Beethoven in Vienna

A deluxe tour to Vienna created by Peter Medhurst for the connoisseur

Peter Medhurst | music expert

Tom Abbott | art & history expert

Jeremy Limb | pianist

7 days from £2,999 • Departing 21 April 2018

Bookings through Tailored Travel:
Tel: 020 7064 4970     Email  info@tailored-travel.co.uk


Introduction

When the 22 year old Beethoven left his native Bonn for Vienna in 1792, his patron, Count Waldstein, wrote to him saying ‘You are going to Vienna in fulfilment of your long frustrated wishes…with the help of assiduous labour you shall receive Mozart’s spirit from Haydn’s hands’.

Indeed, with Mozart’s untimely death in 1791, that is pretty much what happened. Having wished to study with Mozart, Beethoven ended up in Vienna as the pupil of Joseph Haydn, and when eventually Beethoven found his musical feet as a composer, he became a magnificent distillation of the finer aspects of their late 18th century craft, mingled with his own inimitable and forward looking genius. For many people, this contributes to Beethoven’s reputation as being the greatest composer of all time.

This exclusive tour is a rare opportunity to follow in the true footsteps of Beethoven. By immersing the group in early 19th century art and architecture, by visiting some of the places where Beethoven lived and worked, and by listening to private performances by Jeremy Limb and Peter Medhurst of Beethoven’s music – some even given in the Lobkowitz Palace where premieres of Beethoven’s works took place – these seven days spent in the heart of Vienna will become an unforgettable experience for the musical connoisseur.  Here is a foretaste of Jeremy playing the opening of Beethoven’s Waldstein Sonata, especially recorded for this webpage:

Jeremy Limb plays the opening of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No 21 Op 53 ‘The Waldstein’



Itinerary



Day 1

Flight to Vienna, lunch, guided walk through the medieval streets of Vienna, coffee and cream cakes at Café Frauenhuber, private drinks reception & dinner at the hotel

We meet at Heathrow Airport for our direct scheduled British Airways flight to Vienna. On arrival in Austria, we are met by Peter Medhurst, our music expert, and Tom Abbott, our art historian and tour manager. We then transfer by coach to the centrally located 4* König von Ungarn Hotel for a six night stay. After an included lunch at the hotel, we take a walk through the medieval streets in the immediate environs of the hotel and the cathedral. En route we see – among other things – the house where Mozart died in 1791, and visit the venue where the first performance of Beethoven’s Piano Quintet in Eb Op 16 took place. This building is now the Café Frauenhuber and it is here that we enjoy afternoon coffee and cream cakes. Following an evening lecture from Peter on music in Beethoven’s Vienna, we attend a private drinks reception and enjoy a welcome dinner, both served in our hotel.


Day 2

Morning lecture or Mass with the Vienna Boys’ Choir, Lobkowitz Palace with private concert in the Beethovensaal, lunch at Café Demel, State Hall National Library, Albertina art collection

This morning you may choose to attend our lecture in the hotel, or join our optional excursion to hear the Vienna Boys’ Choir performing High Mass at the Hofburg Chapel. Later, we visit the Austrian Theatre Museum, in the Lobkowitz Palace. It was in this building that Beethoven’s 3rd Symphony ‘The Eroica’ was premiered in 1805; and in the same hall where this took place, Jeremy Limb and Peter will give a recital of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No 21 Op 53 ‘The Waldstein’ and the song cycle An die ferne Geliebte:

Peter sings Wo die Berge so blau from Beethoven’s song cycle An die ferne Geliebte

“Where the mountains so blue look down out of the foggy gray, where the sun fades, where the clouds overspread, there would I like to be!  There in the peaceful valley, pain and agony are quietened.  Where the primrose quietly meditates on the rock and the wind blows quietly, there I would like to be!  To the thoughtful wood am I drawn by love and inner pain.  I will never leave this place, but stay here for ever.”

