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Music along the Rhine - Outstanding music, beautiful countryside and historic towns along Germany’s principal river

Ten private concerts in beautiful and appropriate historic buildings.

Musicians of the highest calibre from Germany, Switzerland, South Korea and Britain: Dorothea Röschmann (soprano) and Malcolm Martineau (piano), The Mandelring Quartet, Llyr Williams (piano), Amatis Piano Trio, Basel Chamber Orchestra with Valeriy Sokolov (violin), Per Sonat Ensemble, Esmé Quartet, Cantus Cölln, Baden-Baden Philharmonic, and Freiburg Baroque Orchestra.

Music from the medieval to the romantic, most composed in the countries through which we pass.

Brahms is well represented as is Beethoven: in this anniversary year, we devote a day to the great man in his birthplace, Bonn. 

Choice between accommodation on a ship which cruises from Basel to Amsterdam or in hotels for a variant which features country walks: Walking the Rhine Valley.

Daily talks by leading authorities on music and history.

30 Jun - 07 Jul 2020 £3,390 Book this tour

  • W. Turner, 'On the Rhine', c. 1830,  ©Sotheby’s / akg-images
    W. Turner, 'On the Rhine', c. 1830, ©Sotheby’s / akg-images
  • Dorothea Röschmann ©Harald Hoffman.
    Dorothea Röschmann ©Harald Hoffman.
  • Malcolm Martineau ©Alessandro Moggi.
    Malcolm Martineau ©Alessandro Moggi.
  • Freiburg Baroque Orchestra ©Annelies an der Vegt.
    Freiburg Baroque Orchestra ©Annelies an der Vegt.
  • Mandelring Quartet ©Uwe Arens.
    Mandelring Quartet ©Uwe Arens.
  • Llŷr Williams ©Benjamin Ealovega.
    Llŷr Williams ©Benjamin Ealovega.
  • Cantus Cölln ©Stefan Schweiger.
    Cantus Cölln ©Stefan Schweiger.
  • Valeriy Sokolov ©Simon Fowler.
    Valeriy Sokolov ©Simon Fowler.
  • Esmé Quartet ©Sihoo Kim.
    Esmé Quartet ©Sihoo Kim.
  • Basel Chamber Orchestra ©Lukasz Rajchert.
    Basel Chamber Orchestra ©Lukasz Rajchert.
  • Per Sonat ©Daniel Blaser.
    Per Sonat ©Daniel Blaser.
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Overview

From the romantic Rheingau to the bewitching Black Forest, the allure of the Rhine Valley is reflected in a carefully chosen programme of music.

 

Ten private concerts in beautiful and appropriate historic buildings

First launched in 1997, there have been eleven previous editions of The Rhine Valley Music Festival, now known as Music Along the Rhine. Each has been different, but all are characterised by high quality performances. The concert venues are chosen for their beauty or charm, and most are of the same period as the music performed in them. All are relatively small, leading to an informality and intimacy of musical communication, which engenders a heightened artistic experience.

 

Music from the medieval to the romantic, most composed in the countries through which we pass

For 2020, the twelfth edition, Brahms is well represented as is Beethoven: in this anniversary year, we devote a day to the great man in his birthplace, Bonn. There is a range of music largely from Germany and Central Europe from the Middle Ages to the 19th century.

 

Musicians of the highest calibre from Germany, Switzerland, South Korea and Britain

As with all Martin Randall Festivals, the musicians are among the finest in their fields. They include the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, pianist Llŷr Williams, Cantus Cölln, Basel Chamber Orchestra and Dorothea Röschmann. Alongside established names there are some exciting new ensembles surely destined for stellar careers, the Amatis Trio and the Esmé Quartet.

 

Accommodation on a first-class river cruiser

Acting as both hotel and principal means of transport, MS Amadeus Imperial sails from Amsterdam to Basel, enabling passengers to attend all the concerts and see some of the finest art and architecture in the region without having to change hotel or drive long distances. The experience differs significantly from conventional cruising in many ways. There is little regimentation, no obligatory seating plan, no on-board entertainment, announcements are kept to a minimum – and there is absolutely no piped music.

 

The walking alternative

Walking the Rhine Valley mixes the concerts with country walks. Seven of the concerts are included, and there are six walks of around two hours beside or close to the Rhine. Participants stay in hotels rather than on the ship, and the group is limited to 22 participants.

