19th – 25th March 2016 (six nights/seven days)

From £1985.00 per person (based on two sharing a twin room, single supplements will apply)

 Press the start above to hear the 3rd movement of Mozart’s Linz Symphony, written in 1783

Itinerary

Day 1  

 

We will take a morning flight to Vienna from London Heathrow with British Airways (departs 10.50) and on arrival we will transfer by coach to the Hotel König von Ungarn for check in.

Once we have found our rooms and had a chance to settle in, we will take a walking tour of the medieval centre of Vienna including: Am Graben, where we will see the splendid Baroque church of St Peter from the exteriror; take a look at the famous Pestsäule, a late 17th century sculpted Holy Trinity column, built to commemorate victims of the plague; glance at the Roman ruins in Michaelerplatz, and view the Hofburg complex from the street.

At 6.30 we re-assemble for an introductory talk on Vienna by Peter, after which we will be invited to a drinks reception before making our way to dinner at the restaurant in the Hotel (included).


Day 2

9 am musical lecture by Peter, or there is an optional visit to the Imperial Chapel to hear the Vienna Boys’ Choir sing Mass.  Tickets for this may be booked in advance through Travel Editions.  After the lecture (or the visit to the chapel) we will walk to the Kunsthistorisches Museum complex to view the collection of historic musical instruments which range from the Renaissance period through to the 20th century. Particular highlights are the clavichords and Viennese fortepianos, as well as the instruments played by composer-performers such as Beethoven and Chopin.  The walls of the galleries are lined with paintings of great composers, and a particular treasure is the 1823 portrait of Beethoven by Waldmüller.  We will enjoy a lunch together at a local restaurant (included).

In the afternoon we will have a tour of the Mozarthaus (Figaro House, right), Mozart’s home from 1784 to 1787 and his only surviving Viennese residence. It is the largest, most elegant and expensive apartment ever occupied by Mozart and consists of four large rooms, two smaller ones, and a kitchen. It was here that Mozart composed his opera The Marriage of Figaro and three of his ‘Haydn’ Quartets’.

The evening will be at Leisure, or there is an optional visit to the Volksoper to see Johann Srauss’s Die Fledermaus.  Tickets for this can be ordered in advance from Travel Editions.


Day 3

This morning we visit the magnificent Stephansdom (St Stephan’s Cathedral), a gothic structure dating largely from the 14th and 15th centuries.  Apart from the spire, the glory of the Cathedral is its ornately patterned, richly coloured roof (left), which is covered by 230,000 glazed tiles. Above the choir on the south side of the building the tiles form a mosaic of the double-headed eagle that is symbolic of the empire ruled from Vienna by the Habsburg dynasty.  From a musical perspective, the Stephansdom was host to Vivaldi’s funeral in 1741, and to Mozart’s 50 years later.  It is also where Mozart hoped one day to become organist, but his early death deprived him of that position.  When we have finished at the Cathedral, we will walk to St Peter’s Church where Peter will give a recital of 17th and 18th century organ music including works by Pachelbel, Hadyn, and Mozart.

Lunch (not included) will be at leisure before we re-assemble at the Hotel to take the coach to the Palace of Schönbrunn, for a guided tour, a ‘Deluxe Ticket’ dinner in the restaurant, and a gala concert in the Orangery.

Schönbrunn (right) is a former Imperial summer residence of the Hapsburgs and was developed in the 1740s during the era of the Empress Maria Theresa.  Apart from possessing 1,441 rooms, the Palace contains fine Baroque interiors, stylish furniture and an outstanding picture collection.  It was here, in 1762, in the Mirror Room that the six year old Mozart (left) entertained Maria Theresa.  Years later in 1786, the Emperor, Joseph II, held a ‘friendly’ competition in the Orangery between Mozart and the court composer Antonio Salieri.  Mozart presented his opera The Impresario and Salieri showcased his comedy Prima la musica e poi le parole.  Joseph II preferred Salieri’s offering, and Mozart lost the day.


