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Mozart – Le Nozze di Figaro (Harnoncourt)

Salzburg Festival

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Salzburg Festival (German: Salzburger Festspiele) is a prominent festival of music and drama established in 1920. It is held each summer (for five weeks starting in late July) within the Austrian town of Salzburg, the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. One highlight is the annual performance of the Everyman (Jedermann) dramatization by Hugo von Hofmannsthal.

Since 1967 there is also an annual Salzburg Easter Festival held by the same organization.



Music festivals had been held in Salzburg at irregular intervals since 1877 held by the International Mozarteum Foundation, but discontinued in 1910. Although a festival was planned for 1914, it was cancelled at the outbreak of World War I. In 1917, Friedrich Gehmacher and Heinrich Damisch formed an organization known as the Salzburger Festspielhaus-Gemeinde to establish an annual festival of drama and music, emphasizing especially the works of Mozart.[1] At the close of the war in 1918, the festival’s revival was championed by five men now regarded as the founders: the poet and dramatist Hugo von Hofmannsthal, the composer Richard Strauss, the scenic designer Alfred Roller, the conductor Franz Schalk, and the director Max Reinhardt, then intendant of the Deutsches Theater in Berlin, who had produced the first performance of Hofmannsthal’s Jedermann at the Berlin Zirkus Schumann arena in 1911.

Cathedral Square

The Salzburg Festival was officially inaugurated on 22 August 1920 with Reinhardt’s performance of Hofmannsthal’s Jedermann on the steps of Salzburg Cathedral, starring Alexander Moissi. The practice has become a tradition, and the play is now always performed at Cathedral Square, from 1921 accompanied by several performances of chamber music and orchestra works.

A first festival hall, the present-day Haus für Mozart, was erected in 1925 at the former Archbishops’ horse stables on the northern foot of the Mönchsberg mountain according to plans by Clemens Holzmeister and opened with Gozzi‘s Turandot dramatized by Karl Vollmöller. At that time the festival had already developed a large-scale program including live broadcasts by the Austrian RAVAG radio network. In the following year the adjacent former episcopal Felsenreitschule riding academy, carved into the Mönchsberg rock face, was converted into a theatre, inaugurated with the performance of Servant of Two Masters by Carlo Goldoni.

The years from 1934 to 1937 were a golden period when the famed conductors Arturo Toscanini and Bruno Walter conducted many performances. In 1936, the festival featured a performance by the Trapp Family Singers, whose story was later dramatized as the musical and film The Sound of Music (featuring a shot of the Trapps singing at the Felsenreitschule theatre). In 1937, Boyd Neel and his orchestra premiered Benjamin Britten’s Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge at the Festival.[2]

The Festival’s popularity suffered a major blow upon the Anschluss annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany in 1938. Toscanini resigned in protest, artists of Jewish descent like Reinhardt and Georg Solti had to emigrate, and the Jedermann, last performed by Attila Hörbiger, had to be dropped. Nevertheless the festival remained in operation until in 1944 it was cancelled by the order of Reich Minister Joseph Goebbels in reaction to the 20 July plot. At the end of World War II, the Salzburg Festival re-opened in summer 1945 immediately after the Allied victory in Europe.

Felsenreitschule theatre

Post World War II Festivals

The post-war festival slowly regained its prominence as the premier summer opera festival, especially in works by Mozart, with conductor Herbert von Karajan becoming artistic director in 1956. In 1960 the Great Festival Hall (Großes Festspielhaus) opera house opened its doors. As this summer festival gained fame and stature as the premier venue for opera, drama, and classical concert presentation, its musical repertoire concentrated on Mozart and Strauss, but other works, such as Verdi‘s Falstaff and Beethoven‘s Fidelio, were also performed.

Upon Karajan’s death in 1989, the festival was modernized by director Gerard Mortier, succeeded by Peter Ruzicka in 2001. In 2006, Salzburg celebrated the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth by staging all 22 of his operatic works (including two unfinished operas), to great acclaim. All 22 were filmed and were released to the general public in November 2006. Since 2006 the festival is led by intendant Jürgen Flimm and concert director Markus Hinterhäuser. Alexander Pereira is scheduled to succeed Flimm, future director of the Berlin State Opera, after the 2011 summer festival.

Salzburg Whitsun Festival

The Salzburg Whitsun Festival (Salzburger Pfingstfestspiele) is an extension of the traditional Salzburg Summer Festival established in 1973, performing operas along with works from the great Baroque orchestral repertoire at the Grosses Festspielhaus during Whitsun (or Pentecost) weekend. In 2005, it presented Handel‘s Acis and Galatea and his oratorio Solomon. Since 2007 the Whitsun Festival is led by artistic director Riccardo Muti.

