What was the sound world of Vienna in the early 20th century? How would Gustav Mahler’s music have been played during his lifetime? How did the composer experience the turbulent historic events of his time?
The newly founded Grandhôtel Orchestra Toblach and conductor Philipp von Steinaecker perform on Viennese period instruments from 1900. Together they reawaken the musical Fin de Siècle and curate “Mahler Revisited”, the first festival in pursuit of the original sound of Mahler’s music.
Toblach is a beautiful village in the Italian Dolomites, surrounded by forbidding peaks, dense forests and turquoise mountain-lakes. It was here that Mahler wrote his last monumental symphonies, between the summers of 1908 and 1910. In this historic place the musicians of Grandhôtel Orchestra Toblach start their unique quest. Together with experts from different fields they shed new light on Mahler’s work and offer audiences the opportunity to experience this music afresh. The orchestra gets its name from the historic Grand Hotel, where it will be resident. The hotel was built in 1877 as one of the earliest alpine hotels and quickly attracted prominent guests including European royalty. Today the picturesque building is one of the most important cultural centres in the region.
Mahler Revisited 2020
Due to the corona crisis the premiere of the Grandhôtel Orchestra Toblach, a period instrument orchestra for the music of Gustav Mahler, had to be postponed to 2021. Between September 7th and 13th several of the Orchetra’s musicians will however be in Toblach: Together with the music historian Clive Brown they will embark on a stylistic time-travel to Vienna around 1900 to search for the sounds, the musical conventions and the zeitgeist of the fin de siécle. Music by Mahler, his predecessors as well as his immediate successors will be put in a new light and performed on period instruments. We are looking forward a series of three very special concerts!
Das Grandhôtel Orchestra Toblach
The musicians of the Grandhôtel Orchestra Toblach comprise exceptionally talented students from all over Europe and members of the most important orchestras in Mahler’s cities – Vienna, Prague, Budapest, Hamburg, Amsterdam, Ljubljana and New York. These include the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Wiener Symphoniker, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Staatskapelle Dresden, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Münchner Philharmoniker, Slovenian Philharmonic Ljubljana, Prague Philharmonia, Gürzenich Orchester, Mahler Chamber Orchestras, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Camerata Salzburg, Artemis Quartett, Leipziger Streichquartett, Düsseldorfer Symphoniker, Deutsche Oper Berlin, West–Eastern Divan Orchestra, Accademia di Santa Cecilia, The Knights, NDR Elbphilharmonie, Spira Mirabilis, Lucerne Festival Orchestra and other prestigious ensembles. The Grandhôtel Orchestra Toblach will be conducted by Philipp von Steinaecker.
The Grandhôtel Orchestra Toblach is a project of the cultural Foundation “Euregio Kulturzentrum Gustav Mahler Toblach Dolomiten”. The foundation is bringing together a collection of historic instruments of the Vienna Court Opera from the time of Mahler’s directorship. In order to make the latest research on performance practice in 1900 Vienna available to the performers, the foundation is collaborating closely with Dr Clive Brown, the leading scholar in the field, as well as with the University of Innsbruck and Mahler expert Prof. Federico Celestini.
Philipp von Steinaecker is conductor and curator of the Grandhôtel Orchetsra Toblach as well as of the festival Mahler Revisited. As Principal Guest Conductor of the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, as a former assistant to Claudio Abbado and cellist in the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, Philipp has performed and lived with the music of Mahler throughout his life. With his long experience with period instrument ensembles and as assistant to John Eliot Gardiner, he is also an avid proponent of performance practice.
Philipp von Steinaecker was a founding member of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and artistic director of the Mahler Academy in Bolzano. He has conducted orchestras like Swedish Radio Orchestra, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Gürzenich Orchester Cologne, Residentiee Orkest Den Haag, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Haydn Orchestra Bolzano, Camerata Salzburg, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra, to name only a few.
The Grandhôtel Orchestra Toblach is building a network of prominent supporters and advocates. One of them is the conductor Daniel Harding, who welcomes the idea of the project:
J. Brahms: String Quartet op. 52 No. 2: II. Andante moderato
J. S. Bach / F. David: Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 BMV 1049
J. Brahms: Serenade No. 1 op. 11 (original version)
G. Mahler: Piano Quartet
J. Brahms: Clarinet Quintet op. 115
F. Schreker: „The Wind“
L. Janáček: Wind Sextet „Youth“
A. Webern: Five Movements for String Quartet op. 5
Musicians vom Grandhôtel Orchestras Toblach on period instruments