Salzburg is that rare thing, a tiny city with world-class standards in nearly everything the discerning visitor – and resident – would want. It is miraculous that such charm, and such grandeur, and, above all, such unparalleled weight of musical achievement, should be concentrated in so small a place.
A virtually independent city-state from its origins in the early Middle Ages until its absorption into the Habsburg Empire in the nineteenth century, Salzburg’s days of glory had all but slipped into the past by the time Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born there. He became the unwitting instigator, post-mortem, of Salzburg’s transformation from minor ecclesiastical seat to the world’s foremost city of music festivals. There are five of them. The Mozartwoche (Mozart Week) held in January every year celebrates Salzburg’s most famous son with musicians famed worldwide for their Mozart interpretations.
Our tour allows the concerts to be interspersed with a gentle programme of walks and visits to see some of the finest art and architecture in the city. But there is also plenty of free time to relax and gather energies for the performances, and for individual exploration.
The city has several museums – a recent addition is a Museum of Contemporary Art in a cliff-top location overlooking the city, and the city’s principal museum has been re-established in a part of the Archbishop’s palace known as the Neue Residenz.
Fly at c. 9.30am from London Gatwick to Salzburg (British Airways). An introductory lecture and early dinner before an evening concert at the Großes Festspielhaus with Robin Ticciati (conductor), Renaud Capuçon (violin), and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra: Elgar, Concerto in B minor, Op. 61; Mozart, Symphony No. 41 in C, K. 551, ‘Jupiter’.
Morning concert at the Mozarteum with Sir András Schiff (conductor & piano) and Cappella Andrea Barca: Bach, Concerto in C minor, BWV 1060; Mozart, Adagio and Fugue in C minor, K. 546; Bach, Concerto in C minor, BWV 1062; Bach, from The Musical Offering, BWV 1079, Ricercar a sei; Mozart, Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor, K. 491. An afternoon walk through the heart of the old city with a local guide includes a church by the greatest master of Austrian Baroque, Fischer von Erlach, the late-Gothic Franciscan church and the mighty cathedral, the first major Baroque building north of the Alps. Evening concert at the Großes Festspielhaus with Sir John Eliot Gardiner (conductor) and the English Baroque Soloists: Mozart, Symphony No. 52 in C, K. 102, Sinfonia concertante in E flat, K. 364, Symphony No. 32 in G, K. 318, Symphony No. 39 in E flat, K. 543.
Morning concert at the Mozarteum with Daniel Barenboim (piano): programme to be announced at a later date. Afternoon visit to Mozart’s birthplace, now an excellent museum. Evening concert at the Mozarteum with B’Rock Orchestra and Anna Lucia Richter (soprano): Bach, Orchestral suite No. 3 in D, BWV 1068, Cantata BWV 51, ‘Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen’; Mozart, Motet K. 165, Exsultate, jubilate, Symphony No. 33 in B flat, K. 319.
A second guided walk includes a visit to the 18th-century Mirabell Gardens and the former Mozart family home. Then a private guided tour of the Mozarteum’s Autograph Vault, containing original letters and manuscripts. Evening opera at the Haus für Mozart: Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Mozart), René Jacobs (conductor), Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Salzburg Bach Choir, Robin Johannsen (Konstanze), Sunhae Im (Blonde), Sebastian Kohlhepp (Belmonte), Julian Prégardien (Pedrillo), David Steffens (Osmin).
Optional afternoon visit to the Alte Residenz, a complex dating back to the 16th century, housing a sequence of a dozen impressive state rooms, of which several were redesigned in the Baroque style by Erlach and Hildebrandt. The adjoining Residenzgalerie contains a collection of 16th–19th-century European painting, including works by Rembrandt and Rubens. Evening concert at the Großes Festspielhaus with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Alain Altinoglu (conductor) and Piotr Anderszewski (piano): Mozart, Symphony No. 31 in D, K. 297, ‘Paris’, Piano Concerto No. 27 in B, K. 595; Bizet, Symphony No. 1 in C.
The flight from Salzburg arrives at London Gatwick c. 11.30am.
Music writer, lecturer and broadcaster for BBC Radio 3. He writes for BBC Music Magazine and Gramophone and has taught classes in Lieder history and interpretation at the Guildhall, Trinity College of Music and Birkbeck College. He read French and German at Cambridge and later studied Music at the Guildhall. His publications include Schubert: the complete song texts and Pocket Guide to Haydn.
Price – per person
Two sharing: £3,510 or £3,390 without flights. Single occupancy: £3,860 or £3,740 without flights.
Air travel (Euro Traveller) with British Airways (Airbus A319); accommodation as described below; breakfasts, 1 lunch and 3 dinners with wine; private coach for the airport transfers; all admissions to museums; tips for waiters, drivers and local guides; all state and airport taxes; the services of the lecturer and tour manager.
Tickets (top category) for 7 performances are included, costing c. £1,100. Due to be confirmed in July 2017.
Hotel Bristol: 5-star family-run hotel, excellently located two minutes walk from the Mozarteum and just across the river from the Festspielhaus (600 metres). Single rooms are doubles for sole use.
There is a fair amount of walking within the old town centre where vehicular access is restricted. The tour is planned on the expectation that participants walk to and from the concert venues.
Between 10 and 22 participants.
Before booking, please refer to the FCO website to ensure you are happy with the travel advice for the destination(s) you are visiting: www.fco.gov.uk.
'Our lecturer was, as ever, the most congenial of companions on this tour. His organisation was faultless. Above all, his erudition and enthusiasm greatly enhanced our enjoyment of the week.'
'Excellent – music programme wonderful.'
'A very special holiday due to our lecturer and a very good mix of people.'
'Alone, I would never have discovered so much, and had such good company.'
'This was for me the best Martin Randall Tour, and that’s saying a lot.'
'The lecturer is always my first choice, his music knowledge is superior and he is a charming and thoughtful host.'