 

Discover the place

On the way from its source in the Swiss Alps to the North Sea Basin in the Netherlands, Germany’s longest river traverses more than a thousand kilometres.

For centuries, the Rhine has been an vital trading route. At the same time, it has always divided peoples. Today, it forms part of the borders between five countries. It once made up part of the Roman Empire’s northern frontier, and there is still much significant archaeology to be found along its banks.

As you travel towards the river’s source you will experience the beautiful landscapes of the Lower Rhine, dominated by pollarded willows. Further along, the river was at the heart of Germany’s industrial revolution, and the once heavily industrialised Rhine-Ruhr valley is still today the largest urban conurbation in Germany – but even this is not without its interest and charm.

Between the cities of Bingen and Bonn, the Middle-Rhine flows through a deep gorge. Known as ‘the Romantic Rhine’, this is a much evoked place in German folklore, romantic poetry and music. You will pass the statue of the famous Loreley, a beautiful maiden said to have lured sailors to their death where the Rhine narrows. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this stretch of the river, flanked by vine-clad hills with virtually every peak topped by a castle or fortress, is truly breath-taking.

To travel the length of this fascinating river is a once-in-a-lifetime experience which takes in thousands of years of history through regions famous for their cuisine and wine, music, literature, architecture and enchanting landscape. There is time to explore some of the towns along its course, to see some great art and architecture, and to watch the countryside go by as you travel along Germany’s most important river.

 

Meet the musicians

Dorothea Röschmann

Born in Flensburg, Dorothea Röschmann was awarded the title of Kammersängerin at the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin in 2016. She has been a frequent guest at the Salzburg Festival since 1995 and works regularly at the Wiener Staatsoper, Bayerische Staatsoper Munich, Semperoper Dresden and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. A renowned recitalist, she was awarded a Grammy in 2017 for her solo recital CD with Mitsuko Uchida.


Malcolm Martineau

One of the world’s greatest accompanists, Malcolm Martineau performs throughout the world with many of the leading singers of our time. He was awarded an OBE in the 2016 New Year’s Honours.


Mandelring Quartet

In a career spanning over 30 years the Mandelring Quartet has established a reputation as one of the world’s leading string quartets. Famed for their expressivity and remarkable homogeneity of sound and phrasing they have won numerous prizes for their recordings as well as prestigious competitions such as Munich International Music Competition, Evian and Reggio Emilia. Their busy concert schedule has taken them to major venues and festivals worldwide, including their own festival, the Hambacher Musikfest and an annual concert series at the Berliner Philharmonie.


Llŷr Williams

Welsh pianist Llŷr Williams is widely admired for his profound musical intelligence, and for the expressive and communicative nature of his interpretations. An acclaimed performer of Beethoven, he has several complete sonata cycles under his belt, most recently at Wigmore Hall and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, as well as a Concerto cycle with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Highlights of 2018–19 include the continuation of a 5-recital exploration of the late works of Schubert in Cardiff and return invitations to Wigmore Hall, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the opening recital of the Southbank Centre’s International Piano Series.


Amatis Piano Trio

The Amatis Piano Trio was founded in Amsterdam in 2014. Weeks after forming, the trio won the audience prize at the Grachtenfestival-Concours in Amsterdam, which quickly lead to their debut at the Royal Concertgebouw. The young, international trio has since emerged as one of the leading piano trios among the new generation, receiving enthusiastic responses from audiences and critics across the UK, Europe and Asia. Winners of the 2015 International Parkhouse Competition in Wigmore Hall, the trio has gone on to win several international prizes
and competitions.


Basel Chamber Orchestra

The Basel Chamber Orchestra is recognised as one of the world’s leading chamber orchestras, performing regularly at major international concert houses. Various recordings have been awarded prestigious international prizes. The ensemble has a long association with its principal guest conductor, Giovanni Antonini: a collaboration which led to the award of ‘Ensemble of the Year’ by ECHO Klassik in 2008. Under Antonini’s baton, along with Italian ensemble Il Giardino Armonico, the orchestra will perform and record all 107 Haydn symphonies by the year 2032.


