RECOMMENDED TROMBONE-RELATED SITES TO VISIT
IN VIENNA, AUSTRIA
1. MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS MUSEUM (branch of Kunsthistorisches Museum). This museum also holds, on long-term loan, the extensive collection of Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde (Friends of Music Society). Don’t forget to look for the trumpet that features a large engraving on the instrument’s bell of a muse playing trombone (Anton Schnitzer, Nuremberg, 1581).
1557—Trombone in Viennese museum: Second-oldest trombone. Maker: Georg Neuschel, Nuremberg. Tenor. Holder: Sammlung alter Musikinstrumente, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, SAM 706.
1581—Nuremberg, Germany: A trumpet made by Anton Schnitzer includes, on the bell, an engraving of a trombone player. The player appears to be a woman, probably a symbolic depiction of a muse; notice also the classical columns on either side of the trombonist (see detail, left; special thanks to Richard Lyman).
1614—Trombone in Viennese museum: Maker: Sebastian Hainlein, Nuremberg. Tenor. Holder: Sammlung alter Musikinstrumente, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, SAM 654.
1653—Trombone in Viennese museum: Maker: Sebastian Hainlein, Nuremberg. Tenor. Holder: Sammlungen der Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, Vienna, I.N. 445.
1715—Trombone in Viennese museum: Maker: Johannes Leichamschneider, Vienna. Sammlung alter Musikinstrumente, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, SAM 655.
1671—Trombone in Viennese museum: Maker: Hanns Geyer, Vienna. Tenor. Sammlungen der Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, Vienna, I.N. 433.
c. 1675—Trombone in Viennese museum. Maker: Jacob Schmidt, Nuremberg. Alto. Sammlungen der Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, Vienna, I.N. 198.
1732—Trombone in Viennese museum: Maker: Johann Leonhard Ehe III, Nuremberg. Quartbass. Sammlungen der Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, Vienna, I.N. 202.
1732—Trombone in Viennese museum: Maker: Michael Leichamschneider, Vienna. Tenor. Sammlung alter Musikinstrumente, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, SAM 255.
1738—Trombone in Viennese museum: Maker: Michael Leichamschneider, Vienna. Tenor. Sammlung alter Musikinstrumente, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, SAM 254.
1739—Trombone in Viennese museum: Maker: Michael Leichamschneider, Vienna. Tenor. Sammlungen der Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, Vienna, I.N. 444.
2. MUSIKVEREIN. Home of the Vienna Philharmonic. One of the world’s finest and most famous concert halls. Renowned conductors here have included Anton Rubinstein, Johannes Brahms, Wilhelm Furtwängler, and Herbert von Karajan. Premieres of works by Brahms, Bruckner, Mahler, Tchaikovsky, Schönberg, Ravel, and many others have taken place here.
1902-03—Arnold Schoenberg, Pelléas und Mélisande, op. 5 calls for 5 trombones. Schoenberg indicates glissando for trombones—one of the earliest such indications in Western music (the earliest is probably Rimsky-Korsakov’s Mlada (1892). Schoenberg feels it necessary to add the following explanatory footnote: “The glissando on the trombone is executed as follows: the note E is established by the lips as the lowest partial of the sixth draw [7th position] and then the slide is shifted through all the positions in such a way that the chromatic intervals, as well as the quarter-tone, eighth-tone and smaller intervals in between, are clearly heard, as in the glissando of string instruments” (Gregory 67). The piece is premiered in 1905 at the Musikverein in Vienna under the composer’s direction.
3. VIENNA STATE OPERA (Staatsoper). One of the leading opera companies in the world. Members of the Vienna Philharmonic are drawn from this orchestra. They perform Wagner’s Ring cycle regularly. Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss were both conductors here. Other famous conductors include Felix von Weingartner, Herbert von Karajan, and Lorin Maazel.
