Leipziger Notenspur Leipziger Notenspur Leipziger Notenspur
Pro Europa – Europäischr Kulturstiftung Stiftung Lebendige Stadt
Folder international
  • Deutsch
  • English

Route and stations of the Leipzig Music Trail (Leipziger Notenspur)

The Leipzig Music Trail (Leipziger Notenspur) is 5.3 km (3.3 miles) long and can be followed on foot. The average distance between the stations is 230 m (755 feet).

New Gewandhaus

Neues Gewandhaus zu Leipzig mit Mendebrunnen im Vordergrund

Neues Gewandhaus und Mendebrunnen (© Gewandhaus/ G.Mothes)

 

The Neues Gewandhaus opened its doors to the public in October 1981. It is home to the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig (Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra), founded in 1743, which assumed its name on taking residence in the newly converted concert hall in the Gewandhaus ("Garment House", the guildhall of Leipzig's textile merchants) in 1781 (see Notenspur Station 21). The popularity of the concerts, and thus the demand for tickets, eventually exceeded the auditorium's capacity, necessitating the construction of a new hall, inaugurated in 1884 (see Notenbogen Station 11). This hall, also named Gewandhaus, sustained severe bomb damage during World War II; the postwar Gewandhaus concerts subsequently took place in the Congress Hall by the zoo.

The Neues Gewandhaus was the only concert hall to be built in the German Democratic Republic (former East Germany). The Orchestra's Music Director, Gewandhauskapellmeister Kurt Masur, initiated the campaign for its construction. The site on Augustusplatz chosen for the new hall was that of the former City Art Gallery, also destroyed in the Second World War.

Sighard Gille's striking ceiling mural in the foyer, Gesang vom Leben (Song of Life), the largest contemporary painting of its kind in Europe, forms the Gewandhaus's figurehead. Illuminated at night, it radiates through the glass façade onto Augustusplatz.

The Großer Saal (Great Hall) seats over 1,900 concertgoers. The hall's crowning glory is its organ, built by Schuke, boasting four manuals, 92 registers and a total of 6845 pipes. The organ's frontispiece proclaims the motto "Res severa verum gaudium" ("True pleasure is a serious affair"), the tenet that has accompanied the Gewandhaus since its establishment in 1781.

The Mendelssohn-Saal (Mendelssohn Hall) accommodates almost 500 people and, in addition to frequent chamber concerts, regularly plays host to conventions, symposia and other events.

Scale models of the three Gewandhaus buildings of 1781, 1884 and 1981, complete with accompanying text and illustrations are on exhibition in the main foyer, open on weekdays from 12pm to 6pm and on Saturdays from 10am to 2pm.

Approximately 800 performances and events take place in the Gewandhaus each year, the most prestigious of which being the season of 70 concerts given by the Gewandhausorchester.

The Orchestra does, however, have two additional "workplaces" in Leipzig: the Oper Leipzig (Leipzig Opera) on the opposite side of Augustusplatz (Notenspur Station 10) and the Thomaskirche (Notenspur Station 17); in addition to staging the concert season in the Gewandhaus, the Gewandhausorchester is simultaneously the orchestra of the Oper Leipzig, as well as for the regular performances and services together with the Thomanerchor (St. Thomas Boys Choir) in the Thomaskirche.

Internet: 
www.gewandhausorchester.de 

City-Pictures:
Complete panorama picture of the New Gewandhaus 


 

Mendelssohn House

Goldschmidtstraße 12 is the only surviving residence of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1809-1847). Mendelssohn lived here from 1845 until his death two years later, during which time he completed the oratorio Elijah (1846).

In authentic rooms: 

  • Life and work of the composer, Gewandhauskapellmeister (Gewandhaus Chief Conductor), musician, culture politician, painter, cosmopolitan and individual, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy;
  • letters, autograph scores, art works, furniture and decor of the Mendelssohn family;
  • the role of the music salon as one of Leipzig's cultural bastions;
  • Mendelssohn's role as friend and patron;
  • Mendelssohn's contribution to Leipzig's musical life, for instance his foundation of the first German conservatoire.

Internet: Mendelssohn foundation
Wikipedia: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy

Grieg Memorial Centre

From 1876 until his death in 1907, Edward Grieg (born 1843) was, in the company of his singer wife, Nina, often the guest of his publishers, Max Abraham and Henri Hinrichsen, in Talstraße 10. It was here, in 1888, that he formed the famous Peer Gynt Suite No. 1. Today, the house hosts the Grieg-Begegnungsstätte (Grieg Memorial Centre).

"I am now yearning quite fabulously for the world, for art, for artists - simply for spirit. So, Presto! In the hope of seeing you again soon!" (Grieg to Max Abraham, letter from 27th August 1878, Hardanger)

"We must meet up this winter! A little chit-chat in this form is a great pleasure, but I yearn for contact more profound!" (Grieg to Max Abraham, letter from 21st November 1900, Sanatorium Voksenkollen (the "fairytale castle") near Kirstiana)

"Art is in reality the excess of yearning that, be it through life or by other means, can find no other means of expression" (Grieg, 27th August 1886, Troldhaugen)

Internet: Edvard Grieg Leipzig e.V.
Wikipedia: Edvard Grieg

Former Peters Music Library

The house Königstraße no. 26 in the year 1893

The Musikbibliothek Peters (Peters Music Library) was founded by Max Abraham, proprietor of the music publishing house, C. F. Peters. On opening, in early 1894 in Königstraße 26 (today the Goldschmidtstraße), it was the first public, specialist library of its kind in the world. Furthermore - an additional worldwide first - its doors were even open to female patrons. (Max Abraham also placed the upper floors, rent-free, at the disposal of the Ladies' Commerce Association.)

Abraham decreed testamentarily that, on his death, the Library should assume the form of a foundation, with the City of Leipzig as beneficiary. This wish was respected and executed by his nephew and successor, Henri Hinrichsen, and embraced by the city.