Valeriy Sokolov

Ukranian violinist Valeriy Sokolov is one of the most outstanding young artists of his generation, working regularly with the world’s leading orchestras and conductors. Valeriy left his native country aged thirteen to study with Natalia Boyarskaya at the Yehudi Menuhin School in England, going on to win first prize at the 2005 George Enescu International Violin Competition in Bucharest. The 2018/19 season sees Valeriy give debut performances with the Oslo Philharmonic and Berlin Konzerthausorchester as well as a tour of China.


Per Sonat

Per Sonat was formed in 2008 by soprano Sabine Lutzenberger, a renowned pioneer of medieval singing, and since then the ensemble has been dedicated to the task of researching medieval and renaissance music and bringing it closer to their audiences through their performances. The ensemble has performed at major festivals in Germany and across Europe including Oude Muziek in Utrecht and Stockholm Early Music Festival. Esme Quartet Originally from South Korea, the Esmé Quartet was formed in 2016 at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz in Cologne. The quartet has rapidly gained a reputation as a chamber ensemble of exceptional achievement and promise. In Spring 2018 the quartet won first prize and four special prizes at the prestigious Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition, and in Autumn 2018 it became HSBC Laureate of the Académie du Festival d’Aix. This year sees the quartet performing at Wigmore Hall and the Lucerne Festival
among others.


Cantus Cölln

Cantus Cölln was formed in 1987 by lutenist Konrad Junghänel. All the singers in the group have successful solo careers, and it is recognised as one of the most accomplished Early Music ensembles in the world. Core repertoire includes German and Italian vocal repertoire of the Renaissance and the Baroque and their numerous CDs include highly-acclaimed recordings of Bach motets and cantatas. In 2000, they received the Buxtehude Prize for extraordinary achievement in the field of sacred music.

Konrad Junghänel is one of the leading conductors in the field of Early Music. He began his career as an internationally renowned lutenist and interpreter of J.S. Bach. He is a professor at the State Conservatoire of Music in Cologne.


Baden-Baden Philharmonic

The Baden-Baden Philharmonic Orchestra has a long and illustrious history dating back to the mid-18th century. Its list of soloists reads like a who’s who of music history (Brahms, Liszt, Berlioz, Stravinsky, Clara Schumann). The Orchestra’s residence is today, as it was then, in the town’s Kurhaus and it is regarded as one of the pillars of cultural life in this region of Germany. Numerous CD recordings and television and radio productions are testimony to its artistic ability.

Renowned conductor Pavel Baleff has been with the orchestra since 2007. Engagements as a guest conductor have taken him to major opera houses and concert halls across Europe, including the Vienna State Opera. He conducted Bulgaria’s first ever production of Wagner’s Ring der Nibelungen in Sofia.


Freiburg Baroque Orchestra

The Freiburg Baroque Orchestra is among the most brilliant and celebrated period-instrument orchestras in the world today. Formed by students at the Freiburg music school in 1985, from the outset they were devoted to careful research into historical performance practice and, in the absence of a conductor, lively discussions about interpretation. Scholarship never dampens their artistic instincts, and they play with unsurpassed verve and virtuosity and breath-taking synchronicity – a by-product of being one of the busiest of chamber orchestras.

 

Day 1

Tuesday 30 June

Amsterdam

Join one of our festival flights (see Practicalities) or make your own way to the ship.

Amsterdam is as distinctive as it is beautiful. It grew rapidly in the 16th and 17th centuries from a small and precarious sea port to become the greatest trading emporium in Europe. With its concentric canals and close-set brick merchant houses, soaring churches and picturesque alleys, the inner city has hardly changed since its heyday.

Board the ship, MS Amadeus Imperial, from 4.00pm. Afternoon tea is available.

Leave for a late-afternoon concert.

Those on flight option 2 go straight from the airport to the concert venue.

Concert, 8.30pm:

Amsterdam, Concertgebouw

Lieder by Brahms & Schumann

Dorothea Röschmann soprano

Malcolm Martineau piano

Opened in 1888, the Concertgebouw is regarded as one of the finest concert halls in the world, and both its halls are renowned for their acoustics. While the Great Hall seats c. 2000, our concert takes place in the intimate setting of the Recital Hall. It is hard to imagine a better location for Dorothea Röschmann's programme of songs by Brahms and Schumann.

Overnight Amsterdam.