4. HOFKAPELLE or BURGKAPELLE (chapel of the Hofburg Palace) and HOFBURG PALACE COMPLEX. Vienna Boys’ Choir now performs at the chapel every Sunday as part of religious services. Mozart’s masses were performed here regularly beginning c. 1800; his Coronation Mass was performed nearly every year from 1822 to 1918. Schubert sang here as member of Vienna Boys’ Choir. Bruckner was organist here and his masses in D and F minor were frequently performed here during his lifetime. Composers who worked for the Imperial court and wrote for trombone include Albrechtsberger, Antonio Bertali, Antonio Caldara, Antonio Cesti, Francesco Conti, Antonio Draghi, Wolfgang Ebner, Joseph Leopold Eybler, Marco Antonio Ferro, Johann Joseph Fux, Christoph Willibald Gluck, Johann Kaspar Kerll, Joseph Krottendorfer, Giuseppe Porsile, Luca Antonio Predieri, Giovanni Priuli, Georg Reutter, Antonio Salieri, Johann Schmelzer, Franz Tuma, Giovanni Valentini, Georg Christoph Wagenseil, and Marc’Antonio Ziani. Emperor Leopold I, an amateur composer of some merit, also wrote for trombone.
1698-1701—Vienna, Austria: The Hofkapelle orchestra retains 4 trombones on its regular payroll (Selfridge-Field, Caldara 124).
1698—Vienna, Austria: A musician by the name of Christian Christian [sic] is hired as trombonist at the Hofkapelle, where he retains his post until 1712. He is one of a large family of trombonists employed at the Imperial Court (Selfridge-Field, Caldara 147).
1702-11—Vienna, Austria: The Hofkapelle orchestra retains 5 trombones on its regular payroll except for one year (1708), when it temporarily drops to 4 (Selfridge-Field, Caldara 124).
1712-24—Vienna, Austria: The Hofkapelle orchestra retains 3 trombones on its regular payroll except for 2 years (1718-19), when it raises to 4 (Selfridge-Field, Caldara 124).
1725-40—Vienna, Austria: The Hofkapelle orchestra retains 4 trombones on its regular payroll (Selfridge-Field, Caldara 125).
1741-60—Vienna, Austria: The Hofkapelle orchestra retains 5 trombones on its regular payroll (Selfridge-Field, Caldara 125).
1761-2—Vienna, Austria: The Hofkapelle orchestra retains 4 trombones on its regular payroll except for one year (1708), when it temporarily drops to 4 (Selfridge-Field, Caldara 124).
1763-70—Vienna, Austria: The Hofkapelle orchestra retains between 2 and 3 trombonists (Selfridge-Field, Caldara 125).
1844—Vienna, Austria: Ferdinand Gassner’s Partiturkenntnis includes seating plans for the following Viennese orchestras: Orchester des Concert spiritual in Wien, Orchester des K.K. Hofoperntheaters in Wien, and Orchesters in der K.K. Hofkapelle zu Wien.
5. CENTRAL CEMETERY (Zentralfriedhof). Largest cemetery in Vienna. Graves of Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert, Schönberg, etc., primarily grouped in one area.
6. ST. MARX CEMETERY (St Marxer Friedhof). Graves of Mozart (traditionally), Albrechtsberger, and Süssmayr.
7. GRINZING CEMETERY (Grinzinger Friedhof). Just outside of Vienna. Graves of Gustav Mahler and his family.
8. THEATER AN DER WIEN. After extensive renovations, only part of the original building remains. Beethoven lived in rooms inside the theatre while composing Fidelio. Not included in list below because they don’t call for trombone are many other Beethoven premieres.
1805—Vienna, Austria: Beethoven’s first version of Fidelio is premiered in Vienna’s Theater an der Wien.
1808—Vienna, Austria: Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 is premiered in Vienna’s Theater an der Wien.
1808—Vienna, Austria: Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 is premiered in Vienna’s Theater an der Wien.
1874—Vienna, Austria: Johann Strauss Jr.’s Fledermaus is premiered in Vienna’s Theater an der Wien.
1905—Vienna, Austria: Franz Lehár’s The Merry Widdow is premiered in Vienna’s Theater an der Wien.
