It all started when…
It was first in 2014 that Bach Consort Wien performed a major church concert within the series of “Musica sacra“. Since then, a master piece of spiritual music has been presented each year in one of the famous Viennese churches, recorded for television and broadcast by the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation ORF on Easter Sunday before the papal blessing “Urbi et Orbi“. Meanwhile, these concert recordings have been licensed for broadcast in over 80 countries worldwide: International soloists such as Michael Schade, Andreas Scholl, Vivica Genaux and others perform works by J. S. Bach, G. F. Händel, Antonio Vivaldi etc., and send greetings from Vienna at Easter.
As of 2020, Bach Consort Wien will go on tour around Europe and perform the new TV concert series “Vienna greets Europe“ each year in another European city.
For centuries, Vienna has been an international cultural melting pot. Artists from Western, Southern, Eastern and Northern Europe scrimmaged there, pushing each other aside, when it came to winning favor with aristocrats and art patrons. In the 17th and 18th century, the “local” music was Italian (even if it was actually composed by Austrians, Prussians or Bohemians) and the food was Bohemian. Under Joseph II, the spirit of the French enlighteners was also welcome to leave its traces around the city.
Each year, Bach Consort will look for partners in European metropolises and regions, which have contributed much to the cultural diversity of the Austrian capital. The aim is to stage a master piece of sacred music together with local cultural managers, patrons and media partners.
The compositions will be related to the metropolis visited and to the cultural exchange inside baroque and classical Europe, respectively. Apart from their boundless joy to play, the artists equally bring along an unbridled curiosity about each destination of their journey: the atmosphere, the architectural treasures, the peculiarities and people’s way of life. They also come, as appropriate for artists, with a healthy appetite for the culinary aspects of a culture. The camera accompanies the get-togethers of guests and hosts, and captures the encounter of different cultural environments: “Vienna greets Europe“ also means “Vienna meets Europe“.
The culture, musical tradition and vibrant life of these cities do not only influence the respective concert program significantly, they also play a major role in the TV format. Visual excursions show a world beyond the concert itself and focus as well on the landmarks as on the exciting life and inhabitants of the partner city - we look into faces, small streets, corners and cooking pots.
This is how a kaleidoscope of a manifold European spectrum is created: an ode in pictures and music, which captures and invokes the “spark of the gods” and its enchantment of unity in diversity.