 

Walking Party: there is a morning walk in Dutch countryside, followed by free time in Amsterdam. Attend the concert. Dinner and overnight Amsterdam.

 

Day 2

Wednesday 1 July

Schloss Lembeck

Leave the Netherlands and enter Germany shortly after daybreak, and sail along the Lower Rhine through the rest of the morning. There is a lecture and lunch, but otherwise free time until early afternoon.

Moor at Wesel and drive to Schloss Lembeck near Dorsten, a delightful moated Wasserschloss (‘water castle’) situated in a park. It dates from the 17th century and retains its historic character though it is now a hotel (the walkers stay here). Our concert takes place in a small hall hung with ancestral portraits. Due to the size of the hall, the concert is repeated.

Concert, 3.15pm or 4.45pm:

Schloss Lembeck

String Quartets

Mandelring Quartet

At one remove from the world, Schloss Lembeck offers the quietude needed to explore such an inward looking masterpiece as Beethoven’s String Quartet Op 59 No 3, in which the composer reveals in music how he found the strength to triumph over adversity and growing deafness. Before that we hear the first surviving quartet by Haydn, the true father of the medium.

Return to the ship in the evening and sail overnight from Wesel to Bonn.

 

Walking Party: leave Amsterdam and enjoy a walk in the vicinity of the Lower Rhine. Arrive at Schloss Lembeck in the early afternoon and attend the concert there. Overnight in Schloss Lembeck.

 

Day 3

Thursday 2 July

Bonn

Famously disparaged as a village by the diplomatic corps when it was capital, Bonn had in fact been a significant centre of culture while seat of the Elector Archbishops of Cologne in the early modern period. In the 18th century a second-rate tenor inclined to drink, named Johann van Beethoven, was employed at the archiepiscopal court. His son was a better musician. The morning and afternoon recitals take place in the Kammermusiksaal, a handsome modern chamber music hall attached to the Beethoven family home within walking distance of the mooring.

Recital, 11.30am:

Bonn, Beethoven Haus, Kammermusiksaal

Beethoven Piano Sonatas

Llŷr Williams

In Llŷr Williams’s piano recital we hear Beethoven as both titanic tragedian and inspired comedian. It used to be claimed that Beethoven had no sense of humour: the last two movements of his Piano Sonata Op 2 No 3 are the perfect riposte to that. But then comes the thrilling drama of the Appassionata Sonata – turbulent, anguished, brilliant, one could say that the romantic image of the piano virtuoso as tortured genius was born here.

Some free time in Bonn, perhaps to return to the Beethoven Haus with its remarkable collection of memorabilia, or to visit Bonn Minster, one of the most impressive monuments of the transitional period between Romanesque and Gothic. Lunch is provided on the ship as usual.

Return to the Beethoven Haus for the afternoon concert.

Concert, 3.00pm:

Bonn, Beethoven Haus, Kammermusiksaal

Piano Trios

Amatis Piano Trio

The second concert at the Beethoven Haus provides a reminder that Beethoven could also turn out excellent high-class entertainment music. The relatively relaxed Piano Trio Op 11 (originally with clarinet) culminates in a set of variations on one of the hit songs (Gassenhauer) of his age. Then the Amatis Trio play a gloriously lyrical romantic masterpiece by a composer who worshipped Beethoven, Felix Mendelssohn’s First Piano Trio.

There follows some more free time in Bonn. It is, of course, also possible to return to the ship between concerts.

Concert, 5.30pm:

Bonn, Electoral Palace, Festsaal

Basel Chamber Orchestra

Valeriy Sokolov violin

The Electoral Palace at Bonn was where the teenage Beethoven had his first professional post. Enlightened and encouraging as his employer was, Beethoven was soon setting off for a freelance career in Vienna, in which he soon triumphed. So it’s rather fitting that the palace should be the venue for the work in which Beethoven made his debut in the form indelibly associated with his name, the symphony. His Symphony No.1 is followed by his only Violin Concerto, not a success in its own time, but now treasured as one of the supreme challenges of the repertoire.

Overnight in Bonn.

 

Walking Party: drive south for a walk in the hills around Bonn. Arrive in Bonn in time to refresh at the hotel before a talk and the evening concert. Overnight here.

