Wolfgang Amadé Mozart: Imperial Hall Concerts. © 2021 Orfeo

CD Spotlight

A Celestial Festival

GERALD FENECH listens to Würzburg's Imperial Hall Mozart concerts

'... performances are nothing short of phenomenal on every level.'


The Würzburg Residence, an absolutely magnificent Baroque palace, and one of the largest and most beautiful in Germany, surrounded by some exquisite gardens, was created under the patronage of the Prince-Bishops Lothar Franz and Friedrich Karl von Schönborn. Located in Southern Germany, this sumptuous building was constructed and decorated in the eighteenth century by an international corps of famous architects, painters, sculptors and stucco workers.

The project took some sixty years to be completed in its entirety (1720-1780), and its opulence testifies to the ostentation of the two Prince-Bishops, and as such illustrates the historical situation of one of the most brilliant courts of Europe during the eighteenth century. Sadly, on 16 March 1945, the Residence was heavily damaged by an aerial bombing, but restoration started in earnest that same year, and by 1987 the building and its glorious interiors were reconstructed to their current state.

In 1981, the Würzburg Residence with its Court Gardens and Residence Square were declared a 'World Heritage Site' by UNESCO. The Imperial Hall, one of the most spectacular in the complex, has been housing Germany‚Äôs oldest Mozart festival since 1921, so this year marks the centenary of this prestigious event that goes from strength to strength with every year.

Listen — Mozart: Overture (Le nozze Di Figaro)
(CD5 track 1, 0:00-0:45) ℗ 1954-2000 Bayerischer Rundfunk München :

This jubilee set presents previously unpublished Mozartian gems from the Archive of Bavarian Broadcasting, and all are live recordings digitally remastered.

Listen — Mozart: Allegro (Divertimento in D, K 136)
(CD2 track 5, 0:01-0:58) ℗ 1954-2000 Bayerischer Rundfunk München :

The time span of these concerts is indeed considerable - 1954 to 2020 - and they include thirty works spread over a number of genres. Symphonies, concertos, serenades, sacred vocal pieces, sonatas and string quartets are all on the menu.

Listen — Mozart: Adagio (Violin Concerto No 5 in A, K 219)
(CD4 track 2, 1:50-2:39) ℗ 1954-2000 Bayerischer Rundfunk München :

Performers, soloists, conductors and orchestras are among the most eminent that have graced the music scene of the last sixty years and, needless to say, performances are nothing short of phenomenal on every level.

Listen — Mozart: Exsultate, Jubilate K 165
(CD5 track 11, 3:32-4:29) ℗ 1954-2000 Bayerischer Rundfunk München :

This is a celestial festival from the painter of the soul. Do immerse yourself in this prodigious garden of mystic beauty that stimulates the mind and soothes the very depths of one's being.

Copyright © 2 December 2021 Gerald Fenech,
Gzira, Malta








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