We then go to nearby Café Demel for a lunch and follow this with a visit to the State Hall National Library. The former court library was designed by the Viennese Baroque architect Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach and his son Emanuel. It is the largest Baroque library in Europe, and it s here that Beethoven’s patron and dedicatee of his 1st Symphony, Baron van Swieten, was court librarian from 1777 until his death in 1803. After a visit to the Augustinian Church, we make our way to the Albertina Art Collection for a guided tour. The Albertina has one of the largest and most valuable graphical collections in the world, and contains works such as Dürer’s ‘Hare’ and Klimt’s studies of women. This evening you may choose to join our optional excursion to the Opera.

Opening of Beethoven’s 3rd Symphony The Erocia.  First performed at the Lobkowitz Palace in 1805


Day 3

Study morning in the Figaro House on Beethoven’s piano sonatas, lunch, private visit to the art collection at the Lichtenstein Garden Palace

This morning is spent in the Bösendorfer-Saal of the Figaro House, the place where Mozart lived from 1784- 87 and where Peter and Jeremy present a study morning (9.30-12.30) on Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas.  Rather as the string quartets and symphonies of Joseph Haydn reflect his progress as a composer, so Beethoven’s piano sonatas are a mirror of his developing genius and span his entire working life.  Together, Peter and Jeremy explore the highlights of the repertoire – Peter discussing and analysing the music, Jeremy playing whole movements and examples live on the excellent resident piano.

Jeremy plays Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No 32 Op 111 – opening of the 2nd movement

After an included lunch, we make our way by coach to the Liechtenstein Garden Palace (dating from 1700) and enjoy a private tour of its magnificent art collection. On show are paintings by Raphael, Rubens, Molenaer and Ricci, all displayed in sumptuously decorated rooms (see photograph below). The evening is at leisure.


Day 4

Morning lecture, Eroica house in Oberdöbling, Beethoven’s house in Heiliganstadt, lunch, private recital at Bösendorfer’s showroom, Beethoven frieze at the Secession Building, Biedermeier Rooms at the Vienna Museum

After the morning lecture at the hotel, we make our way by coach to the Viennese suburb of Oberdöbling to visit the museum known as the ‘Eroica House’. Although Beethoven never lived in the building (the Austrian archivist, Josef Böck-Gnadenau misidentified the house), the museum is a memorial to the summer of 1803, when Beethoven stayed in Oberdöbling and wrote the lion’s share of his 3rd Symphony. We continue to Beethoven’s house in Heligenstadt (another Viennese suburb) and where in 1802 Beethoven wrote the famous ‘Heiligenstadt Testament’. The Testament is a letter (never sent) to his two brothers in which he lamented his advancing deafness, and momentarily contemplated suicide as being the only way forward. An included lunch will then be served at a carefully selected local restaurant followed by a return to the centre of Vienna to enjoy a recital by Jeremy and Peter at the Bösendorfer piano show room.   One of the pieces that they will include is this charming theme and variations by Beethoven on the tune Ich denke dein.  It was written in Vienna in 1800 and dedicated to Countesses Josephine Deym and Therese Brunswick:

Peter and Jeremy play Beethoven’s Theme and Variations on ‘Ich denke dein’ for piano duet

Time permitting, we may pay a visit to the Karlskirche, before making our way to the Secession Building, built by Joseph Maria Olbrich in 1897 and which famously contains Gustav Klimt’s Beethoven Frieze of 1901.  The photograph below shows the heavenly choir, the scene inspired by Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. The Secession Building is an architectural manifesto of the rebel artistic movement spearheaded by Gustav Klimt. Crowned with a golden leaf globe, it is home to a fine collection of works by pioneering artists that continue to redefine contemporary art. Again, time permitting, we may visit the Vienna Museum to see the celebrated Biedermeier Rooms. The evening is at leisure.