 

Day 4

Friday 3 July

The Rheingau

Most of the morning is spent sailing through the Middle Rhine, the most dramatically picturesque stretch of the river. See vine-clad hills with castles on many of the peaks, and charming little towns and villages at the water’s edge. Pass through Koblenz mid-morning, arriving near Bingen after lunch. Some free time here.

Concert, late-afternoon:

Church to be confirmed

Hildegard von Bingen

Per Sonat Ensemble

The area around the southern entry to the spectacular Rhine Gorge, is now world-famous as the birthplace of the medieval abbess, and now Saint Hildegard von Bingen: a highly original mystical thinker and a widely influential composer. This concert by the Per Sonat ensemble will reveal that Hiledgard’s music is of more than historical significance. At times it attains a state of serenity expressed in her own beautiful phrase, ‘a feather on the breath of God.’

Sail overnight to Speyer.

 

Walking Party: drive from Bonn to Schloss Vollrads. After lunch walk through woods and vineyards flanking the Rhine before transferring a short distance by coach to the afternoon concert. Overnight in Bingen.

 

Day 5

Saturday 4 July

Speyer, Schloss Bruchsal

Moor at dawn in Speyer. Separated from the river by wooded parkland, the little city is dominated by the largest Romanesque cathedral in Germany, burial place of the Salian emperors. There are a couple of hours of free time here.

After lunch drive to the afternoon concert at Bruchsal. Residence of the Archbishops of Speyer, the Schloss was begun in 1720 and finished in 1746 after frequent changes of architect and plan. But the result is magnificent, with at its core the famous Baroque staircase designed by Balthasar Neumann.

Concert, 3.00pm:

Schloss Bruchsal, Kammermusiksaal

String Quartets

Esmé Quartet

‘Ingenious and ravishing’ was one description of this afternoon’s concert venue, which would also serve well for the three string quartet masterworks performed here by the Esmé Quartet: a rich tribute to Haydn by Mozart (K387), a gripping single movement from one of the many works Schubert left unfinished, and Mendelssohn’s last and most heart-rending string quartet, the F minor, Op 80.

Return to the ship for dinner before the evening concert.

Concert, 8.45pm:

Speyer, Church of The Holy Trinity

Early Bach Cantatas

Cantus Cölln

The interior of Holy Trinity retains its early 18th-century appearance in its entirety with three tiers of galleries and an abundance of carved woodwork. Cantus Cölln perform a trio of cantatas by Johann Christoph (1642–1703) and Johann Sebastian Bach including the latter’s famous Christ lag in Todesbanden.

Sail overnight to a mooring near Baden-Baden.

 

Walking Party: Drive South and walk into Speyer from the nearby village of Mechtersheim, following a branch of the historic pilgrimage route, the Camino de Santiago. Lunch in Speyer. Drive to Bruchsal and attend the afternoon concert. Return to Speyer for dinner and the evening concert.

 

Day 6

Sunday 5 July

Baden-Baden

Moor near Baden-Baden in the early hours.

Drive in the morning to Baden-Baden for free time until the concert, and lunch independently or return to the ship. There are several coaches between the ship and Baden throughout the day. One of the most prestigious spa towns in Europe, in the 19th century the rich, powerful and talented gathered here, including leading composers. Brahms stayed for several summers; his apartment is a museum. There are elegant villas, manicured English-style parks, spa buildings and a Fabergé museum.

Concert, 4.00pm:

Baden-Baden, Kurhaus

Brahms Piano Concertos

Baden-Baden Philharmonic

Described by Marlene Dietrich as ‘the most beautiful casino in the world’, the grandly Neo-Classical Kurhaus, Baden-Baden, is a the location for a marathon concert in which Brahms’s two colossal piano concertos are heard together, played by two winners of the Frankfurt International Piano Competition. It would be a brave virtuoso who would attempt them both, not just because the technical and physical demands, but also because of the emotional range and complexity.

Return to the ship for dinner and continue upstream overnight.

 

Walking Party: drive from Speyer to Baden-Baden. Walk in the surrounding hills with a picnic lunch en route. Some free time in Baden-Baden before the late-afternoon concert in the Kurhaus. Return Speyer for dinner. Overnight Speyer.

