Camerata Salzburg & Paul Lewis

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July 2020

Ludwig van Beethoven wrote his five piano concertos in a period of twenty-two years from 1787 to 1809. In that era audiences appreciated musicianswho were composers and virtuoso instrumentalists, and accordingly Beethoven wrote his concertos primarily for himself as soloist. When he started to lose his hearing and was no longer able to perform as a piano soloist,  there was no reason for him to compose any more piano concertos. Nevertheless, the five piano concertos form an impressive cycle, comparable with his symphonies, piano sonatas and string quartets. His development from the classical Mozartian type of concerto to the great 19th-century symphonic concerto is impressively perceptible. The five concertos are unified as a music-historical pentagon, when, as in Erl, they are all performed by Paul Lewis as soloist, with the Camerata Salzburg conducted by Andrew Manze. Like Beethoven’s symphonies and Forellenquinpiano sonatas, some of which were given characteristic nicknames, life themes of Beethoven the artist are inherent in the piano concertos – the struggle with destiny, the struggle for freedom, humanism, fraternity, loneliness. Lines of reference extend from the basic key of C minor and the path from darkness into light from Piano Concerto No. 3 to the Fifth Symphony, the ‘Symphony of Destiny’, and to the Piano Sonata, op. 13, the ‘Pathétique’. The heroic element on the other hand is not only a basic characteristic of the Third Symphony, the ‘Eroica’, but also of two piano concertos, the first and the fifth, which in English was indeed given the name ‘Emperor’ Concerto. Human values are ‘conquered’. ‘Pastoral’ music is to be found not only among the piano sonatas (op. 28) and the symphonies (No. 6) but also – although not designated as such – among the piano concertos: the second, op. 19 and the fourth, op. 58, in which the human being, the solo individual, finds harmony with the variegated orchestra of nature.


Besides Mozart, the Camerata Salzburg is most closely associated with the music of Schubert. Since the time of violinist Sándor Végh, who re-founded the ensemble and was its artistic director and mentor, orchestral and chamber music works by Schubert have belonged to the core repertoire of the Camerata; Végh’s Schubert cycle with the ensemble became legendary and was revered among others by Carlos Kleiber, who once entered a CD shop in Salzburg and bought the entire set saying one could learn so much from the masterful interpretation. The Camerata is even related in the family sense with Schubert. One of  Schubert’s greatest benefactors, the patron of the arts Sylvester Paumgartner from Styria, who commissioned the ‘Trout’ Quintet, was the great-great-great uncle of Bernhard Paumgartner, conductor and co-founder of the Salzburg Festival, who founded the Camerata Academica in 1952 and directed it until his death in 1971. In 2020 the Camerata will perform Schubert’s Third and Seventh Symphonies as well as the ‘Italian’ Overture in C major in Erl. Andrew Manze from Britain conducts; his meteoric career followed on from his successful career as a violinist performing on period instruments. His recordings of Schubert’s violin sonatas have set standards. Schubert as a composer of symphonies was discovered only several decades after the lied composer Schubert. Whereas the ‘Unfinished’ then became one of the most popular pieces of classical music, earlier symphonies are still not so well known, and yet they appear to be like a wonder of the world. How was a young man in Vienna able to follow on seamlessly from the symphonies of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, and thereby introduce his own innovations that anticipated the entire Romantic era?

Program and cast

Camerata Salzburg

Conductor Andrew Manze

Piano Paul Lewis


Sat 25. Jul
19:30 h → Festspielhaus

Overture in Italian style C major op. 170 D. 591

Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 2 B flat major op. 19
Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 4 G Major op. 58

Tue 28. Jul
19:30 h → Festspielhaus

Symphony No. 3 D Major D. 200

Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 1 C Major op. 15
Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 3 C minor op. 3

Wed 29 Jul
19:30 h → Festspielhaus

Symphony No. 7 B minor D. 759 "Unfinished"

Concerto for piano and orchestra E flat major op. 73 "Emperor Concerto"

Festspielhaus Erl



Designed by Delugan Meissl Associated Architects, Vienna, the extraordinary structure boasts 862 seats (130 of which are flexible seats near the orchestra) and the world’s largest orchestra pit (160-sq meters). The total useable surface is 7,000-square meter. General contractor was STRABAG, project manager Ing. Georg Höger.


The new Festspielhaus respects and compliments the architecture of the old Passionsspielhaus and its natural surroundings in a unique way: in the summer, when the Tyrolean Festival Erl or the Passion Plays take place at the white Passionsspielhaus, the dark Festspielhaus will blend with the dark forest, allowing the Passionsspielhaus to be dominant. In the winter it is the other way round: while the white Passionsspielhaus will fade into the surroundings, the dark Festspielhaus will stand out against the white landscape.


The Festspielhaus offers the modern infrastructure that has been sorely missing at the Passionsspielhaus, including a foyer with cloakroom, modern stage machinery, several rehearsal rooms and plenty of space for administrative offices. The Festspielhaus provides the Tyrolean Festival Erl with the basic conditions it needs to ensure the Festival’s success will continue into the future.




The Passionsspielhaus in Erl, built between 1957 and 159 on plans by architect Robert Schuller, is an architectural and acoustic masterpiece. The structure blends with its surroundings and is a visual extension of the adjoining mountains.
Thanks to its striking shape the Passionspielhaus instantly became Erl’s greatest landmark. Austria’s largest orchestra theater accommodates up to 1500 visitors. The 25-meter wide stage is tiered and provides a spectacular backdrop for the 500 passion play actors as well as the orchestra of the Tyrolean Festival Erl, which performs onstage as there is no orchestra pit. 


A café serving snacks and beverages was added in 1997 and an Art Room for 150 visitors was opened in 2003.  
When the Festspielhaus was renovated between October 2006 and April 2007 all sanitary facilities were upgraded; an “orchestra pit” with scissor lift and a substructure for the main stage were added; the auditorium got equipped with a deaf loop system and a new floor; the catwalk, the exterior design, the cellar beneath the donkey ramp, the refreshment stand, all electrical installations and the ventilation system were replaced; and the wardrobe and the stairway renovated.  






Germany, Eastern Austria
A8 Munich-Salzburg, Autobahndreieck Inntal, A 93, Motorway exit Nussdorf/Brannenburg or Oberaudorf/Niederndorf

Italy, Switzerland, Western Austria
Inntalautobahn A 12, motorway exit Kufstein Nord or Oberaudorf/Niederndorf; from Italy: after Brenner Pass take A 13 and A 12 (approx. 1 h 20 min to Erl); from the Swiss border it’s a 3 hour drive to Erl; the entire journey is on motorways and expressways.

In Austria, the use of motorways and expressways is subject to payment of a toll.

Munich – Erl approx. 1 hour by car
Salzburg – Erl approx. 1 hour by car
Innsbruck – Erl approx. 45 hour by car



All long distance and regional trains stop in Kufstein. 




Innsbruck (90 km),
Salzburg (90 km),
München (110 km).


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