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Classical chamber music on original instruments

Ensemble Wiener Cammerstyl is dedicated to the period of the development of piano chamber music at the time of Viennese Classicism. The works of this epoch are performed true to style on historical instruments or their replicas.

European influences of the late baroque trio sonata from Italy and Germany as well as the early classical accompanied piano sonata from France lead to the emergence of the piano trio in the second half of the 18th century. In the cultural melting pot of Vienna, this new genre thrived and radiated back to Europe as a trend-setting role model.

Wiener Cammerstyl juxtaposes forgotten composers such as Johann Schobert and Anton Eberl and rarely performed authors such as Johann Christian Bach and Ignaz Pleyel with the famous masters Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven.

Supposedly familiar works appear in a completely new light against the background of their forgotten musical environment. Unlike conventional concert programmes, Cammerstyl does not present the works of Viennese Classicism as forerunners of later epochs. Rather, these works are considered to be the culminations of a self-contained development that stretches from the early Classic to the early 19th century.

In order to make the history and the musical environment more tangible, concerts in moderated form are offered as well.

Ensemble Wiener Cammerstyl

Maria Kubizek, Baroque Violin

Peter Hudler, Baroque Cello

Christoph Ulrich Meier, Pianoforte


"Not just Beethoven!"

Ludwig van Beethoven: Trio movement Hess. 48 Allegretto

Joseph Haydn: Trio in E flat major Hob XV:30 Allegro moderato - Andante con moto - Presto

Anton Eberl: Variations on a Russian Theme for cello and piano op. 17

Anton Eberl: Sonata (Trio) op. 10/1, A minor Allegro agitato - Andante cantabile - Rondo vivace assai

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Trio KV 502, B flat major Allegro - Larghetto - Allegretto

In an obituary in the morning paper for educated citizens of July 9, 1807 the classic Viennese triumvirate Haydn-Mozart-Beethoven is extended by a fourth name. The author Johann Ernst Wagner equates composers with writers: Haydn with Wieland, Mozart with Schiller and Beethoven with Jean Paul. Anton Eberl, who had just died at the age of 41, would have become Goethe if he had lived longer.

Anton Eberl originally belonged to the circle around Mozart. In the score of his early symphony in C major there are corrections by Mozart's hand. After his death he went on a concert tour with Mozart's widow Constanze and her sister Aloysia Lange. His Piano Sonata Op.1 was published several times under Mozart's name. In 1796 Eberl took up an engagement in St. Petersburg, where he performed the Variations sur un thème russe Op. 17 and the Grand Sonata Op.11/2.

In 1801 Haydn spoke positively about Eberl's opera "The Queen of the Black Islands", whereupon Eberl dedicated his Piano Sonata Op.12 to him. From 1803 Eberl worked continuously in Vienna, where he threatened to overtake Beethoven as a composer and pianist. In 1805, for example, the performance of Eberl's Symphony in E flat major received far better reviews than Beethoven's Eroica. His early death in 1807 ended this head-to-head race prematurely, otherwise Anton Eberl would probably be considered the fourth man in the circle of Viennese classics today.

"Duel in Vienna - Beethoven's Forgotten Rivals"

Anton Reicha: Piano Trio op. 47

Joseph Woelfl: Gran Duo for cello and piano op.31

Daniel Steibelt: Sonata for fortepiano and violin op. 74/3

Anton Eberl: Piano Trio op. 8/3

Ludwig van Beethoven was not as unchallenged in Vienna as is generally assumed today. As a composer and pianist he certainly had serious competitors who have unfortunately fallen into oblivion.

In 1798/99 there was a piano duel that ended in a draw, when Joseph Woelfl, a student of Leopold Mozart and Michael Haydn, competed against Beethoven. His clear, delicate playing was compared by contemporary witnesses to Beethoven's "indistinct" delivery. Woelfl was only defeated when improvising – a fate he shared with the famous pianist Daniel Steibelt, who also failed in a competition in 1800 because of Beethoven's improvisational skills.

Anton Reicha, a very innovative and experimental composer, knew Beethoven from the Bonn years. In 1802 he came to Vienna, where the initial friendship broke up, mainly due to the increasing competitive situation.

Beethoven's most dangerous rival was certainly Anton Eberl. His symphony in E flat major was premiered in the same concert as the "Eroica" and received much better reviews. In the field of piano music, too, there was a kind of neck-and-neck race. In an obituary for Eberl's early death in 1807, Beethoven was equated with the writer Jean Paul, while Eberl was equated with Johann Wolfgang von Goethe - clear evidence that Beethoven did not (yet) have the supremacy that was rumored later.

"Mozart's Heirs - Adepts and Antipodes"

W.A.Mozart/ Abbé Maximilian Stadler: Allegro for piano trio in D minor K. 442 (ca.1785)

Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach: Sonata for piano and cello in A major (1789)

Leopold Kozeluch: Piano trio in g minor op. 27/3 (ca.1787)

Anton Eberl: Sonata for piano and violin in D minor op.14 (ca.1801)

Johann Nepomuk Hummel: Piano Trio in E flat major op.12 (1804)

Mozart is generally regarded as the musical descendant of two Bach sons. He is said to have said about Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach: “He is the father; we are the boys. Those of us who can do something lawfully learned it from him.” Even more important was the influence of Johann Christian Bach, whom Mozart met as a child in London. Little is known, however, that Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach, the 16th child of Johann Sebastian, came into contact with works by Mozart during a stay in London in 1778 at concerts given by his brother Johann Christian. The awakened interest and Mozart's influence are expressed, among other things, in the 1789 Sonata for Piano and Violoncello, one of the first classical sonatas in this instrumentation.

As a gifted child, Johann Nepomuk Hummel lived in Mozart's household in Vienna from 1786-1788, was taught by him free of charge and can therefore be considered a direct musical heir.

After Mozart's death, Abbé Maximilian Stadler took care of Constanze's musical estate and completed several fragments, including the Allegro in D minor for piano trio.

Anton Eberl belonged to the circle around Mozart and after his death went on a concert tour with Constanze and her sister Aloysia. Some of his works, including the Piano Sonata op.1, were published under Mozart's name.

As a composer and pianist, Leopold Kozeluch was a competitor of Mozart in Vienna and was at times preferred to him. In 1789 one can read in the Magazin der Musik about Kozeluch: “The works of this composer have been preserved and are accepted everywhere, whereas Mozart’s works were not always so appealing. In 1792 Kozeluch inherited the position of imperial court composer from the late Mozart – for twice the salary.


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