in increasingly precarious independence in Vienna, his circumstances not improved by an imprudent marriage. Though first celebrated by the Viennese as a performer and composer, the novelty of his presence in the city waned. By the time of his death in 1791 he was finding it increasingly difficult to maintain his relatively expensive way of life. His famous Eine kleine Nachtmusik (A Little Night Music) was written in Vienna in 1787, a few months after the death of the his father in Salzburg. The occasion of its composition is unknown.
Salzburg by Day and by Night
Salzburg owes much of its architectural splendour to Archbishop von Raitenau, a great-nephew of Pope Pius IV, who reigned from 1587 to 1612, but spent his final years in the Hohensalzburg as a prisoner of his successor. Many of the houses in the older part of the city retain their picturesque façades. The fortress of Hohensalzburg was first established in the 11th century, its elevated position enabling it to withstand attack, notably during the Peasants’ Revolt of 1520. It was further fortified in the 17th century. The structure offers views of the city and countryside below.
Music Mozart: Eine kleine Nachtmusik, K. 525 – II. Romance
The Serenade continues with a slower movement, a Romance.
The Salzburg Mozarteum is a conservatory of music, with two concert halls and a collection of important documents relating to Mozart. The building was erected between 1910 and 1914 and extended in 1940.
Music Mozart: Eine kleine Nachtmusik, K. 525 – III. Menuetto: Allegro – Trio
Among the most popular dance movements of the time, the Minuet had an important place in any serenade, as always with a contrasting trio section at its heart.
Salzburg: Souvenirs of Mozart
Commercially Salzburg now relies very much on its connection with Mozart. Visitors may see the house where he was born (Geburtshaus) and the house where his family later lived (Wohnhaus), but there are also statues, busts, sweets and liqueurs, all in Mozart’s name.
Music Mozart: Eine kleine Nachtmusik, K. 525 – IV. Rondo: Allegro
Eine kleine Nachtmusik has a final Rondo, ending a work that must be one of the best known in string orchestra repertoire.
The scenery of the Waldviertel (Forest Quarter), one of the four districts of Lower Austria, is impressive. Village churches, calvaries, vines, castles, picturesque towns and lakes are seen covered in winter snow.
Music Mozart: Lodron Night Music, No. 1, K. 247 – I. Allegro
Mozart’s Divertimento in F, known as Lodron Night Music No. 1, was written in 1776 for the name-day of Countess Antonia Lodron in Salzburg. It is scored for two horns and strings.
Schloss Rosenau lies off the road from Gmünd to Zwettl. The original building dates from the late 16th century, but in the 18th century the house was rebuilt by Count Leopold Christopher Schallenberg in baroque style. The buildings underwent various changes and dilapidations, particularly during the post-war Russian occupation, but was eventually acquired by the Austrian state. Remaining masonic decorations suggested the establishment of a masonic museum, while Rosenau also has a Catholic chapel. Mozart joined a masonic lodge in Vienna in 1784, at a period when free-masonry and Catholicism were able to co-exist. His cantata Die Maurerfreude (The Joy of the Masons) was performed in Vienna in 1785, while his 1791 opera The Magic Flute reflects masonic beliefs and practices. After his death a eulogy by the actor and fellow-mason Karl Friedrich Hensler, Die Maurerrede, was delivered and published.
Music Mozart: Lodron Night Music, No. 1, K. 247 – II. Andante grazioso
The Serenade continues with a delicately scored slow movement.
The little town of Drosenberg is characteristic of Lower Austria, with its typical houses and church, and a colourful Rathaus façade.
Music Mozart: Lodron Night Music, No. 1, K. 247 – III. Menuetto – Trio
The first of the two Minuets of the Serenade frames a contrasting Trio.
Well-known as a summer resort, Gmunden lies at the head of the deepest lake in Austria, the Traunsee. The town, with its colourful houses, assumed importance in the 14th century as the administrative centre for the salt-mining industry, from which Salzburg derived its name and its wealth.
Music Mozart: Lodron Night Music, No. 1, K. 247 – IV. Adagio
The fourth of the six movements of the Lodron Night Music is a slow movement, scored for strings only.
Vienna: Liechtenstein Palace
The Liechtenstein Princes had a winter palace in central Vienna and a summer palace in what was then the outskirts of the city. Both were designed by Domenico Martinelli and date from the late 17th and early 18th centuries. The summer palace is particularly remarkable for its ceiling frescoes by Andrea Pozzo, with unexpected trompe l’oeil effects, and depictions of Hercules.
Music Mozart: Lodron Night Music, No. 1, K. 247 – V. Menuetto
The fifth of the six movements of the Lodron Night Music is a second Minuet and Trio.
Vienna: Palace of Prince Eugen
With the defeat of the besieging armies of Turkey in 1683 and success in following campaigns, Vienna took on a new splendour. The winter palace of the hero of the conflict, Prince Eugen, was designed by Johann Bernard Fischer von Erlach, built in 1697-98 and further developed by Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt. It contains ceremonial apartments of great magnificence, with a gilded room that is the work of Hildebrandt and Claude le Fort du Plessy. Prince Eugen’s person and exploits are commemorated in works of art, including a panoramic view of the battle before Vienna and an equestrian portrait of the Prince.
Music Mozart: Lodron Night Music, No. 1, K. 247 – VI. Andante – Allegro assai
The Lodron Night Music ends with a movement that opens with a slow introduction, leading to a cheerful concluding rondo.
Ottenstein Castle • Mauterndorf Castle
Ottenstein Castle, built originally in the 12th century, can be seen on its hill-top, dominating a winter landscape. The 13th-century Mauterndorf Castle, with its 14th-century frescoes, was built on the site of an ancient Roman fort. It was restored in 1894 and has more recent interest as the former possession of Hermann Goering, left him by his Jewish godfather. Goering took refuge there before surrendering to the Allies in 1945.
Music Mozart: Serenata Notturna, K. 239 – I. Marcia: Maestoso
Mozart wrote his Serenata Notturna late in December 1775, completing it in January, presumably for some social occasion in Salzburg. It is scored for four solo strings, timpani and string orchestra, offering interesting contrasts of texture. The Serenade opens with a March.
Set amidst towering mountains and lying between Bad Aussee and Liezen, Schloss Trautenfels dates from the 17th century, built on the site of a former castle for Count Siegmund Friedrich von Trauttmansdorf. The building contains painted panels with scenes from mythology and legend by Carpoforo Tencalla.
Music Mozart: Serenata Notturna, K. 239 – II. Menuetto – Trio
The Minuet frames a Trio that is entrusted to the solo string instruments.
Salzburg: Hellbrunn Palace and Landscape
Schloss Hellbrunn was built between 1613 and 1619 by Santino Solari, architect of Salzburg Cathedral, for Archbishop Markus Sittikus. Its gardens, laid out by Solari, contain varied statuary, picturesque in a snowy winter landscape. The palace lies some five kilometres south of Salzburg.
Music Mozart: Serenata Notturna, K. 239 – III. Rondeau: Allegretto – Adagio – Allegro
The final Rondo includes episodes of possible topical reference. Within the framework of the repeated principal theme comes a solemn Adagio, the music of a country dance and a brief and unexpected plucking of strings, before the lively conclusion.
Capella Istropolitana cond. Wolfgang Sobotka, Harald Nerat [Naxos 8.571042]
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