In the aftermath of the Kristallnacht ("The night of broken glass") in 1938, Hinrichsen, a Jew, was subject to an occupational ban; the publishing house was compulsorily sold and "aryanised". Henri Hinrichsen and two of his sons were put to death in Nazi concentration camps.

Following the collapse of the Nazi regime, Hinrichsen's son, Walter (in the meantime an American citizen), returned to Germany and was granted ownership of both the publishing business and the Library. Hinrichsen set to work transferring a substantial amount of the documentary assets either abroad or into the American-occupied zone of Germany. In 1950, Walter Hinrichsen established Edition Peters with his brother, Max, in Frankfurt.

By this time, the communist East-German government had declared the publishing house a "people-owned enterprise". The new management of the Library offered ownership to the City of Leipzig. So it was that, in 1954, the remaining material resources of the Musikbibliothek Peters were integrated into the stock of the City Music Library.

Following much restructuring over the years, the City Music Library is now a department of the City Library (Stadtbibliothek).

In 1990, following the fall of the communist regime and the subsequent reunification of Germany, Walter Hinrichsen's widow applied for reinstatement of the ownership of the publishing house and the Library to the family - the claim was deemed legally justified. In 1998, the City of Leipzig succeeding in securing Frau Hinrichsen's contractual agreement to the indefinite loan of the Peters Library's assets, ensuring they remain in Leipzig. This contract was, however, terminated in 2004 by Hinrichsen's heirs. Since this time, the stock of the Library is threatened with auction and, potentially, separation across all corners of the globe.

Of particular worth is the Peters Library's collection of approximately 500 autograph scores, including manuscripts of works of Bach, Haydn, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Brahms and Grieg.

This Leipziger Notenspur station serves additionally as a tribute to Leipzig's status as city of historically significant libraries and music collections. Among the most prominent are the Universitätsbibliothek (University Library), founded in 1543, the Stadtbibliothek (City Library) founded in1677 and the Deutsche Bücherei (German Library) founded in1912, today a branch of the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek (German National Library) and soon to house the Deutsche Musikarchiv (German Music Archive).

Internet: University Library (Universitätsbibliothek Leipzig)  | City Library (Stadtbibliothek Leipzig)  | German National Library (Deutsche Nationalbibliothek)

Museum of Musical Instruments

Harp from 1749 (detail); photograph: Hendrik Schmidt

Leipzig's Museum für Musikinstrumente is housed in the Grassi museum complex and is the largest collection of musical instruments in Germany. The Museum offers visitors of all ages an insight not only into the diverse world of musical instruments but also into the handcraft and the artistic and experimental abilities of instrument makers since the 16th century.

The Museum was opened on 30th May 1929. As an institute of Leipzig University, it serves the research and scholarship of this institution, as well as exhibiting its treasures to the general public.

The Museum für Musikinstrumente possesses in excess of 5,000 pieces. The world's oldest surviving grand fortepiano dating from 1726 is on exhibition, as well as five further examples of the output of the inventor of the fortepiano, Bartolomeo Cristofori. Masterpieces from the workshops of Leipzig during Bach's day, evidence of early piano making in Leipzig, a cinema organ, music machines and curiosities of all kind are on display.

The instruments are complemented by graphic displays, 3D musical examples, a hologram installation and a sound laboratory, bringing musical history alive multisensorially.

Opening times: Tuesday-Sunday 10am-6pm; special arrangements on public holidays

Internet:  mfm.uni-leipzig.de

Old St. John Cemetery

Old John Cemetery, photograph: Werner Schneider

The venerable trees, ivy-clad walls, statues dating from the Renaissance to art nouveau, ornamental columns and gravestones of the Alter Johannisfriedhof invite the visitor to while away more than just a few minutes in this scenic gem. The romantically-inclined will surely be enchanted by the former cemetery whatever the season. Duke Georg decreed the graveyard be dedicated a communal cemetery in 1536; today it is the oldest in Leipzig.

A particular highlight for music lovers is the burial plot of Richard Wagner's mother, Johanna (1778-1848), and sister, Rosalie (1803-37). Other graves of interest include those of Thomaskantor (Cantor of St. Thomas) Christian Weinlig (1780-1842) - pedagogue, composer and not least, teacher of Richard Wagner. Friedrich Rochlitz (1769-1842) figures prominently in the history of music literature, as critic and editor of the widely distributed music journal Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung. Tribute is paid to Carl Friedrich Zöllner (1800-60), composer of the immortal song Das Wandern ist des Müllers Lust with his gravestone, transferred here from the New St. Johannis' Cemetery. Perusal of the graves of many, many more historical figures, including headmasters of the Thomasschule (St. Thomas School), philosophers, museum founders, poets and women's rights activists offers a fascinating insight into Leipzig's past.

The Alter Johannisfriedhof originally extended over a considerably larger area than that remaining today, including the site of the present day Grassi museum complex: the part of the cemetery containing the grave of Johann Sebastian Bach. Robert Schumann led the voicing of complaints about the lack of identification of the great master's exact resting place. This was rectified at the end of the 19th century by virtue of the extension works to the Johanniskirche (St. Johannis’ Church); Bach's mortal remains were excavated, identified and reinterred in a memorial tomb. Whilst leaving the tomb itself intact, the damage sustained by the Johanniskirche during the Second World War was so severe that it was decided to transfer Bach's remains to the Thomaskirche (St. Thomas Church) in 1949, his final resting place.

Site: behind the Grassimuseum, entrance via Täubchenweg or Prager Straße

Opening times: daily from 10am; closes at 4pm to 8pm, depending on the season

Schumann House

The "lodging first floor right-hand side" in this classical house became home to the composer Robert Schumann (1810-1856) and the pianist Clara Wieck (1819-1896) after their marriage in September 1840. A period of both great happiness and fruitful musical collaboration began, enduring until their departure to Dresden at the end of 1844. Robert composed his First Symphony (Spring), the first movement of his Piano Concerto in A minor, diverse chamber music and song cycles here; Clara laid the foundations for her formidable pianistic ability.

