Italy - A Musical Tour of the South Tyrol
Chapter 1: Brixen City, Cathedral and Bishop’s Palace
Chapter 2: Brixen: Bishops Palace
Chapter 3: Brixen Cathedral
Chapter 4: Thurnstein Castle, Brunnburg, Church at Gratsch, Tirol Castle
Chapter 5: Tirol Castle and Chapel
The music heard here is the by Mozart, his Piano Concerto No. 9 K.271, written in Salzburg in 1777, and the Piano Concerto No. 27, K. 595 completed in 1791
Performed by Jenö Jandó (piano) with Concentus Hungaricus/András Ligeti from Naxos CD 8.550203
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
NAXOS DVD 2.110303 [59.50]
The Tyrol (Tirol) was an historical state of Europe. It now a state within western Austria and comprises the north and west regions separated by the state of 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 in on the victorious allied side, albeit a little late in the day. This was the same treaty that returned Alsace and Lorraine to the French who had lost them to Germany following the war in 1870. German is still the main spoken language in the South Tyrol. This DVD issue is a parallel to a previous one in the series (see review), which concentrated on the Schloss Velthurns and Schloss Runkelstein.
The general views of Brixen, its parks, streets, characteristic buildings and various statues serve as an excellent introduction (CH.1). The interior of the Bishop’s Palace with its many fine decorative features and furniture are interesting whilst the mounted tiles of the Labours of Hercules are particular noteworthy (CH.2). The visit to Brixen Cathedral starts somewhat incongruously with a view across a park to the Bathaus Municipio. It then enters the magnificent church having first viewed its exterior and those dominant twin towers. The interior with its very wide processional aisle and decorated pillars lead to an ornate high altar with the side altars also having elaborate marble carvings. The stained glass windows illustrating biblical scenes are notable as is the high painted ceiling (CH.3).
The first three Chapters are accompanied by the young Mozart’s Ninth Piano Concerto in E flat major, composed for the visit of the French pianist Mlle. Jeunehomme to Salzburg in January 1777. Its three movements, played with a light hand by Jenö Jandó, are wholly apt. Similarly his playing of Mozart’s final Piano Concerto No. 27, with its delicately repeated and ornamented final theme is ideal for the visits to the castles and particularly to the Chapel of Tirol Castle (CHs.4-5).
The mountain views that introduce CH.4, with those in bright sunshine contrasting with the peaks under snow and in dawn light, are impressive. Not as much, however, as the views of the locations amidst the jagged peaks and verdant valleys. There are many different views of the castle itself and the chapel (CH.5). Built in the twelfth century, and expanded two hundred years later under the Hapsburgs, its many carvings and Romanesque frescoes are memorable. One can but imagine the impact of the latter in their original vivid colours inevitably faded but still commanding six centuries later.
Robert J Farr
One of the better of this series with plenty here to ravish both the eye and the ear.