Day 4

Today will be spent as a ‘museum’ day by visiting the State Hall National Library, the Imperial Treasury, the Sisi Museum at the Imperial Apartments, and the Kunsthistorisches Museum of Fine Arts.

The State National Library (right) was created in the early 18th century as a private wing of the Hofburg imperial residence. It was built by Joseph Emanuel Fischer von Erlach to plans of his father’s, the architect Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach.  The impressive ceremonial room is surmounted by a dome that is beautifully decorated with frescoes by the court painter Daniel Gran. More than 200,000 volumes are on display today, as well as two superb Venetian Baroque globes of the earth and the sky, each with a diameter of over a metre. By contrast, the Sisi Museum in the Imperial Apartments of the Palace shows much personal memorabilia of the life of ‘Sisi’ Elisabeth of Austria, wife of Emperor Franz Joseph I.  The exhibition highlights Sisi’s restless, romantic and tragic life (she was assassinated in 1898), revealing a cult status that rivals the late Princess of Wales.  This is followed by lunch at a local restaurant (included).

In the afternoon we will visit the Kunsthistorisches Museum of Fine Arts (essentially Austria’s National Gallery), which opened its doors to the public in 1891.  Here we will wander through the magnificent galleries viewing its art collection, which includes paintings by Raphael, Arcimboldo, Velázquez, Vermeer (left), and the largest single collection of works by Pieter Brueghel.

The evening will be at Leisure or there is an optional visit to Vienna State Opera to see Puccini’s La bohème.  Tickets may be booked in advance from Travel Editions.


Day 5

9 am morning lecture.  When the composer Joseph Haydn (right) left England after a spell of work in London in the early 1790s, he returned home with more money than he had earned during the 30 years, or so, that he had worked as court composer to the Esterhazy family. He used this money to buy himself a house in Gumpendorf (today in the suburbs of Vienna) where he spent the last 12 years of his life.  This morning we will visit that house (which also contains a museum dedicated to the memory of Brahms) and see the rooms where Haydn lived and worked and where he composed his final masterpieces, including the Nelson Mass and The Creation.  We then proceed to the first of two houses that are associated with Franz Schubert, the appartment in Kettenbrückengasse, where he died in 1828.  It is probably the most poignant of all museums in the city, and it is where Schubert wrote The Shepherd on the Rock and corrected, on his deathbed, the proofs of Winterreise (left).

After lunch (not included) we go to the Lichtenstein Garden Palace to view the private art collections of the Prince von und zu Liechtenstein, which contain masterpieces from the early Renaissance to the Biedermeier era,
including highlights from the oeuvres of Peter Paul Rubens, Rembrandt, Anthony van Dyck, Lucas Cranach the Elder, Frans Hals and Raphael.

The evening is at leisure, or a visit to a concert or opera (to be advised)


Day 6

The morning and lunch is at leisure, after which we take the coach for an afternoon visit to Heiligenstadt, a little village outside Vienna where Beethoven (left) spent the summer of 1802. It was in the appartment (below, right) at Probusgasse No 6 – which we will visit – that Beethoven wrote his famous Testament (right) reflecting his despair over his increasing deafness and his desire to overcome his physical and emotional ailments in order to complete his artistic destiny. Significantly, it was in Heiligenstadt that a large portion of Beethoven’s Third Symphony The Eroica was written, and it is the first of many pivitol and great compositions by Beethoven that were written in moments of adversity (other examples include the String Quartet Op 95 in F minor, and the String Quartet Op 132 in A minor).

A second room in the appartment in Heiligenstadt takes a look at the last months of Beethoven’s life, and his death in the Schwarzspanierhaus, which no longer exists.

This evening we will enjoy a final dinner together at a local restaurant.