Day 5

Morning lecture, Kunsthistorisches Museum, lunch, Musikinstrument Museum, Beethoven’s Pasqualatihaus, optional visit to the opera

The morning lecture at the hotel is followed by a guided tour of the Kunsthistorisches Museum. Opened around 1891, it is Austria’s largest art museum and contains works by Raphael, Brueghel the Elder, Rembrandt, Vermeer and Caravaggio. It also contains magnificent paintings by the Venetian artist Bernardo Bellotto of views of Vienna, and show what the city would have looked like when Beethoven arrived there in the 1790s. After an included lunch we walk to the nearby Musikinstrument Museum for a guided tour of its superb collection of musical instruments. We will particularly concentrate on instruments – and paintings of composers – that stem from Beethoven’s time in Vienna, including pianos by Walther, Stein and Ehlers and portraits of Hummel, Walther and Beethoven. When finished, we make our way to the Pasqualatihaus, named after its owner Josef Benedikt Baron Pasqualati, and the place where Beethoven spent eight years living in the apartment on the fourth floor. It was here that the composer worked on his 4th, 5th, 7th and 8th symphonies, and where he also worked on his opera Fidelio. This evening you may choose to join our optional excursion to the opera.


Day 6

Morning lecture, Schönbrunn Palace, lunch at the Palace in the Café Residenz, Schubert’s Sterbewohnung, dinner at the Sky Restaurant

After the morning lecture in the hotel, we spend the morning at the palace of Schönbrunn (below), commissioned in 1696 by Leopold I, completed in 1730, and adapted in the mid-18th century for Maria Theresa. Our audio- guided deluxe tour will include Maria Theresa’s bedroom, hung with Brussels tapestries, her breakfast room decorated with needlework worked by her and her daughters, and the Hall of Mirrors, where Mozart, aged 6, gave his first Viennese recital. The gardens were laid out with fountains and statues, and later, on the Gloriette Hill, a colonnaded arcade was added, from which can be enjoyed an extensive view over the city.

After an included lunch at the Palace in the Café Residenz, we visit Schubert’s Sterbewohnung, the house where Franz Schubert died on 19th November 1828. The exhibits document the last weeks of the composer’s life, his death and his funeral. Schubert is important in the unfolding of the Beethoven story since not only was he a torchbearer at Beethoven’s funeral, but the ‘point and counterpoint’ aspect of their careers highlights the ways in which the composers were viewed by the early 19th century Viennese. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure in Vienna, and this evening we enjoy a farewell dinner at the nearby Sky Restaurant – a magnificent eatery overlooking the rooftops of central Vienna.

Peter & Jeremy play Beethoven’s Sonata in D Op 6 for piano duet – Rondo


Day 7

Morning lecture, Museum of Military History, Upper Belvedere Palace art collection, lunch, return flight to London

After a summing up lecture, we check out of our hotel, and following a swift visit to the Museum of Military History, we continue to the Upper Belvedere Palace (below). Here, Tom guides us around the magnificent art collection, paying especial attention to the paintings on the uppermost floor, which reflect everyday life in Vienna during the early part of the 19th century.

The Upper Belvedere also contains the world’s largest Gustav Klimt collection, which you may wish to seek out. After an included lunch, we return to Vienna Airport for our direct scheduled British Airways flight back to Heathrow.

The end of the tour



Features

Tour limited to 24 passengers

Tom Abbott – professional tour manager & art historian

Jeremy Limb – pianist

Six lectures by Peter Medhurst

Private recitals and study morning with Peter and Jeremy on Beethoven’s music

Centrally located historic 4* hotel

Welcome & farewell dinners included

Included lunches every day

All excursions, entrance fees, guided tours & gratuities included

Direct scheduled British Airways flights from London Heathrow to Vienna

Personal audio headsets on days 1 to 6


Highlights

Walking tour of Vienna’s medieval streets

Afternoon coffee & cream cakes at Café Frauenhuber

Austrian Theatre Museum, Lobkowitz Palace

Recital in the Lobkovitz Palace by Jeremy & Peter of Beethoven’s

Piano Sonata No 21 Op 53 ‘The Waldstein’ & the song cycle ‘An die ferne Geliebte’

