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109

OPEC bulletin 5–7/17

W

hen you think of Vienna what comes to

your mind? Most people associate Vienna with delicious

Wiener

Schnitzel,

or the beautiful and stunning Alps — yet others think

about jaw-dropping classical music. Whether Mozart, Beethoven

or any other famous composers come to your mind, Vienna is and

always will be a centre of classical music.

The music in Vienna is unique and is a trademark created to

sell the city’s magnificence, says University Professor, Dr Stefan

Schmidl, of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Institute of History

of Art and Musicology. “This strong trademark is still active today

and people actually believe in it.”

It is a cliché that originates from the late 18

th

century. Back

then, the Habsburg emperors enjoyed listening to music and

composed songs themselves in the Hofkapelle. They supported

music and with the advent of the bourgeoisie in the 19

th

century

“music exploded”, with the Vienna classical movement becoming

international.

“So if we say who put Vienna musically on the top, it was

the early 19

th

century, late 18

th

century classist move-

ment. Composers like Mozart, Beethoven … all these

composers from the 19

th

century and it really became global in the

19

th

century with Johann Strauss,” claims Schmidl.

The only exception to this musical growth took place in the

time of Maria Theresia. The Hapsburg Empire was in danger from

the Prussian king and invested a large amount of money in the war

instead of music, thus courtyard music was very much reduced.

Changing focus

The focus on music has changed drastically since the baroque

era. Back then, it was more on choirs and aristocracy. In the late

18

th

century and 19

th

century the bourgeoisie took over and it

became a broader phenomenon. Money is important to music,

admits Schmidl, but generally there was enough money in Vienna

to support its growth and development between the aristocracy

and the court.