The Mozart Ensemble
After numerous concerts in Austria and abroad, the string quartet “Mozart Ensemble” has established itself as a part of Viennese musical life. The musicians perform in historical costumes. The repertoire includes works of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Haydn, Strauss.
sound of the Ensemble is typically Viennese - light and clear, further
enhanced by the marvelous acoustics of Sala Terrena.
Probably the oldest concert hall in Vienna, Sala Terrena is a chamber in the Haus of the Teutonic Knights. Mozart performed here on numerous occasions and is known to have praised the acoustics.
The walls of the hall are decorated with excellent frescoes in the style of the late Venetian Renaissance. With only 60 seats, this beautifully renovated jewel of baroque architecture offers the perfect setting for chamber music in a very intimate way.
Mozart performs in Sala Terrena, House of the Teutonic Knights
The House of the Teutonic Knights was home of Mozart from March 16 to May 2, 1781. Mozart's room was in the first courtyard, on the second floor, behind the glass windows.
The House of the Teutonic Knights plays an important part or the story of how Mozart came to live in Vienna. In early 1781 Archbishop Colloredo, Mozart's employer in Salzburg, went to Vienna and wanted to impress the nobility with his good taste. Mozart was summoned to Vienna to perform for the Archbishop and his guests.
The Archbishop treated Mozart like any other servant, which the young composer bitterly resented. On one occasion he demonstrated his independence by storming past the valets and without being announced, walking straight up to Prince Galitzin, the Russian ambassador, whom he addressed as an old friend. Mozart also believed that he was being cheated out of concert fees, which were rightfully his, and that he was being tied down and denied opportunities. He was particularly offended when the Archbishop forbade him to perform before the Emperor for a fee equal to half of his yearly salary. Mozart began to plan a way to free himself from Colloredo's employment.
The tension between the two men escalated in May 1781: Mozart attempted to resign and was refused. The following month, permission was granted but in a grossly insulting way: the composer was dismissed literally "with a kick in the ass", administered by the archbishop's steward, Count Arco.
Thus, at the age of 25, Mozart found himself alone in the musical capital of the world and forced to make a living as a freelancer. He still hoped for a court appointment but, in the meantime, he made a living by giving music lessons to the daughters of the nobility and from virtuoso performances at private salons. More important, Mozart now had more time to compose. Music would never be the same again.
Fantastic experience! The concert hall is beautiful and intimate, and the acoustics was amazing. The location is great, right in the heart of Vienna. The string quartet musicians were top quality. This was a memorable experience that we will never forget.