June 7 – 21, 2019
Our trip begins in Berlin where we’ll stay at the beautiful, ideally situated, Hotel de Rome (https://www.roccofortehotels.com/hotels-and-resorts/hotel-de-rome/)
We’re here to investigate the life and work of Frederick the Great, a flute-playing king! Frederick was a proponent of the Enlightenment, although his interpretation was referred to as “enlightened absolutism”. While Frederick was an enthusiast of all things French, the French enlightenment and that of the German speaking countries was quite different but still, created the milieu in the Bonn in which Beethoven grew up. That philosophy was to have a significant impact on his music, as we shall see when we embark on the exploration of Beethoven’s life with Jan Swafford.
We’ll spend just a short time at Beethoven’s birthplace, before heading to Vienna, long the seat of western classical music and the city in which Beethoven wrote all of his genre changing masterworks. This is the city of Mozart, Haydn, Schubert, Brahms, Lizst, Mahler, Bruckner, Strauss, Kreisler, Schoenberg, Berg, but in Vienna it was Beethoven who would singlehandedly change the direction of classical music.
In that city we’ll stay at the Ritz-Carlton, (http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/europe/vienna), with its 1 Schubertring address.
We’ll stroll the same streets as did our composer, visit his apartments, coffeehouses and heurigen. Many of those streets feel much the same as in the early 1800s. Beethoven would need rest and respite from the big city, so too we’ll visit Modling, Baden and Heiligenstadt, then countryside venues that would be the crucible for many of the masterworks; the 3rd, 5th & 9th symphonies …
Today Vienna is still a cultural capital, as is Berlin, so we’ll attend a concert by the Berlin Philharmonic*, an opera by the Vienna State Opera* and our trip will close with the Vienna Philharmonic’s sensational Sommernacht’s Concert on the grounds of the Schonbrunn Palace.*
There’ll be plenty of non-musical activities too: our welcome dinner in Berlin will be at the 2 Michelin starred restaurant of Horváth, whose chef, Sebastian Frank, was recently named the Best European chef of the year for 2018. Heading out of Germany we’ll cruise along the Middle Rhine, home to the Lorelei sirens. In Vienna we’ll enjoy an introduction to Austrian wines, and to Viennese coffees, we’ll enjoy vineyards on the banks of the Danube, as we explore the beautiful Wachau valley.
Camerata trips are special. You’re in the company of like-minded people and, with a maximum of 18 participants, the groups are small enough that everyone gets to know each other. While there are many activities tailored to the Camerata audience, there’s also time to relax and explore individually – this is not a have your bags out the door at 7 a.m. experience.
* To be confirmed