The couple's first two children, Marie and Elise, were born here. Prominent guests to the Schumann's home include Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Franz Liszt, Hector Berlioz, Richard Wagner and Hans Christian Andersen.

"Klärchen, I've told you what of you I fear; now you tell me what of me is not to your liking. I want to better myself; here my hand and a kiss on your heart." (Robert to Clara, 1840)

The first floor now houses a recital hall and a memorial centre to the couple.

Opening times: Wednesday-Friday 2pm-5pm, Saturday & Sunday 10am-5pm; special arrangements on public holidays

Internet: Robert and Clara Schumann Verein Leipzig
Wikipedia: Robert Schumann Clara Schumann

Graphic Quarter - music publishers

During the course of the 19th century Leipzig advanced to one of the leading European musical metropoli. Of great significance in this development was the presence in the city of several of the preeminent specialist publishers of the day.

The oldest of these institutions, in fact the longest established music publisher in the world, is Breitkopf, founded in 1719 by Bernhard Christoph Breitkopf. Gottfried Christoph Härtel took over the publishing house in 1795 (named since then Breitkopf & Härtel), establishing a close working relationship with, among others, Ludwig van Beethoven. Breitkopf & Härtel became the trusted publisher of many of the luminaries of the romantic epoch: e.g. Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Robert Schumann, Franz Liszt and Richard Wagner.

The publishing house C.F. Peters is similarly rooted in Leipzig. Founded in 1800 by Franz Anton Hoffmeister and Ambrosius Kühnel as Bureau de Musique, it published highly significant editions of works of J.S. Bach during the first half of the 19th century. Edvard Grieg, who studied at the Leipziger Konservatorium (Leipzig Conservatoire) from 1858 to 1862, was later promoted vigourously by C.F. Peters.

The third institution surviving to this day is the Friedrich Hofmeister Musikverlag, dating from 1807, named after its founder. Hofmeister learnt his trade at Breitkopf & Härtel before gathering experience working for Kühnel and Hoffmeister's Bureau de Musique. Having established his own company, he published early works of both Robert Schumann and Clara Wieck, as well as the output of lesser known composers such as Ignaz Moscheles and Heinrich Marschner.

In addition to these three leading lights of the branch, numerous other institutions which played an active role in the evolution of music publishing were based in Leipzig well into the 20th century.

The Grafisches Viertel (Graphic Quarter) was all but destroyed by the bombing of Leipzig in the Second World War. The advent of the socialist era in East Germany in 1949 subsequently led to the migration of numerous publishers to the west.

Present day Leipzig is home to wings of both Breitkopf & Härtel and C.F. Peters; the Hofmeister Verlag has returned to the place of its foundation in its entirety.

Internet: Breitkopf & Härtel Musikverlag | Friedrich Hofmeister Musikverlag | C.F. Peters Musikverlag

Wagner Memorial

Richard Wagner, the most celebrated of all Leipzig-born composers, first saw the light of the world on 22nd May 1813 in the inn Zum roten und weißen Löwen (The Red and White Lion) on the Brühl road. He was subsequently baptised on 16th August 1813 in the Thomaskirche (St. Thomas Church).

In 1886, Wagner's birth house was forced to make way for development on the site. Other houses in which the Wagner family lived were either also pulled down in 1886 or destroyed in the bombing of 1943-44.

One surviving building of interest is the Königshaus (King's House) on the southern side of the Market Square, the residence of Richard's uncle, the philologist and scholar Adolf Wagner. For the young Richard, Adolf, an acquaintance of Goethe, Schiller, E.T.A. Hoffmann, Ludwig Tieck and other lyricists, was to prove a vital source of literary stimuli.

Also surviving is the Alte Niklaischule (Old St. Nicholas School), at which Wagner was enrolled from 1828 until 1830. Wagner's next school, the Alte Thomasschule (Old St. Thomas School), unfortunately had to be pulled down in 1902 due to its dilapidated state. Wagner received instruction in composition from the Thomaskantor (Cantor of St. Thomas) Theodor Weinlig in the school's cantor apartment from 1831 to 1832.

Many experiences and encounters critical for the young Wagner's development were to take place at the Altes Gewandhaus in Universitätsstraße; here he conducted the first performance of the overture to Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg on 1st November 1862. This site was also redeveloped at the end of the 19th century.

The opera performances attended by Richard Wagner during his adolescence at the Old Theatre (located on the present day Richard-Wagner-Platz until its destruction by bombing on 4th December 1943) were a similarly decisive influence.

After departing Leipzig in 1834, Wagner was a welcome guest in the home of Robert and Clara Schumann during visits to his hometown. The Schumanns' successor in the apartment in the present day Inselstraße was Wagner's half-sister, Cäcilie, the wife of Eduard Avenarius; the Schumann-Haus (Schumann House) thus remained Wagner's port of call even after the famous couple's departure.

Internet:
Richard-Wagner-Gesellschaft Leipzig 2013.e.V.
Richard-Wagner-Verband Leipzig e.V.
Wagner Denkmal e.V.
Wikipedia:
Richard Wagner

Leipzig Opera

Opera, photograph: A. Schmidt

The Oper Leipzig can look back on a tradition extending over almost 320 years. The city's first opera house, opened in the Brühl road in 1693, followed the houses in Venice and Hamburg as only the third civic music theatre in Europe.

The first collaboration between the Opera and musicians of the Großes Concert (later named Gewandhausorchester) took place in 1766. The same year saw the inauguration of the Komödienhaus, later to be known as Altes Theater (Old Theatre). For a good century, this theatre made an enormous contribution to the development of the German operatic tradition (see Notenbogen- Station 2).

Leipzig's opera and theatre companies received a new home with the opening of the Neues Theater (New Theatre) on Augustusplatz in 1868. From this point onwards, alongside the standard repertoire of Mozart, Weber and Gluck, the Oper Leipzig placed great emphasis on the performance of the operatic œuvre of the city's celebrated son, Richard Wagner. The first performance of Wagner's Ring trilogy outside Bayreuth took place in Leipzig in 1878.

