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Throughout the nineteenth century visitors to Vienna were astonished by the number of opportunities to hear music and by the virtuosity of the performers at every level, from court singer to itinerant harpist.
While the likes of Beethoven and Mozart were adopted sons of Vienna, Franz Schubert was the city’s true biological offspring. Born here. Died here. And – for most of his short life – lived and worked here. We begin this concert with an overture that became far more famous than the play it was intended for—Rosamunde, Princess of Cypress.
Brahms arrived in Vienna as an ambitious young musician in the early 1860s and remained for the rest of his life. Although uniquely Brahmsian, his sweet bucolic Serenade No 1 was very much influenced by Mozart, Schubert and Beethoven.
Erich Korngold was a child prodigy who grew up in Vienna but left in the early 1930’s to become the founding father of Hollywood Symphonic film scoring. His final orchestral work, Straussiana, uses melodies from Strauss’ lesser known works like ‘Fürstin Ninetta’, ‘Cagliostro in Wien’ and ‘Ritter Pasman’, creating a charming and brilliantly orchestrated potpourri.