 

Day 7

Monday 6 July

Breisach, Sankt Peter im Schwarzwald

Moor at Breisach in the morning. There is time to explore this attractive town which is built on a hill rising from the water’s edge. There is a fine Gothic church at its summit. Alternatively take a coach to Freiburg in the morning and lunch independently with free time until the afternoon concert.

After lunch drive to Sankt Peter im Schwarzwald, where our concert takes place.

Concert, 3.30pm:

St Peter im Schwarzwald, Fürstensaal

Festive & Pastoral Cantatas

Freiburg Baroque Orchestra

However beautiful, the former Benedictine monastery of St Peter im Schwarzwald, in the heart of the Black Forest district, might not seem the obvious location for a concert of Italian baroque music. But as the presence of Handel and Bach on the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra’s programme reveals, this was a period in which German composers learned much from their Mediterranean colleagues, as did the baroque architects of the gorgeously decorated Abbey itself.

We return to the ship after the concert and sail to Basel around 7.00pm.

 

Walking Party: free morning in Speyer. Drive in the afternoon to Frankfurt Airport and return to Heathrow at c. 3.30pm.

 

Day 8

Tuesday 7 July

Basel

The ship moors in Basel. Straddling the Rhine at the uppermost point for shipping, the Swiss city abuts the borders of France and Germany. It retains much of its centuries-old streetscape and architecture, including a fine medieval cathedral, and the Kunstmuseum is Switzerland’s finest gallery of historic art.

Coaches leave the ship between 9.00 and 9.30am. See Practicalities for the flight options available for returning to London.

Image of Stephen Johnson

Stephen Johnson

Writer, broadcaster and composer Stephen Johnson is the author of books on Beethoven, Bruckner, Wagner and Mahler. For 14 years he presented BBC Radio 3’s Discovering Music. His orchestral work Behemoth Dances was premiered in 2016 by the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra, and his Clarinet Quintet Angel's Arc had its first performance in January 2019 His book about music and mental health, How Shostakovich Changed My Mind, was published in May 2018. His book about Mahler's Eighth Symphony, Symphony of a Thousand, is due to be published in 2020. Twitter: @BehemothMusic | Website: www.stephen-johnson.co.uk

Professor Annika Mombauer

Professor of Modern European History at the Open University. Her research interests are 19th- and 20th-century European history, in particular Imperial Germany and the origins of the First World War. She has published widely on German military planning and diplomacy and is a well-known contributor to the historiographical debate on the origins of WWI.

The festival package

Access to the concerts is exclusive to those who take the festival package, the price for which includes:

Ten private concerts, or seven for the walking party, and daily lectures.

Accommodation on a first-class river cruiser for seven nights, or in hotels for the walking party.

All meals, from dinner on the first day to breakfast on the last, with wine, and interval drinks. For the walkers, seven dinners and four lunches are included.

Coach travel between airport and ship or hotel, and to concert venues when not reached on foot.

All tips, taxes and admission charges.

A detailed programme booklet.

The assistance of an experienced team of festival staff.

 

Festival flight options

Option 1

30 June: London Heathrow to Amsterdam Schiphol (BA 434) departing at 11.45 and arriving at 14.05.

7 July: Basel to London Heathrow (BA 753) departing at 12.20 and arriving at 13.05.

 

Option 2

30 June: London Heathrow to Amsterdam Schiphol (BA 438) departing at 13.00 and arriving at 15.20.

7 July: Basel to London Heathrow (BA 755) departing at 18.05 and arriving at 18.40.

There is time for independent exploration of Basel before departing for London.

Please note that each outbound flight is tied to a particular inbound flight. You cannot mix flights from different options.

 

Connecting flights

It may be possible to arrange connecting flights with British Airways from Edinburgh, Manchester, Glasgow, Aberdeen or Belfast.

 

The no-flights option

You can choose not to take any of our flight options and to make your own arrangements for joining and leaving the ship. You are welcome to join our airport coach transfers if your flights coincide with any of the options above. Price reduction for ‘no flights’: £200.

 

By rail

Please contact us for advice on travelling by rail. We are unable to book trains for you.

 

The Walking Party

29 June: London Heathrow to Amsterdam Schiphol (BA 434) departing at 11.45 and arriving at 14.05.

6 July: Frankfurt to London Heathrow, departing at 14.35 and arriving at 15.25.

Price reduction for 'no flights': £180

 

Accommodation and prices

The Ship

The MS Amadeus Imperial is one of the newest ships in the Lüftner fleet, and one of the most comfortable river cruisers in Europe. The multinational crew is dedicated to the highest standards of service.