Study morning in Mozart’s Figaro House on Beethoven’s piano sonatas

State Hall National Library

Augustinian Church

Albertina Art Collection – guided tour

Recital by Jeremy at the Bösendorfer piano show room

Liechtenstein Garden Palace – private tour of its art collection

‘Eroica House’ in Oberdöbling

Beethoven’s house in Heiligenstadt

Karlskirche

Secession Building

Biedermeier Rooms at the Vienna Museum

Kunsthistorisches Museum – guided tour

Musikinstrument Museum – guided tour

Pasqualatihaus

Schönbrunn Palace

Schubert’s Sterbewohnung

Museum of Military History

Upper Belvedere Palace


Optional

Vienna Boys’ Choir performing High Mass at the Hofburg Chapel on Day 2

Optional opera on Day 2 & 5


The Music and Art Experts

Peter Medhurst – music expert, pianist and bass-baritone

Peter Medhurst is well-known in the world of the arts as a singer, pianist, scholar and lecturer, who in addition to his appearances on the concert platform and in the lecture hall, sets aside time to devise and lead tours abroad for small groups of art and music connoisseurs.  His particular interests are centred on the music, art and history of Vienna, Salzburg (with its strong Mozart link), Berlin, Halle (Handel’s birthplace), Dresden, Venice (Vivaldi’s birthplace), Rome, and Delft (with its Vermeer and 17th century Dutch School connections) and over the years Peter has been associated with a number of companies including Travel Editions, Cox and Kings, Success Tours, Heritage Travel, Tailored Travel, and Voyages to Antiquity.  Peter did his training at the Royal College of Music and at the Mozarteum in Salzburg.

Tom Abbott – art and history expert, tour manager

Tom Abbott graduated in Psychology and Art History at Carleton College, Minnesota, and studied at the Louvre School of Art History in Paris. 1987 he moved to Berlin leading tours in Germany, specialising, of course, in the German capital. While in Berlin, Tom commenced and completed his graduate studies in the history of art and architecture, focusing particularly on the art of the Italian and German Baroque. He has recently led seminar tours to the United States exploring the works of Frank Lloyd Wright, and the School of Nancy, France, as well as tours focusing on the art of the Netherlands from the Golden Age to the Contemporary. Tom is associated with the Foundation of Prussian Palaces and Gardens.

 

Jeremy Limb – pianist

Jeremy Limb is the great grandson of Sir Arnold Bax, the distinguished 20th century English composer.  Jeremy read music at Queen’s College, Oxford, then studied piano at the Royal College of Music. Since leaving the the Royal College of Music he has broadcast on BBC Radio 3 as part of their Young Artists’ Forum concert series; given numerous recitals round the country, and in 1997 won 1st Prize in the 18th Brant National Piano Competition. He now works as a freelance musician in various capacities – soloist, accompanist, sight-reader, repetiteur (including work for English National Opera), as well as arranger, composer and performer of all types of music including jazz/pop. He is also a writer and performer of comedy and was nominated for the LWT New Comedy Writing Award for his play ‘Play Wisty For Me’ – The Life of Peter Cook.


The Accommodation

We stay for six nights at the magnificent and centrally located 4* König von Ungarn Hotel in Vienna (www.kvu.at). Located just behind St Stephen’s Cathedral, the hotel is said to be the oldest in Vienna and certainly there is an old world charm about it. Distinguished guests of the hotel have included novelist Günter Grass, actor Larry Hagman, mezzo-soprano Agnes Baltsa and pianist Alfred Brendel.

Its facilities include a restaurant and a bar. All rooms are en-suite and feature television, telephone, hairdryer, mini bar, and a room safe. Dinner is included at our hotel on the first evening (set 3 course dinner without drinks), and at The Sky Restaurant on our last night, while the remaining four days are on bed and breakfast basis.

One particular aspect of the König von Ungarn Hotel that will appeal to people on the tour is that Mozart (above left) lived in an adjoining building – the Figaro House (see right) – in fact, the breakfast room of the hotel is directly beneath Mozart’s appartment.  In addition to composing his famous opera here in 1786, Mozart also worked on the so-called six ‘Haydn Quartets’.  Our study morning on Beethoven’s piano sonatas takes place in the Figaro House – all deliciously convenient.


Extras to the tour

Insurance £44

Single room supplement £319 (limited availability)

Optional excursions

Local accommodation tax to be paid directly to the hotel

Flight details may be subject to change

Price based on twin share

Normal booking conditions apply


Bookings through Tailored Travel
Tel: 020 7064 4970     Email  info@tailored-travel.co.uk