See also


  1. ^ Eisen, Cliff & Keefe, Simon P., eds. (2006). The Cambridge Mozart Encyclopedia, p. 443. Cambridge University Press.
  2. ^ The Gramophone, June 1972, p. 178

External links

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – LA NOZZE DE FIGARO – Salzburger Festspiele 2006

Uploaded by on Dec 18, 2011

Opera Buffa in 4 Akten, KV 492
Wiener Philharmoniker
Dirigent: Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Text: Lorenzo Da Ponte
Inszenierung: Claus Guth

Figaro: Ildebrando D’Arcangelo
Graf Almaviva: Bo Skovhus
Gräfin Almavira: Dorothea Röschmann
Susanna: Anna Netrebko
Cherubino: Christine Schäfer
Marcellina: Marie McLaughlin
Bartolo: Franz-Josef Selig
Basilio: Patrick Henckens
Barbarina: Eva Liebau
Antonio: Florian Boesch
Don Curzio: Oliver Ringelhahn
Cherubim: Uli Kirsch
Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor
Bewegungschor der Salzburger Festspiele

“The Marriage Of Figaro” “Comic opera in 4 acts” “Salzburg Festival”
“Le Mariage de Figaro», «opéra comique en quatre actes” “Festival de Salzbourg”
“Le nozze di Figaro”, “opera comica in quattro atti”, “Festival di Salisburgo”
“O Casamento de Fígaro”, “ópera cômica em quatro atos” “Festival de Salzburgo”
“Le nozze di Figaro”, “ópera cómica en cuatro actos”, “Festival de Salzburgo”
“Figaro’nun Düğünü”, “dört perdelik komik opera” “Salzburg Festivali”
“Женитьба Фигаро”, “комическая опера в четырех действиях” “Зальцбургский фестиваль”
«Οι Γάμοι του Φίγκαρο”, “κωμική όπερα σε τέσσερις πράξεις” “Salzburg Festival”


Nikolaus Harnoncourt

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Nikolaus Harnoncourt (Count Nikolaus de la Fontaine und d’Harnoncourt-Unverzagt[1]) (born 6 December 1929) is an Austrian conductor, particularly known for his historically informed performances of music from the Classical era and earlier. Starting out as a classical cellist, he founded his own period instrument ensemble in the 1950s, and became a pioneer of the Early Music movement. Around 1970, Harnoncourt started to conduct opera and concert performances, soon leading renowned international symphony orchestras, and appearing at leading concert halls, operatic venues and festivals. His repertoire has since widened to include composers of the 19th and 20th century. In 2001 and 2003, he conducted the Vienna New Year’s Concert. Harnoncourt is also the author of several books, mostly on questions of performance history and musical aesthetics.



Harnoncourt was born in Berlin, Germany. He was raised in Graz, Austria and studied music in Vienna. His mother, Ladislaja Gräfin von Meran, Freiin von Brandhoven, was the granddaughter of the Habsburg Archduke Johann, the 13th child of the Emperor Leopold II. He is thus descended from various Holy Roman Emperors and other European royalty. His father, Eberhard de la Fontaine Graf d’Harnoncourt-Unverzagt, was an engineer working in Berlin who had two children from a previous marriage. Two years after Nikolaus’s birth, his brother Philipp was born. The family eventually moved to Graz, where Eberhard had obtained a post in the state-government (Landesregierung) of Styria.


Harnoncourt was a cellist with the Vienna Symphony from 1952 to 1969. In 1953, he founded the period-instrument ensemble Concentus Musicus Wien with his wife, Alice Hoffelner. The Concentus Musicus Wien is dedicated to performances on period instruments, and by the 1970s his work with it had made him quite well known. He played the viola da gamba at this time, as well as the cello. For the Telefunken (later Teldec) label, Harnoncourt recorded a wide variety of the Baroque repertoire, beginning with the viol music of Henry Purcell,[2] and extending to works including Johann Sebastian Bach‘s The Musical Offering,[3] Claudio Monteverdi‘s L’incoronazione di Poppea,[4] and Jean-Philippe Rameau‘s Castor et Pollux.[5]

One reason that Harnoncourt left the Vienna Symphony was to become a conductor. He made his conducting debut at La Scala, Milan in 1970, in a production of Monteverdi‘s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria.[6]

In 1971, Harnoncourt started a joint project with conductor Gustav Leonhardt to record all of J.S. Bach’s cantatas. The project was eventually completed in 1990, and (barring a couple of cantatas, nos. 51 and 199) was the only cantata cycle to utilise an all-male choir and soloist roster. In 2001 a critically acclaimed and Grammy Award winning recording of Bach’s St Matthew Passion conducted by Harnoncourt was released, which included the entire score of the piece in Bach’s own hand on a CD-ROM (this is his third recording of the work).[7]

Harnoncourt subsequently performed with many other orchestras using modern instruments, but still with an eye on historical authenticity in terms of tempi and dynamics, among other things. He also expanded his repertoire, continuing to play the baroque works which had given him prominence, but also championing the Viennese operetta repertoire. In recent years, he has made a benchmark recording of the Beethoven symphonies with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe (COE),[8] and recorded the Beethoven piano concerti with Pierre-Laurent Aimard and the COE.[9]

In addition, Harnoncourt is a guest conductor of the Vienna Philharmonic and has made several recordings with the orchestra.[10][11] Between 1987 and 1991, he conducted four new productions of Mozart operas at the Vienna State Opera (1987-91: Idomeneo; 1988-90: Die Zauberflöte; 1989: Die Entführung aus dem Serail; 1989-91 Così fan tutte). He directed the Vienna Philharmonic’s New Year’s Day concerts in 2001 and 2003.[12]

In 1992, Harnoncourt debuted at the Salzburg Festival conducting a concert with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. In the following years, he led several concerts with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the Vienna Philharmonic and the Concentus Musicus. Harnoncourt also served as the conductor for major opera productions of the Festival: L’incoronazione di Poppea (1993), Le nozze di Figaro (1995 and 2006), Don Giovanni (2002, marking also Anna Netrebko‘s international breakthrough as Donna Anna, and 2003), La clemenza di Tito (2003 and 2006), King Arthur (2004).[13] In 2012, Harnoncourt is scheduled to conduct a new Magic Flute, staged by Tobias Moretti.