With a floor area of 16m2 (Haydn deck) or 17.5m2 (Strauss and Mozart decks) the cabins are reasonably spacious by the standards of river cruisers. All have windows to the outside and are equipped with the facilities one would expect of a first-class hotel such as adjustable air-conditioning, telephone, TV and safe. Bathrooms have showers only. Special attention has been paid to noise insulation.

In layout and furnishings the cabins are identical, the significant differences being the size of windows and height above water level (higher cabins enjoy better views and fewer stairs).

Cabins on the top decks (Mozart and Strauss) are the most desirable, with floor-to-ceiling windows which slide open, and minibars. There are twelve suites (Mozart) measuring 26m2 with a corner sofa area and small balcony. Cabins on the lowest (Haydn) deck have smaller windows which do not open. There are no single cabins as such but we are allocating some twin-bed cabins for single occupancy.

The public areas include the lounge and bar, a library area and a restaurant which can seat everyone at a single sitting. The sun deck has a tented area for shade.

www.lueftner-cruises.com

 

Haydn deck (lowest)

Two sharing: £3,390 per person
Single occupancy: £3,990

Strauss deck (middle)

Two sharing: £4,080 per person
Single occupancy: £4,810

Mozart deck (top)

Two sharing: £4,540 per person
Single occupancy: £5,360

Suites (Mozart deck)

Two sharing: £5,340 per person

 

No flights: if you choose not to take one of the flight options above, there is a price reduction of £200 per person.

 

More about the concerts

Private events. The concerts are planned and administered by Martin Randall Travel, and the audience consists exclusively of those who have taken the full festival package. The concerts are therefore private.

Seating. Specific seats are not reserved. You sit where you want.

Acoustics. This festival is more concerned with authenticity and ambience than acoustical perfection. While some of the venues have excellent acoustics, others have idiosyncrasies not found in modern concert halls.

Changes. Musicians fall ill, venues need emergency repairs: there
are many unforeseeable circumstances which could necessitate changes to the programme. We cannot rule out changes to the programme due to the tide, to severe increases in water levels (which lead to the closure of locks) or indeed low levels of water. Such changes might necessitate more travel by coach. We ask you to be understanding should these events occur.

 

Fitness for the festival

Quite a lot of walking is necessary to reach some concert venues and to get around the towns we visit. Most of the concert venues do not have a lift. You need to be averagely fit, sure-footed and able to manage everyday walking and stairclimbing without difficulty. We ask that you take the simple fitness tests on page 22 before booking.

A higher fitness level is required for the Walking Party. You will need to be in good physical condition, and used to country walking over hilly terrain. There is not always the opportunity to return to the hotel to freshen up before every concert or dinner.

If you have a medical condition or a disability which may affect your holiday or necessitate special arrangements being made for you, please discuss these with us before booking – or, if the condition develops or changes subsequently, as soon as possible before departure.

Are you fit enough to join the tour?

 

Combining with Music in the Loire Valley

It is also possible to combine Music Along the Rhine with Music in the Loire Valley (7–13 July 2020). We can book the following train journey between the two for £140. The price includes a transfer from the TGV station to the centre of Tours – transport between stations in Paris is not included.

Tuesday 7 July 2020

Train 1: 10.34–13.37 Basel to Paris Gare de Lyon Transfer independently between Paris stations. Journey time c. 30 minutes. Most connections in Paris are very tight
so we have allowed some free time in between trains.

Train 2: 16.30–17.47 TGV Paris Montparnasse to Saint-Pierre-des-Corps (Tours)

 

Travel advice

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.

'The opportunity to hear top class artists in attractive surroundings without the hassle of booking, travel and planning is worth a lot.'

'I can’t fault any aspect.'

'Thoroughly enjoyable. How lovely to glide 
down the Rhine listening to interesting lectures, with access to gorgeous towns and music – without unpacking.'

'Excellent variety and inspired choice of locations.'

'We enjoyed every minute. No detail left to chance. Good to find so many like-minded music-loving fellow travellers from all over the world.'

'Every performance a highlight.'