The roster of world class conductors who accepted appointments at the Opera House up to 1890 includes Artur Seidl, Arthur Nikisch and Gustav Mahler.

The 1920s were characterised by the Opera's particular commitment to the production of the contemporary repertoire. Of the many operatic world premieres to take place in Leipzig, Kurt Weill and Berthold Brecht's The Rise and Fall of Mahagonny, first performed in 1930, is of particular note.

Following the destruction of the Neues Theater in 1943, Leipzig was to wait until 1956 for work to begin on the construction of a new house. Erected on the same site, the new building pays architectural homage to the Neues Theater with its elements of late classical form. The Opera House's completion was celebrated in 1960 with a production of Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg directed by Joachim Herz.

The following decades saw the retention of the Oper Leipzig’s traditional emphasis on Wagner's operatic output, as well as the reinstatement of neglected works of earlier times to the repertoire.

Udo Zimmermann took over the direction of the Oper Leipzig in 1990, steering it to new heights. In 1991, Zimmermann brought Uwe Scholz to the opera as Ballet Director and Chief Choreographer, an appointment that was to lead to the Leipzig Ballet's establishment as one of the leading companies in Germany.

Henri Maier succeeded Zimmermann in 2001, opening the Oper Leipzig to areas of the operatic repertoire hitherto unknown in the city, e.g. The Damnation of Faust and The Trojans by Berlioz.

Maier left the Oper Leipzig in 2007; one year later, Peter Konwitschny was appointed Chief Stage Director. Konwitschny advocates a particularly animated approach to music theatre production, a repertoire encompassing all operatic epochs from the Baroque to the contemporary and the promotion of young directors.

The Opera House's foyers and auditorium were renovated in accordance with the specifications for listed building in 2007. The theatre now has a capacity of 1267.

The Oper Leipzig, comprising the ensemble of soloists, the chorus and the Leipzig Ballet, also includes the Musikalische Komödie (Musical Comedy), performing operetta and musicals in its own theatre in Lindenau, in the west of the city.

The Leipzig Opera stages approximately 300 performances per season.

Internet: Oper Leipzig

Old St. Nicholas School

Richard Wagner was enrolled at the Nikolaischule from 1828 until 1830 - one of the few surviving, authentic Wagner locations in Leipzig. Wagner was certainly no model pupil, as he relates in his autobiography:

"The decline of my studies and my consummate deviation from the path of a well-regulated education began on the first day of my schooling; the arrogance of the school pedantry may well be at fault."

At that time, the Thomassschule (St. Thomas School) presented no real alternative to Wagner:

"...the Nikolaischule enjoyed at that time a significantly better reputation than its sister; I simply had to get accepted there."

In accordance with his "fantastical tendencies", however, he did not devote himself to his studies, preferring to concentrate on the continued progress of his lyric drama Leubald and Adelaide. Later confessing the priorities of his youth, Wagner wrote:

"The neglect of my schoolwork reached such a degree that it inevitably led to our parting company."

Presumably more content in their studies at the Nikolaischule were Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Christian Thomasius and Johann Gottfried Seume.

The Nikolaischule also employed cantors who, officially, were of equal rank to the Thomaskantoren (Cantors of St. Thomas). Due to the strong scientific bias of the Nikolaischule's curriculum, however, they could not realistically compete with their colleagues at St. Thomas's, remaining largely without influence in the musical life of the city.

The building of the Nikolaischule housed the school from its founding in 1512, serving this purpose until 1872. After long years of gradual deterioration, the derelict building was eventually restored from 1991 to 1994.

Wikipedia:
Alte Nikolaischule
Richard Wagner

St. Nicholas Church

The late Gothic Nikolaikirche, the interior of which was classicised in 1790, is one of the two surviving churches in Leipzig, for the sacred music of which Johann Sebastian Bach was responsible.

Bach began his employment in the city in the Nikolaikirche with the direction of a cantata in the service on 30th May 1723. The Nikolaikirche's music had long since been closely connected to that of the Thomaskirche (St. Thomas Church). Although the Nikolaikirche was Leipzig's principal parish church, it only employed an organist, not a cantor. Bach's position of Thomaskantor (Cantor of St. Thomas) and Director musices of the city required him to organise the musical contribution to the worship in all four of Leipzig's main churches: Nikolaikirche, Thomaskirche, Neue Kirche St Matthäi (New Church of St. Matthäi) and Peterskirche (St. Peter's). In fact, the Nikolaikirche was the scene of more cantata performances under Bach's direction than any of the other churches. In addition, the Nikolaikirche witnessed the first performance of two of Bach's greatest masterpieces: the St. John Passion in 1724 and the Christmas Oratorio over the festive period in 1734/35.

Of the organists employed by the Nikolaikirche before Bach's time, two are of particular note: Johann Rosenmüller (1619-1684) and Adam Krieger (1634-1666).

The current organ is based on the instrument built by Friedrich Ladegast in 1862, which played a significant role in the inclination towards a rather romantic interpretation of Bach's organ works in the latter half of the 19th century. The Ladegast organ was expanded by the Frankfurt-on-the-Oder firm, Wilhelm Sauer, in 1902-03. The new instrument built by Hermann Eule in Bautzen in 2002-03 is based on the original, integrating much of the existing historical substance.

As a result of the "Prayers for Peace", held to this day every Monday at 5pm, the Nikolaikirche became the origin of the Peaceful Revolution in 1989 and, subsequently, an emblem of German reunification.

Internet: www.nikolaikirche-leipzig.de
Wikipedia:
Leipziger Nikolaikirche
Johann Sebastian Bach

Old City Hall

Photograph: Christoph Sandig; Stadtgeschichtliches Museum Leipzig

Leipzig's Altes Rathaus contains numerous valuable relics of the city's musical history.

Johann Sebastian Bach, probably the most prominent person ever to have set foot in the Altes Rathaus, signed his civic contract as Thomaskantor (Cantor of St. Thomas's Church) and Director musices in the council chamber in May 1723.

