Italy - A Musical Tour of the Southern Tyrol
Chapter 1. Schloss Velthurns [27.20]
Chapter 2. Schloss Runkelstein [33.47]
The music heard here is by Mozart, his Posthorn Serenade, written in Salzburg in 1779, and the Notturno, written there in the winter of 1776-77.
Capella Istropolitana/Martin Turnovsky (from Naxos CD 8.550092)
No recording dates or venues given
DVD Director: Adriano
Cameraman: H.T. Aschwander
Audio Format: DTS 5.1. Dolby Digital 5.1. PCM Stereo 2.0
Video Format: NTSC. Colour. Aspect ratio 4:3. Region: 0 (worldwide)
NAXOS DVD 2.110539 [59.25]

The Tyrol (Tirol) was an historical state of Europe. Itís now within western Austria and comprises the northern and western regions separated by Salzburg. What was the southern part of the Tyrol in the old Hapsburg Empire is now a province of the Italian region of Trentino. It was ceded to Italy by the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 in the aftermath of the First World War, Italy having joined the victorious allied side, albeit a little late in the day. It was the same treaty that returned Alsace and Lorraine to the French, their having been lost to Germany following the war in 1870. German is still the main spoken language.

The rock formations of the bordering Dolomites are the dominant feature of the landscape. There are also various interesting buildings including castles and fortified houses. This tour shows two historic buildings, Schloss Velthurns and Schloss Runkelstein.

It is the grandeur of the Dolomites that dominates the opening scenes accompanied by the rapid articulation of Mozartís Posthorn Serenade. The pace of the music eases as the view moves to the more pastoral scenes of the valleys and the mountainous wooded slopes. The music accompanies the visit to the Schloss Velthurns, a castle first established by the Bishops of Brixen in the 12th century and subsequently replaced in 1578. The photographic tour takes in the interior staircases and magnificent staterooms as well as the exterior with its trompe-líoeil external corners. The wooden walls of the magnificent stateroom are impressive although it is difficult to ascertain whether the wood is inlaid or carved. Whilst the alternation between building and cloud formation on the mountains is interesting it seems merely to cover the sparse variety in the things to be seen and admired and simply becomes repetitive; not something that can be said of Mozartís music well played by the Capella Istropolitana.

Schloss Runkelstein (CH.2) is more like a castle and the views of the exterior and pastoral scene are accompanied by Mozartís Notturno. The murals and wall paintings of animals are interesting as the disc concludes with some excellent photography of sunsets over the ever present mountains.

Robert J Farr

Photographic content rather repetitive at times; another venue could have been accommodated to add more interest.