Day 7

After check out, we depart our hotel by coach for the Upper Belvedere Palace (left), which has breathtaking views of Vienna. It was built between 1717 and 1723 as a summer residence for Prince Eugene of Savoy.  As an art gallery, it has had some of its paintings on view to the public since 1776.

We will be given a tour of the art collection, which contains masterpieces by Waldmüller, Friedrich and David. The Belvedere also houses the world’s largest collection of oil paintings by Klimt, a co-founder of the Secession and initiator of both the Kunstschau of 1908 and the Internationale Kunstschau of the subsequent year. The Belvedere’s collection illustrates Klimt’s development from his initial attempts at Historicism to his Secessionist style and late period, in which he also responded to Fauve influences and the younger generation of Austrian artists.  On view will be his famous Kiss 1907-8 (right), as well as his Judith 1901Lunch may be had at the Belvedere (not included).

After lunch, there will be plenty of time to wander through the delightful Palace Gardens, which were planned by the Bavarian Electorate’s garden designer, Dominique Girard. From the Lower Belvedere, the Baroque garden rises to the Upper Belvedere in rigid symetrical format, reflecting strong French influences.  When we have finished at the Belvedere, we will re-group and transfer by coach to Vienna for our British Airways flight back to London.

End of the tour


The music and art specialists

VeniceTom Abbott (left) and Peter Medhurst (right) in the Teatro Olimpico, Vicenza

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.

Thomas 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.


Flights

British Airways (provisional timings below – subject to change)

Outbound:        London Heathrow/Vienna  10.50/14.05

Inbound:           Vienna/London Heathrow  18.45/20.10

Hotel König von Ungarn, Vienna

This charming hotel is ideally located in the heart of the historical district of Vienna. Rooms are comfortably furnished and the hotel has a bar & restaurant. Please visit http://www.kvu.at/ for more information

Optional operas/ Vienna Boys Choir

Day 2 – Die Fledermaus – J Strauss (Volksoper)

Category A – £90.00
Category B – £75.00
Category C  – £60.00
Category D – £45.00

Day 4 – La bohème – G Puccini (Vienna State Opera)

Category 1st – £210.00
Category 2nd – £190.00
Category 3rd – £140.00
Category 4th – £100.00

Day 2 – Vienna Boys Choir (Imperial Chapel)

Category 1st – £40.00
Category 2nd – £25.00
Category 3rd – £20.00

Included

  • Return economy flights to/from Vienna
  • Six nights’ bed and breakfast at the Hotel König von Ungarn, Vienna
  • Breakfast daily, 2 Lunches & 2 Dinners
  • ‘Deluxe ticket’ dinner at Schönbrunn Palace
  • Evening concert in the Orangery at Schönbrunn Palace
  • Transfers and full touring itinerary
  • All entrance fees /local guides
  • Private organ recital by Peter Medhurst
  • Morning lectures
  • Tour manager / guide – Tom Abbott
  • Expert lecturer – Peter Medhurst
  • Gratuities for local guides and restaurants where meals are included

Not included

  • Holiday insurance (£39pp – if aged 70+ the premium increases to £69pp)
  • Single room supplement (£290.00 per person)
  • Optional opera / concert tickets
  • Personal items such as meals (other than those mentioned) drinks, laundry, telephone calls etc)
  • Porterage at the hotel and gratuities for Tour Manager & Lecturer

How to book

Please telephone Travel Editions on 020 7251 0045 to reserve a place.  A deposit of £200 per person (plus insurance premium, if applicable) is required to secure your booking. Bookings will be taken on a first come first served basis, so please book as soon as possible to secure your place. We recommend you that you book by credit or debit card, quoting Vienna (Peter Medhurst).  There is is a surcharge of 2% on credit card booking, but there is no fee on debit cards. Should you wish to pay by cheque, please obtain a booking form from Travel Editions and return it to: Travel Editions Ltd, 69-85 Tabernacle Street, London EC2A 4BD. Cheques should be made payable to TRAVEL EDITIONS LTD