The Residency Series at the House of Nobility / Helsinki Early Music Festival
Virtuosos and entertainment
Antti Tikkanen, violin and direction
Petri Kumela, guitar
Finnish Baroque Orchestra
Vienna, the capital of the Habsburg Empire, was one of the most important centres of music and the arts in Europe from the beginning of the 17th century. The geographic proximity to Italy and the personal relationships between the Viennese royalty and the Italian rulers joined the city and the court firmly to Italian musical heritage. The rulers of the Habsburg line filled their orchestras with the best Italian musicians of their time, and Italian opera and instrumental music flourished in Vienna. This legacy was continued by Johann Joseph Fux, who rose to prominence in the court chapel in 1715. His treatise on composition and counterpoint Gradus ad Parnassum was later read by Haydn as well as Beethoven.
In the 18th century, multicultural Vienna was Europe’s largest German-speaking city and the glorious centre of a huge empire. In 1781, young Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote to his father that the city was “the best place in the world for his profession”. In addition to the court, concert life flourished in theatres, palaces and salons of the aristocracy. Musicians and composers alike were offered plenty of work and audience. In the next century, the city was the destination of many touring artists. Both Nicolò Paganini, the most famous violinist of his time, and Mauro Giuliani, guitar virtuoso, performed in Vienna. Giuliani’s A-major concerto was premiered there in April 1808. This concerto will be performed on period guitar in tonight’s programme, which introduces Viennese musical treasures from the Baroque to the early Romantic periods.
Duration: 1 h 30 min (incl. intermission)