North West Norfolk DFAS presents

The Music, Art & Palaces of Vienna

13th – 18th June 2014

with Peter Medhurst and Thomas Abbott

Peter Medhurst plays Mozart’s Rondo in D K485 written in Vienna in 1786

Day 1 Friday

We meet at Norwich Airport for our scheduled early afternoon flight to Vienna via Amsterdam. On arrival at Vienna we are met by Peter Medhurst and Tom Abbott, our tour manager, and transfer by coach to the centrally located 4* König von Ungarn Hotel for a five night stay. A welcome set 3 course dinner without drinks is included in our hotel on the first evening and at Schönbrunn Palace on night 4, whilst the remaining three days are on bed and breakfast basis.

Day 2 Saturday

We enjoy a walking guided tour of Vienna today, taking in the imperial and architectural beauty of the city, a reminder of the great wealth of the Habsburgs and the splendour of the Austro Hungarian Empire. Our guided tour also includes a visit to St Stephen’s Cathedral, dating back to 1147 and for a long time uncontested as the tallest building in Europe. We continue to Mozarthaus, the most famous of Mozart’s various homes in Vienna, where he lived from 1784 – 1787. Restored for the anniversary year of 2006, Mozart composed many of his masterpieces here, including ‘The Marriage of Figaro’. The rest of the day is at leisure in Vienna.

Day 3, Sunday

The first part of the morning is at leisure in Vienna and you may choose to join our optional excursion to see the Vienna Boys’ Choir performing High Mass at the Hofburg Chapel. Later this morning we visit the Spanish Riding School, the only institution in the world where the classic equestrian skills have been preserved and still practised in Stae Hall Natinal Library, Viennatheir original form. Designed by Baroque architect Jospeh Emanuel Fischer von Erlach between 1729 and 1735, the Spanish Riding School was built to provide aristocratic youths with the opportunity to take riding instruction. Here we enjoy an included morning performance in Category 1 seats, of the famous snowy white Lipizzaner stallions. During the performance we witness the spectacular perfection of the “High School of Classical Horsemanship” with the Pas de Deux, Work in Hand and on the Long Rein and the School Quadrille which is shown with eight stallions. This afternoon we have a guided tour at the State Hall National Library. The former court library is an architectural masterpiece of the Viennese Baroque architect Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach and his son Emanuel. This, the largest Baroque library in Europe, was built in the first half of the eighteenth century as an independent wing of the Imperial Palace. The ceiling frescoes were completed in 1730 by the court painter Daniel Gran. We then enjoy a guided tour at the Imperial Treasury, showcasing an impressive collection of medieval royal objects such as the Austrian imperial crown and insignia, as well as precious items from the Holy Roman Empire. Magnificent gems such as the largest cut emerald in the world testify to the Habsburgs’ former power and glory.

Day 4 Monday

Arcimboldo's 'Summer' in the Kunsthistorisces Museum, ViennaWe enjoy a guided tour at the Kunsthistorisches Museum this morning. The 16th century Kunst-und Wunderkammer (art and treasure chambers) of Archduke Ferdinand and of Emperor Rudolph II, together with the Baroque collections of Archduke Leopold Wilhelm, forms the nucleus of the Museum’s magnificent collections. Whilst at the museum, we visit the Kunstkammer, home to over 2,100 valuable objects collected by the emperors and archdukes of the Habsburg empire, including Benvenuto Cellini’s precious salt cellar, the Saliera, dating back to the middle of the 16th century. We continue to the Musikinstrument Museum Chandelier in Schönbrunn Palace, Viennafor a guided tour, home to the most important collection of Renaissance and Baroque instruments worldwide. The museum keeps, maintains and presents numerous instruments that were played by famous musicians and composers, and the collection includes a comprehensive range of clavichords and Viennese fortepianos. The afternoon is at leisure in Vienna. Schönbrunn Palace is our destination this evening, the residence of the Hapsburg Empress, Maria Theresia. Our guided tour of the palace is followed by an included 3 course dinner at Café Residenz and concludes with a performance by the Schönbrunn Palace Orchestra in the magnificent Baroque Orangery.

Day 5 Tuesday

This morning we visit Haydnhaus, the place where Joseph Haydn spent the last twelve years of his life. We continue to Beethoven Wohnung Heligenstadt, the house in the Vienna suburb of Heiligenstadt where Ludwig van Beethoven wrote the ‘Heiligenstädter Testament’ in 1802 – the letter to his two brothers which he never sent and in which he expressed his despair over his advancing deafness. We then visit Schubert Geburtshaus, the place where the great composer was born on 31st January 1797. Schubert spent the first four and a half years of his life at the house, and the museum is today dedicated to his life and works. This afternoon we enjoy a guided tour at the Liechtenstein Garden Palace, home to one of the world’s largest and most important private art collections, owned by the Prince von und zu Liechtenstein.

Day 6 Wednesday

This morning we visit Upper Belvedere Palace, and our guided tour on arrival introduces us to a fine collection of Austrian art dating from the Middle Ages to the present day, including the world’s largest Gustav Klimt collection. We return to Vienna Airport for our flight back to Norwich via Amsterdam.

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The music and art specialists

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, and Delft (with its Vermeer and 17th century Dutch School connections) and over the years Peter has worked for a number of companies including Travel Editions, Cox and Kings, Heritage Travel and Tailored Travel.

 

Thomas Abbott graduated in Psychology and Art History at Carleton College, Minnesota, and studied at the Louvre School of Art History in Paris1987 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 at the Technical University of Berlin, focusing particularly on the art of the Italian and German Baroque.

 

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