9. ST. STEPHEN’S CATHEDRAL (Stephansdom). Pachelbel was organist here. Vivaldi’s funeral was here. Joseph Haydn and his brother Michael began their careers here as choirboys. Joseph Haydn’s wedding was here. Mozart’s wedding and funeral were here. Schubert’s wedding was here. Johann Joseph Fux, Johann Georg Reutter, and Johann Georg Albrechtsberger were all Kapellmeister here. Mozart was appointed deputy Kapellmeister here shortly before his death. Wagenseil and Fux were buried here.
c. 1745—Vienna, Austria: Ferdinand Schmidt, Kapellmeister at St. Stephens, composes Missa Primitiarum in C. The “Qui tollis” features 2 trombones in a prominent obbligato role (Mac Intyre 262).
1829—Vienna, Austria: British traveler Vincent Novello attends Mass at St. Stephen’s Cathedral, where trombones are again the only wind instruments in the orchestra: “At 9 o’clock High Mass. The band consisted of about half a dozen Violins, Viola, Violoncello and Double Bass, and Trombones” (Novello 310).
10. ST. PETER’S CHURCH (Peterskirche). Two of Mozart’s children baptized here.
c. 1715—Vienna, Austria: A fresco above the organ loft in Vienna’s Peterskirche (St. Peter’s church) depicts cherubs playing trombone and bassoon (see image below; public domain).
c. 1755—Vienna, Austria: Johann Nepomuk Boog, regens chori at St. Peter’s, uses trombone in sacred works for choral doubling and occasional obbligatos (Mac Intyre 60).
1781—Vienna, Austria: Berlin critic Friedrich Nicolai witnesses a Trinity Sunday procession, beginning at St. Peter’s, that includes a chorus accompanied by cornetts, 2 trombones, and 2 bassoons (Mac Intyre 14).
11. ST. CHARLES CHURCH (Karlskirche). Mozart visited here as a child with his father in 1762. Strauss Jr. was married here in 1878. Bruckner’s funeral was here in 1896. Gustav Mahler and Alma Schindler were married here in 1902.
1725-30—Vienna, Austria: A fresco by Johann Michael Rottmayr in the Karlskirche (St. Charles’s Church) includes a trombone-playing angel. See detail below (public domain).
12. ST. AUGUSTINE’S CHURCH (Augustinerkirche). Schubert performed at this church and Bruckner’s Mass in F was premiered here.
1781—Vienna, Austria: In a chapel at St. Augustine’s, Berlin critic Fridrich Nicolai hears a composition that he finds noteworthy, especially for its use of trombone: “Particularly moving for me was a beautiful, moderately slow aria sung by a choirboy who had a pure, gentle, flexible alto voice….The accompaniment was merely a concertante tenor trombone; there were no other instruments. Nonetheless, in this strange but simple combination there was so much to arouse a mysterious, solemn, and sublime feeling! These long drawn-out, gentle, always connected tones incited a silent amazement. Especially a few passages where the trombone gradually descended into the depths and held while the alto voice, which had had a pause of a few measures, again sang a soft, gradually intensifying long tone—these passages went right to the heart. I have heard nothing more appropriate for a long time” (Mac Intyre 99).
14. ORPHANAGE CHURCH (Waisenhauskirche).
1768—Vienna, Austria: 12 year old Mozart premieres his Mass in C Minor, K 139 “Waisenhaus” for the consecration of the new orphanage church (Kirche Maria Geburt or Waisenhauskirche). It utilizes 3 trombones, mostly colla parte. The opening of the “Agnus Dei” features an unaccompanied trombone trio (Guion, Trombone 139).
1774—Vienna, Austria: The Waisenhauskirche (“orphanage church”), which normally uses orphanage children for performance of sacred music, counts 3 trombonists among its residents (Edge).
13. ST. MICHAEL’S CHURCH (Michaelerkirche). Joseph Haydn played organ here and lived next door.
1791—Vienna, Austria: Mozart writes his Requiem, which includes the famous “Tuba Mirum” solo for trombone. The first 18 measures are composed by Mozart; the remaining portion is added later by Süssmayr (Guion, Trombone 139). The work is performed for the first time, in its unfinished state, at St. Michael’s chapel for a memorial for Mozart (by the staff of Freihaus-Theater auf der Wieden in Vienna).