Virtual Tour of
"Beethoven & Berlioz, Paris & Vienna:
Musical Treasures from the Age of Revolution & Romance
A Major Exhibition Designed by the National Music Museum
for the Washington Pavilion, Sioux Falls, South Dakota,
September 12 - November 2, 2003
A Few Words About the Exhibition
The exhibition, "Beethoven & Berlioz, Paris & Vienna: Musical Treasures from the Age of Revolution & Romance, 1789-1848," offered a unique opportunity to view more than seventy representative instruments and bows from this age of revolution and romance, some of which may have been heard by the great composers themselves. Many of them would have been played by professional musicians, others by amateurs. Not all were built in Paris or Vienna, although hundreds of makers were known to have been active in both cities by 1800. Instead, in keeping with the cosmopolitan nature of the age, superb examples by the greatest makers of the period were chosen for the exhibition, regardless of where those makers might have lived - Brno (Brünn), Brussels, Cremona, Dresden, London, Mainz, Markneukirchen, Milan, Mirecourt, Naples, Nürnberg, Paris, Stuttgart, and Vienna - in order to illustrate the equally revolutionary changes in musical instrument construction, including both new inventions and the modification of great surviving instruments to meet the new demands of the future, that took place on the Continent during the first half of the 19th century.
The choice of instruments for the exhibition also acknowledges the multitude of relationships - cultural, economic, musical, political, and social - that existed between Vienna and Paris; the intrinsic importance of the instruments, themselves, built, as they were, by the preeminent Continental instrument makers of the time, and representing, as they do, the finest craftsmanship of the period; and, the visual appeal of many of the instruments, most of which are works of decorative art, as well as tools with which to make music.
A Few Words About the Virtual Tour
The virtual tour of the Beethoven & Berlioz Exhibition highlights some of the most exciting and most unusual items in the exhibition, focusing on slightly more than half of the instruments chosen for display.