In 2002 he recorded Anton Bruckner‘s Symphony No. 9 with the Vienna Philharmonic, with an accompanying second CD containing a lecture by Harnoncourt about the symphony with musical examples, including the rarely heard fragments from the unfinished finale.

Harnoncourt made his guest-conducting debut with the Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam in 1975. He has continued as a guest conductor with the orchestra, including in several opera productions and recordings.[14] In October 2000, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra named him their Honorair gastdirigent (Honorary Guest Conductor).

In 2009, Harnoncourt recorded Porgy and Bess by George Gershwin.

Harnoncourt and his wife Alice have raised four children. Their daughter is the mezzo-soprano Elisabeth von Magnus. Their two surviving sons are Philipp and Franz. Their third son Eberhard, a violin maker, died in 1990 in an automobile accident.[15]



  • Harnoncourt, Nikolaus; Pauly, Reinhard G. (1997). The Musical Dialogue: Thoughts on Monteverdi, Bach, and Mozart. Portland, OR: Amadeus Press. ISBN 1-57467-023-9.
  • Harnoncourt, Nikolaus; Pauly, Reinhard G. (1988). Baroque Music Today: Music As Speech. Portland, OR: Amadeus Press. ISBN 978-0-931340-91-8.
  • Harnoncourt, Nikolaus (1983). Musik als Klangrede: Wege zu einem neuen Musikverständnis. Salzburg: Residenz Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7017-0315-9.
  • Harnoncourt, Nikolaus (1993). Die Macht der Musik: Zwei Reden. Salzburg: Residenz Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7017-0827-7.
  • Gratzer, Wolfgang (ed.) (2009). Ereignis Klangrede. Nikolaus Harnoncourt als Dirigent und Musikdenker (klang-reden 3), Freiburg/Br.: Rombach. ISBN 978-3-7930-9551-4
  • Official catalogue Nikolaus Harnoncourt. Die Universität Mozarteum Salzburg ehrt den Dirigenten und Musikdenker. Salzburg: Universität Mozarteum 2008


  1. ^ Thepeerage.com
  2. ^ Andrew Clements (18 April 2003). “Concentus Musicus Wien: A Celebration”. The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-08-12.
  3. ^ Wolff, Christoph (July 1972). “Reviews of Records, Johann Sebastian Bach: Musikalisches Opfer. The Musical Quarterly 58 (3): 496–501. Retrieved 2007-08-12.
  4. ^ Glover, Jane (1975). “Review of Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea“. The Musical Times 116 (1590): 715.
  5. ^ Cyr, Mary (April 1973). “Reviews of Records, Rameau: Castor et Pollux. The Musical Quarterly 59 (2): 328–333. Retrieved 2007-08-12.
  6. ^ James R. Oestreich (2 March 2003). “Only the Best Follow His Beat”. New York Times. Retrieved 2007-10-13.
  7. ^ Bach-Cantatas.com
  8. ^ John Rockwell (17 November 1993). “Harnoncourt Gives Beethoven a Mild Jolt”. New York Times. Retrieved 2007-08-12.
  9. ^ Andrew Clements (28 February 2003). “Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos 1 -5: Aimard/Chamber Orchestra of Europe/Harnoncourt”. The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-08-12.
  10. ^ Andrew Clements (2 October 2002). “Smetana: Ma Vlast”. The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-08-12.
  11. ^ Andrew Clements (24 October 2003). “Bruckner Symphony No 9: Vienna Philharmonic / Harnoncourt”. The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-08-12.
  12. ^ James R. Oestreich (2 January 2003). “A New Year Comes to Old Vienna”. New York Times. Retrieved 2007-08-12.
  13. ^ http://www.salzburgerfestspiele.at/DIEINSTITUTION/Dienste/SPIELPLANARCHIV/SpielplanSuche?k=nikolaus%20harnoncourt&dv=1.1.1900&db=31.12.2011&typ=0
  14. ^ Andrew Clements (23 May 2003). “Dvorak: The Golden Spinning Wheel; The Noon Witch; The Water Goblin; The Wild Dove: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra/ Harnoncourt”. The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-08-12.
  15. ^ James R. Oestreich (10 November 1996). “Following His Fixations, Early Music to Whatever”. New York Times. Retrieved 2007-10-13.
  16. ^ “Nikolaus Harnoncourt (conductor and cellist)”. Gramophone. Retrieved 10 April 2012.

External links

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