The room adjoining the chamber is dedicated to Bach's memory. The only authentic portrait of our city's most celebrated musician (by Elias Gottlob Haussmann, 1746) is on exhibition, as is an original manuscript in Bach's hand.

The next room is devoted to the Leipzig music tradition: church music before Bach's time, civic music, particularly Johann Gottfried Reiche, and the early history of the Gewandhaus. Among the rarities on display is the Foundation Charter of the Gewandhaus concerts from 1781, a model of the first Gewandhaus in 1:25 scale and the conductor's stand from the old concert hall. In addition to the Gewandhauskapellmeister from Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy to Carl Reinecke, this stand witnessed the conducting of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1789), Muzio Clementi (1812), Carl Maria von Weber (1813), Johann Strauß (1834), Robert Schumann (1853), Franz Liszt (1857), Johannes Brahms (1860) and Richard Wagner (1862). The portrait of Leipzig's most renowned civic musician, Johann Gottfried Reiche, is also the work of Haussmann, painted around 1726. A replica of the trumpet held by Reiche in the painting is on exhibition, along with other historical brass instruments.

On the north side of the banqueting hall is the Pfeiferstuhl, the balcony that is as old as the Altes Rathaus itself (1556). The so-called Stadtpfeifer (Town Pipers) would play from this balcony, now open to the public, on festive occasions.

Leipzig, the City of Music, from Mendelssohn to the present day is celebrated as part of the permanent exhibition devoted to the city's history, Moderne Zeiten (Modern times).

Opening times: Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-6pm; special arrangements on public holidays

Internet: www.stadtgeschichtliches-museum-leipzig.de

Museum of Fine Arts - Beethoven

Beethoven sculpture by Max Klinger

Although Ludwig van Beethoven only visited Leipzig once in his life (as a young, ambitious pianist and composer) he had a close relationship with the city. A significant amount of his work was published in Leipzig, at first by Bureau de Musique (later C.F. Peters), then by the world's longest-running music publishing house, Breitkopf & Härtel (see Notenspur-Station 8). Härtel approached Beethoven in 1801, offering to publish the first edition of any of the promising composer's new works. Occasional collaboration between the two commenced in 1802, resulting in Breitkopf & Härtel serving as Beethoven's principal publisher from 1808 until 1812. The publisher's first editions of Beethoven's output during this decade include the Fifth and Sixth (Pastoral) Symphonies, the opera Leonore (later renamed Fidelio), the Fifth Piano Concerto (Emperor) and the Incidental Music to Goethe's Egmont.

Three of Beethoven's works received their first performance in Leipzig: a soprano aria in the Altes Theater (see Notenbogen Station 2) in November 1796, the Triple Concerto in February 1808 and the Fifth Piano Concerto in November 1811, both in the first Gewandhaus (see Notenspur Station 21.)

Since Breitkopf & Härtel's headquarters were destroyed in the Second World War, the Notenspur honours Beethoven with an artistic location: the Museum der bildenden Künste (Museum of Fine Arts). This is not of such spurious relevance as one might think, since the gallery possesses one of the most celebrated musically pertaining works of art in the world: Klinger's Beethoven. Max Klinger worked on his 3.1m (10.2 foot) high masterpiece from 1885 until 1902. One of the art world's prime examples of symbolism, the sculpture unites elements of both the Antique and Christianity. Beethoven is portrayed as Music Titan, to whom even the eagle looks up in awe. He gazes into the distance (the future?), impenetrable and unflinching, trusting only his own inspiration.

The Museum boasts an extensive array of art works of musical relevance - small wonder in Leipzig. Max Klinger's cycle Brahms-Phantasie as well as his sketches for a planned memorial to Wagner (see Notenrad Station 6) are in the Museum's possession, as is the painting Die Toteninsel (Isle of the Dead) by Arnold Böcklin (1827-1901), the source of inspiration for tone poems by both Max Reger and Sergej Rachmaninov.

As is frequently the case in the centre of Leipzig, the site of the Museum has a strong musical connection: until its destruction in the Second World War, the Zimmermannsche Kaffeehaus stood just a few metres away. This café played host to the regular concerts of the Collegium musicum which, following its establishment by Georg Philipp Telemann in 1703, was directed by Johann Sebastian Bach from 1729 until at least 1741.

Internet:
Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig
Wikipedia:
Ludwig van Beethoven
Max Klinger
Verlag Breitkopf & Härtel

The Arabian Coffee Tree

Photograph: Thilo Kühne; Stadtgeschichtliches Museum Leipzig

Zum Arabischen Coffe Baum has been serving coffee since 1711. Both café and restaurant to this day, it now also houses a museum devoted to the drink from which it takes its name.

The café established itself early on as the favoured meeting-place for artists, musicians, writers and academics, offering a billiard table, sofas, piano and a range of newspapers.

The Coffe Baum's most noted regular was Robert Schumann who, from 1833-40, made it to something of a second home. Schumann was editor of the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik (New Journal of Music), the radically progressive organ of the so-called Davidsbündler (League of David). This company of friends and colleagues of Schumann (including Friedrich Wieck, Ernst August Ortlepp, Ludwig Schunke, Johann Peter Lyser and Karl Herloßsohn) would meet at the “Schumann-Tisch” (Schumann Table) in the front left room of the Coffe Baum to debate the topical issues of contemporary music and art. Touring musicians of note passing through Leipzig were also made welcome at the Schumann-Tisch.

The proprietor of the time, Max Poppe, was himself a publicist and literature collector and recognised the value of making his tavern into a magnet for the protagonists of the art world.

In earlier years, Georg Philipp Telemann enjoyed the Coffe Baum's hospitality; the stream of musical patrons did not end with the Davidsbündler, the café later being frequented by Richard Wagner, Walter von Goethe, Arthur Nikisch, Karl Straube, Eugen d’Albert, Siegfried Wagner, Franz Lehár, Edvard Grieg and Günther Ramin.

