Navigation for Expo Belle Epoque

The Pavilion of the Austro-Hungarian and German Empires

Anton BrucknerGustav MahlerFranz Lehar

The Belle Époque (1880-1914) coincided in Austria with a Golden Age for the arts. In the newly formed German Empire the period was marked by the growing expansion of colonial interests. In music, the dual legacies of Brahms and Wagner inspired and divided their followers in equal measure.  Who was the true musical descendent of Bach, Mozart and Beethoven?  The elegant, classically-minded and musically conservative Brahms, or the revolutionary and innovative Wagner, who conceived musical works on a massive scale?

From the octagonal pavilion of the combined Austro-Hungarian and German Empires at this Expo Belle Époque we present a selection of musical highlights, showcasing some of the newest, most popular, and most familiar musical works from the German speaking world. 

We’ll hear tone poetry and opera from Richard Strauss, operetta from Lehar, late works from Austrian and German heavyweights Bruckner and Brahms, music from Mahler influenced by the Secessionist Movement, Jugendstil inspired music by Zemlinsky and Reger, a grandiose oratorio by Schoenberg, and waltz music in the grand Viennese tradition.

Johannes Brahms Arnold Schoenberg Richard Strauss Johann Strauss

Clockwise from top right: Anton Bruckner, Gustav Mahler, Franz Lehar, Johannes Brahms, Arnold Schoenberg, Richard Strauss, Johann Strauss.


ZELLER: Schenkt man sich Rosen in Tirol, from Der Vogelhändler
Marcel Wittrisch (ten), Erna Sack (sop), Choir/Orch of the German Operahouses Berlin/Arthur Rother
Teldec 3984-28412

LEHAR: Overture from The Marry Widow
Rundfunk SO Berlin/Michail Jurowski
CPO 999 891

BRUCKNER: In te, Domine, speravi, from Te Deum
Anne Pashley (sop), Birgit Finnilä (alto), Robert Tear (ten), Don Garrard (bass),
New Philharmonia Chorus & Orchestra/Daniel Barenboim
EMI 7243 5 85508

WOLF: Italian Serenade
Hagen Quartet
Newton 880 2072

R STRAUSS: Till Eulenspeigel's Merry Pranks
Berlin PO/Herbert von Karajan
DG 477 7156

BRAHMS: Intermezzo in A, from Six Pieces for Piano Op 118
Gerhard  Oppitz (pno)
Eurodisc RD 69247

MAHLER: Ich bin der Welt abhandengekommen, from Rückert Lieder
Janet Baker (mezzo), Hallé Orch/John Barbirolli
EMI CZS 7 62707

SCHOENBERG: Fourth movement from Verklärte Nacht
Brandis Quartet, Walter Küssner (vla), Dietmar Schwalke (cello), Rainer Zepperitz (double bass)
Nimbus NI 5614

ZEMLINSKY: Waldseligkeit, from Fantasies on poems by Richard Dehmel Op 9
Siegfried Mauser (pno)
Virgin VC 5 45125

SCHOENBERG: Seht die Sonne!, from Gurrelieder
Rundfunkchor Berlin, MDR Rundfunkchor Leipzig, Ernst Senff Chor Berlin, Berlin PO/Simon Rattle
EMI 5 57303

MAHLER: Adagietto, from Symphony No 5 in C sharp minor
Los Angeles PO/Zubin Mehta
Decca 421 397

SCHREKER: Rosentod Op 7 No 5
Lucia Popp (sop), Irwin Gage (pno)
RCA RD 60950

REGER: First Movement, from Little Sonata in D minor Op 103b No 1
Ulf Wallin (vln), Roland Pöntinen (pno)
CPO 999 725

R STRAUSS: Habmirsgelobt Trio, from Der Rosenkavalier
René Fleming (sop), Barbary Bonney (sop), Susan Graham (mezzo), Vienna PO/Christoph Eschenbach
Decca 466 314

J STRAUSS II: Emperor Waltz
Vienna SO/Wolfgang Sawallisch
Philips 422 277

Gallery: Expo Belle Epoque - a visual tour of 1880-1914