Despite the enormous political challenges that Vienna faced between 1780 and 1830 – including several major battles with Napoleon – the city thrived, culturally. In fact, it could be argued that Vienna never had a finer moment in terms of its artistic achievements. However, its crowning glory at the time was its music, written by a group of composers known as The First Viennese School, which consisted of F Haydn, WA Mozart, L van Beethoven and F Schubert. Together, their operas, symphonies, concertos and chamber works made Vienna the musical capital of the world.

With music and opera to the fore, Peter Medhurst explores the history and culture of late Classical and early Romantic Vienna. He follows this with a live discussion on Viennese music from his music room in London


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The study afternoon runs for 2¼ and includes a 15′ break

Part 1:

The first session is a general introduction to the history and culture of Vienna during the period of 1780 to 1830. It explores the importance of patronage in the arts by the Hapsburgs and other noble families centred in Vienna and goes on to assess the impact that the Napoleonic Wars had on the city in the years following the Congress of Vienna.

Part 2:

In this session, Peter Medhurst moves to the piano for a discussion on music written in Vienna during the Classical period (c1765-1830). Peter talks about and performs a range of works by Haydn, Beethoven and Schubert, but especially by Mozart. Music includes Piano Sonata No 10 in C by Haydn, excerpts from The Magic Flute and Piano Sonata in F K322 by Mozart, Piano Sonata in C minor Op 13 ‘Pathétique’ No 2 by Beethoven, and Ländler by Schubert.

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