Internet: www.stadtgeschichtliches-museum-leipzig.de/site_deutsch/coffebaum/

Wikipedia:
Davidsbündler
Florestan und Eusebius

Hôtel de Saxe

Porch of Hôtel de Saxe; Autograph of W.A. Mozart's Requiem

The baroque porch of Klostergasse 9 stands today as a reminder of the Hôtel de Saxe, which hosted many a famous visitor to the city.

It is not known whether Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart himself patronised the Hotel during his sojourn in Leipzig in 1789; his widow, Constanze, however, was certainly a guest as she travelled to the city in 1796 with the score of her late husband's Requiem, enabling its Leipzig premiere to take place in April of that year. Frédéric Chopin stayed in the Hotel on 27th September 1835.

In addition to its principal function, the Hôtel de Saxe was also a popular location for all manner of functions and events. The banqueting hall served as a concert hall during the 18th and beginning of the 19th centuries. As well as providing appropriate facilities for Leipzig's concert promoters and music societies, the Hotel attracted many touring virtuosi.

The Collegium musicum directed by the Unversitätsmusikdirektor (University Music Director), Johann Gottlieb Görner (the rival ensemble to Bach's own Collegium musicum), was resident in the Hotel's concert hall. Johann Adam Hiller staged his summer concert series here in 1787 and, in 1791, the Prussian Court Composer, Carl Stamitz, chose the Hotel to accommodate his Musikalische Akademie.

The Hôtel de Saxe's concert season in 1809/10 included quite a novelty for Leipzig's music-lovers: the first ever public string quartet concerts to be held in the city. The resident ensemble was the Gewandhaus-Quartett, founded the year before in 1808 - the oldest quartet in the world today.

The Hotel was to close down a century later in 1909. Having suffered bomb damage in the Second World War, the building was eventually pulled down in 1968. The current building on the site dates from 1977, into which the incomplete replica of the original baroque porch was later set. A memorial plaque pays tribute to the historical significance of the former hotel.

St. Thomas Church

The Thomaskirche (St. Thomas Church) is the true gateway to Leipzig, the City of Music. In the year 1212, the establishment of the Augustinian Canons in Leipzig was simultaneously the birth of the Thomanerchor (St. Thomas Boys Choir).

During the early centuries of the Choir's history, music in the Thomaskirche was restricted to the musical accompaniment of the liturgy in the Mass. The advent of the Reformation in Saxony in 1539, however, was to usher in a new era of sacred music. Music now came to be valued as an integral element of the annunciation in worship, requiring a considerably greater contribution from the Thomanerchor and demanding the composition of a substantial amount of new sacred music from the respective cantor. This was the dawn of the golden epoch of the Thomaskirche, its school and its choir.

Having assumed responsibility for the Thomasschule and Thomanerchor in 1543, the City Council succeeded in appointing a long succession of prominent composers to the office of Thomaskantor (Cantor of St. Thomas), such as Sethus Calvisius, Johann Hermann Schein, Johann Kuhnau, Johann Sebastian Bach, Friedrich Doles, Johann Adam Hiller, Moritz Hauptmann, Theodor Weinlig and Gustav Schreck. Of particular note amongst the cantors in the 20th century are Karl Straube, Günther Ramin and Kurt Thomas.

The Thomaskirche forms the focal point of the annual Bachfest (Bach Festival) in Leipzig which attracts musicians and music-lovers from around the globe.

In addition to the works of Bach, the Church also plays host to the performance of music of all eras, week after week, in the context for which it was created: to the glory of God.

Internet:
Thomaskirche Leipzig
Thomanerchor
Wikipedia:
Thomaskirche Leipzig
Thomanerchor
Johann Sebastian Bach

Bach-Museum

The so-called Bosehaus (Bose House) in the Thomaskirchhof accommodates the Leipzig Bach-Archiv (Bach Archive) Foundation with its Bach-Museum, research institute and public library.

In Bach's time the property was the home of the wealthy merchant, Georg Heinrich Bose and his family. The Bach family lived directly opposite in the Thomasschule (St. Thomas School) - a building sadly no longer surviving. The two families were close friends, Bach himself a particularly welcome guest at the Boses.

One noteworthy architectural feature of the building is the Sommersaal (summer hall) in the south wing. Bose himself augmented this small banqueting chamber and concert hall with a musicians' gallery, highly unusual by virtue of its being concealable by means of a moving ceiling fresco. The hall can be visited on a guided tour, as well as at the concerts held by the Foundation.

The Bach-Museum is primarily devoted to the life and work of the Thomaskantor (Cantor of St. Thomas) during his time in Leipzig. In addition to priceless manuscripts, documents, art works and printed music, the exhibition includes authentic musical instruments and furniture of the 18th century. The Audio Cabinet and free audio guide in English and German bring the exhibition to life.

Opening times: daily 10am-5pm; special arrangements on public holidays

Internet: www.bach-leipzig.de
Wikipedia: Johann Sebastian Bach

Site of Clara Wieck's birth house

This dedication to the celebrated pianist, Clara Schumann, was engraved in the memorial plaque which hung above the door to the first floor apartment in the house Hohe Lilie, until its destruction at the end of the Second World War.

Clara Wieck married the composer Robert Schumann in 1840 and lived with him in Leipzig until their departure in 1844 (memorial centre: Schumann-Haus, Inselstraße 18). As executor of her late husband's legacy, pianist responsible for the initiation of a distinct, ground-breaking school of interpretation, pedagogue and composer, she died in Frankfurt in 1896.

Clara's father, Friedrich Wieck, was a piano teacher, musical instrument dealer and proprietor of a music hire library. He lived in this house on the corner between Preußergäßchen 48 and Neumarkt 28 from Easter 1818 until Easter 1821. The construction of the new Althoff department store (1912-14) did not extend to this plot. The Wieck family subsequently resided in apartments in Salzgäßchen, house 407 (1821-25), Selliers Hof on the corner of Reichsstraße and Grimmaische Straße from 1825 until 1835 (see memorial plaque on the Handelshof) and, from 1835 to 1840, in the Nikolaistraße, house 555.

