Palais Auersperg

Vienna Residence Orchestra Concerts at the Rosenkavalier Palace

Palais Auersperg was purchased 8. October, 1777 by Prince Johann Adam Auersperg. It was built 50 years ago by master builder Giovanni Christiano Neupauer, according to the plans of Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach. The initial owner was Hieronymus Capece de Rofrano also called "Der Rosenkavalier (The Cavalier of the Rose).

In the premises of the Rofranos', everything was of the highest quality – especially music. The palace itself was, to quote one of its most famous visitors, – one of the most beautiful chords in the symphony ‘Vienna’. This visitor was no other than Robert Stolz, a qualified judge. Music was always the invisible hub of the palace, long before Richard Strauss wrote his opera with a Rofrano as the hero. In 1760, for example, the imperial field marshal Prince Joseph Friedrich Wilhelm of Saxony-Hildburghausen moved in as a tenant. He was a knowledgeable music lover of infallible good taste, and engaged no less than Christoph Willibald Gluck as the musical director of his famous house concerts. This was a highlight in the musical history of the palace, but by no means the only one. In March of 1786, it was the venue of a private performance of Mozart’s opera "Idomeneo". The ensemble was comprised exclusively by members of Vienna’s high society, and included such famous personalities as Baron Pilini and Count Hatzfeld. Mozart, who revised the vocal parts to "suit the vocal chords" of his noble performers, composed a special "scena con rondo" with violin solo for this occasion. Another famous figure of the Austrian nobility also took part in an amateur performance in Palais Auersperg; Crown Prince Rudolf, four years before his tragic end. The street on which it is located, is also called Auerspergstrasse, in honour of Prince Adolf Auersperg, who was Prime Minister of Austria for eight years. Under the ownership of the Auersperg family, the palace became a centre of high society, the scene of glittering parties and gala evenings. It was here, that a granddaughter of King Gustav Adolf of Sweden married King Albert of Saxony. Three years later, in October 1856, a dance night was held in Palais Auerperg which was attended by the 26- year-old Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife Elisabeth.

Palais Auersperg An important chapter of Austrian history is reflected in the history of Palais Auersperg. For some time, Palais Auersperg accomodated the Federal Office for the Protection of Monuments, and it seemed as if its former social and political importance was forgotten. But this was not the case, a simple plaque on its façade reads: "In 1945 Austrian patriots gathered in this building, prevented the destruction of Vienna, and laid the cornerstone for a free Austria, in memory of those who sacrificed their lives. The Austrian Resistance Movement." Among these patriots we find such celebrated names as the later Federal Chancellor Leopold Figl and the future Presidents Dr. Theodor Körner and Dr. Adolf Schärf. Thus, the list of famous personalities associated with Palais Auersperg stretches from Head Postmaster Rofrano to some of the most important political figures of the modern era, and the ranks of its prominent guests have continued to grow.

The Viennese art of living still expects a treat for the ears as well as for the eyes. It is therefore not surprising that the intimate Auersperg concerts – just as in the past – are once again numbered among the musical delicacies to be savoured in Vienna, in an exclusive ambience. Be it the exquisite, graceful building itself, the charming park with its enormous old trees that once shaded Empress Maria Theresia, the elegant library, the loggia with its beautiful wainscoting, or the winter garden which Walter Slezak once described as "Schönbrunn on small format film" everything that meets the eye emanates refined, serene harmony, the kind of harmony which cannot be manufactured, but which has to develop over a long period of time, just as the building itself has developed; built upon the site of an old brickfield on the outskirts of the city and today part of the pulsating heart of that city, where society, art and politics still hold their fertile rendezvous.

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