Internet: www.schumann-verein.de
Wikipedia: Clara Wieck

Site of the Old Conservatoire

Photograph: Hermann Walter, 1885; Stadtgeschichtliches Museum Leipzig

 

Housed in a building in the courtyard of the old Gewandhaus in Neumarkt, the Conservatorium der Musik opened its doors on 2nd April 1843. Its initiation is of enormous historical significance, since it was the first institution dedicated to the advanced education of musicians in the German territory of the time.

The Altes Konservatorium’s most influential co-founder was the then Gewandhauskapellmeister Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1809-47). Mendelssohn succeeding in attracting an imposing array of his most celebrated colleagues to undertake teaching duties at the Konservatorium, a tradition which continued after his death. Eminent professors of the past include the Gewandhaus Orchestra Concert Master, Ferdinand David (1810-1873), the pianist Ignaz Moscheles (1794-1870) and the composers Robert Schumann (1810-1856), Niels W. Gade (1817-1890) and Carl Reinecke (1824-1910).

The practical curriculum was originally limited to the study of the piano, violin, organ, singing and composition. During the course of the 19th century, however, the syllabus was gradually expanded to include the instruction of all standard orchestral instruments.

The establishment, collaborating closely with the Gewandhausorchester from its inception, rapidly gained international recognition, attracting students - both male and female - from numerous European states and even from as far afield as America.

Among the most prominent alumni of the Konservatorium’s first decades are Edvard Grieg, who spent the years 1858-62 in Leipzig, and Leoš Janáček from 1879 to 1880.

In 1887, the Conservatoire took occupation of its current campus in Grassistraße 8 (see College of Music and Theatre, Notenbogen Station 10).

Site of the first Gewandhaus

The first Gewandhaus around 1880 (woodcut by A. Neumann)

The Erstes Gewandhaus was erected during the last quarter of the 15th century. The double-winged building stood in Gewandgäßchen and Universitätsstraße.

The Gewandhaus (garment house) functioned both as guildhall of the textile merchants and as arsenal: the ground floor of the Universitätsstraße wing housed the city armoury.

In 1711, the City Library took occupation of the floors above the armoury, before more appropriate accommodation was made available in the Gewandgäßchen wing fifty years later. The space vacated by the library was then, on the initiative of the City Council, converted into Leipzig's first genuine concert hall.

The hall opened in November 1781, providing a new home to the subscription orchestral concerts that had been held in Leipzig since 1743. The concert series was soon named Gewandhauskonzerte; the resident orchestra acquired, similarly, the name Gewandhausorchester.

Constructed entirely of wood and occupying the second and top floors of the armoury wing, the concert hall was, akin to a violin lying in its case, an enormous resonance chamber - virtually an instrument in itself.

The 500 concertgoers the hall could seat were to witness Mozart's only concert in Leipzig (1789), Clara Wieck's public debut (1828) and the first performance of many works which have since established their place in the standard classical repertoire the world over: Beethoven's Triple Concerto and Fifth Piano Concerto (Emperor), Schubert's C major Symphony (The Great), Mendelssohn's Third Symphony (Scottish) and Violin Concerto, Schumann's First Symphony (Spring), Wagner's Prelude to Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and Brahms' Violin Concerto. The Erstes Gewandhaus succeeded in attracting many composers to Leipzig to conduct their own works, alongside the regular concerts under the direction of the Gewandhauskapellmeister (Music Directors) from Johann Adam Hiller to Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy to Carl Reinecke.

Despite several measures to increase the hall's capacity over the years, the public demand could eventually no longer be satisfied. Around 1865, deliberations concerning the construction of a new concert hall began in earnest. The Gewandhaus management hoped to find a suitable site direct in the city centre, whereas the City Council favoured locating the hall towards the outskirts of Leipzig, in the hope of stimulating the inception of a whole new neighbourhood. And so, indeed, it turned out: after two-and-a-half years' building, the inauguration of the Neues Gewandhaus (New Gewandhaus) in December 1884 sparked the evolution of the Musikviertel (Music Quarter).

The Neues Gewandhaus (known today as the Second Gewandhaus) fell victim to the bombing of Leipzig in the Second World War. The Gewandhaus concerts subsequently took place in the Congress Hall by the zoo until the Gewandhausorchester took up residence in the new Neues Gewandhaus (“third” Gewandhaus) on Augustusplatz in 1981 (see Notenspur Station 1).

The first Gewandhaus was pulled down in 1894 and replaced by a new building for Leipzig's trade fairs, the Städtisches Kaufhaus. Due to the new commercial concept of the "enforced circuit", ensuring visitors were only able to leave the building having walked through the entire exposition, the Städtisches Kaufhaus came to serve as a powerful catalyst for the success of Leipzig's fairs.

This site can unquestionably stake its claim to a conspicuous place in both musical and commercial history.

Internet: www.gewandhaus.de

Paulinum - Auditorium and University Church St. Pauli

Universitätskirche. Photo: April 1968, Universitätsarchiv

The Erstes Gewandhaus was erected during the last quarter of the 15th century. The double-winged building stood in Gewandgäßchen and Universitätsstraße.

The Gewandhaus (garment house) functioned both as guildhall of the textile merchants and as arsenal: the ground floor of the Universitätsstraße wing housed the city armoury.

In 1711, the City Library took occupation of the floors above the armoury, before more appropriate accommodation was made available in the Gewandgäßchen wing fifty years later. The space vacated by the library was then, on the initiative of the City Council, converted into Leipzig's first genuine concert hall.

The hall opened in November 1781, providing a new home to the subscription orchestral concerts that had been held in Leipzig since 1743. The concert series was soon named Gewandhauskonzerte; the resident orchestra acquired, similarly, the name Gewandhausorchester.

Constructed entirely of wood and occupying the second and top floors of the armoury wing, the concert hall was, akin to a violin lying in its case, an enormous resonance chamber - virtually an instrument in itself.

The 500 concertgoers the hall could seat were to witness Mozart's only concert in Leipzig (1789), Clara Wieck's public debut (1828) and the first performance of many works which have since established their place in the standard classical repertoire the world over: Beethoven's Triple Concerto and Fifth Piano Concerto (Emperor), Schubert's C major Symphony (The Great), Mendelssohn's Third Symphony (Scottish) and Violin Concerto, Schumann's First Symphony (Spring), Wagner's Prelude to Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and Brahms' Violin Concerto. The Erstes Gewandhaus succeeded in attracting many composers to Leipzig to conduct their own works, alongside the regular concerts under the direction of the Gewandhauskapellmeister (Music Directors) from Johann Adam Hiller to Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy to Carl Reinecke.

Despite several measures to increase the hall's capacity over the years, the public demand could eventually no longer be satisfied. Around 1865, deliberations concerning the construction of a new concert hall began in earnest. The Gewandhaus management hoped to find a suitable site direct in the city centre, whereas the City Council favoured locating the hall towards the outskirts of Leipzig, in the hope of stimulating the inception of a whole new neighbourhood. And so, indeed, it turned out: after two-and-a-half years' building, the inauguration of the Neues Gewandhaus (New Gewandhaus) in December 1884 sparked the evolution of the Musikviertel (Music Quarter).

The Neues Gewandhaus (known today as the Second Gewandhaus) fell victim to the bombing of Leipzig in the Second World War. The Gewandhaus concerts subsequently took place in the Congress Hall by the zoo until the Gewandhausorchester took up residence in the new Neues Gewandhaus (“third” Gewandhaus) on Augustusplatz in 1981 (see Notenspur Station 1).

The first Gewandhaus was pulled down in 1894 and replaced by a new building for Leipzig's trade fairs, the Städtisches Kaufhaus. Due to the new commercial concept of the "enforced circuit", ensuring visitors were only able to leave the building having walked through the entire exposition, the Städtisches Kaufhaus came to serve as a powerful catalyst for the success of Leipzig's fairs.

This site can unquestionably stake its claim to a conspicuous place in both musical and commercial history.

Internet: www.uni-leipzig.de/unimusik

MDR Cube - broadcasting ensembles

Foto: MDR/Hopf

The gleaming black cube with its audacious, asymmetrical roof construction was conceived especially for rehearsals and audio recordings by the German architect, Peter Kulka. Standing only metres away from the site of the building works on the university complex, its facade reflects the permanently developing campus.

The Cube has been home to the ensembles of the MDR (Middle German Broadcasting Corporation) since 2001, providing them with two halls with broadcasting and CD production facilities of the most exacting standards.

The MDR Rundfunkchor is the most adaptable professional radio choir within the ARD (the union of German state broadcasting corporations), as well as possessing the richest tradition of all its counterparts.

The corporation's orchestra, the MDR Sinfonieorchester, is resident in the Cube alongside the Choir. No other European orchestra played such a significant role in the development of broadcasting as the MDR Sinfonieorchester. Founded in 1924, the Orchestra took full advantage of the new medium of radio, rapidly earning widespread recognition for the quality of its performances under the direction of such high-ranking conductors as Alfred Szendrei, Hermann Scherchen, Carl Schuricht, Ernst Krenek and Richard Strauss.

The post-war reformation of the MDR reinstated the Orchestra's original name and ushered in an era in which, under the musical direction of Hermann Abendroth and, subsequently, Herbert Kegel, the Orchestra succeeded in establishing its modern-day profile.

Today, the MDR Sinfonieorchester gives in excess of sixty concerts per season across the corporation's entire broadcasting zone, as well as recording prolifically for both radio and CD and undertaking domestic and foreign tours.

Since 2007, the musical direction of the Orchestra has been in the hands of Jun Märkl.

In addition to the ensembles' administration, the floors of the tower block behind the Cube occupied by the MDR, house acoustically appointed rehearsal rooms for the MDR Kinderchor (Children's Choir) and smaller ensembles, the music library (complete with rolling shelving) and the musical instrument store.

Of note is also the Cube's physical connection to the Gewandhaus; the orchestral musicians and members of the Choir walk across to the neighbouring hall for their Leipzig concert series by means of a glazed, fully climatised bridge between the two buildings. This symbolises the existence not of two separate music temples on the Augustusplatz, but of one united musical centre in the heart of Leipzig.

Internet: www.mdr.de/klangkoerper

Klanginstallation

Leider bisher keine Beschreibung verfügbar.

Map Background 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 *
Neues Gewandhaus / New Gewandhaus Mendelssohn-Haus / Mendelssohn House
Grieg-Begegnungsstätte / Grieg Memorial Centre Ehem. Musikbibliothek Peters /
Former Peters Music Library
Museum für Musikinstrumente / Museum of Musical Instruments Alter Johannisfriedhof / Old St. John Cemetery
Schumann-Haus / Schumann House Grafisches Viertel - Musikverlage /
Graphic Quarter - Music Publishers
Wagner-Denkmal / Wagner Memorial Oper Leipzig / Leipzig Opera
Alte Nikolaischule / Old St. Nicholas School Nikolaikirche / St. Nicholas Church
Altes Rathaus / Old City Hall Museum der bildenden Künste - Beethoven /
Museum of Fine Arts - Beethoven
Zum Arabischen Coffe Baum / The Arabian Coffee Tree Hôtel de Saxe
Thomaskirche / St. Thomas Church Bach-Museum / Bach Museum
Standort Geburtshaus Clara Wieck / Site of Clara Wieck's Birth Place Standort Altes Konservatorium /
Site of the Old Conservatoire
Standort Erstes Gewandhaus / Site of the First Gewandhaus Paulinum - Aula und Universitätskirche St.Pauli / Paulinum - Auditorium and University Church St. Pauli
MDR Würfel - Rundfunkklangkörper /
MDR Cube - Broadcasting Ensembles
*   Sound installation

More here:                                                                                      Mainfolder: