Esterházy Palace

Opening times

Tuesday - Friday guided winter tours only
Saturday - Sunday and public holidays 10.00 am to 5.00 pm

Opening times

Forchtenstein Castle

Opening times

Guided Winter-Tour
Monday and Wednesday to Friday at 11.00 am und 1.00 pm
Saturday, Sunday and on holidays at 11.00 am, 1.00 and 3.00 pm

Opening times

Lackenbach Palace

Opening times

Saturday and Sunday and public holidays from 10.00 am - 03.00 pm

Opening times

St.Margarethen Quarry

Opening times

Winter break

Opening times

quartetto plus

String Quartet Days in Eisenstadt

Joseph Haydn is considered the creator or “father” of the string quartet. With his total of 68 works for this genre, he laid the foundation for the works of subsequent generations.

Haydn wrote most of his quartets during his long service at the court of the Esterházys. In the historic setting of the magnificent palace, which dates back to the Baroque period, the string quartet will be the focus of a new festival for a whole weekend.

The programs of the concerts offer an overview of the history of the quartet with the classics Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert as well as Barber and Ravel from the beginning of the 20th century.

Emerson String Quartet

A cause for sadness, even mourning? Certainly that, too. After more than 40 years in the top echelon of international chamber music ensembles, this season the Emerson String Quartet takes its well-deserved leave of concert life. But even more so, this should be an occasion for enormous gratitude, combined with the unquestionable desire to give the Emersons a fitting farewell. With such a particularly exquisite programme, the Haydn Hall audience at Esterházy Castle will find saying goodbye both easy and difficult. The beautifully overwrought, overtly emotional ache of Samuel Barber's 'Adagio for Strings' also exemplifies the music of the American continent, which the Emerson Quartet has always championed. The enormous expanse of Franz Schubert's magnificent G major quartet, which burst through all hitherto acceptable boundaries, conveys an ineffable sense of the transcendental. At the centre, however, is Joseph Haydn, with an opening punchline that fits the theme of the evening: instead of the usual opening, the Quartet op. 33/5 features a final cadenza in pianissimo! The work ranges from hearty folk music to opera parody - and the Emersons have always understood Haydn's humour.

Quartetto di Cremona

This sumptuous musical evening is composed of a rousing, youthful work framed by two expressive 'latecomers'. 'In the Beethoven cycle', wrote the classical music magazine Fono Forum, 'the Quartetto di Cremona prove themselves to be eminent ambassadors of the Italian quartet tradition and at the same time confirm their position as an ensemble of international excellence.' The internationally acclaimed chamber music ensemble, founded in 2000, returns at long last to Esterházy Palace - and, indeed, with music by Ludwig van Beethoven. The slow movement of the emotionally charged, poignant Opus 132 in A minor from his cycle of late quartets uses the famous 'Heiligen Dankgesang eines Genesenden an die Gottheit'. In a less existential, but no less important context, Maurice Ravel might also have had reason to thank heaven, namely when the 'Affaire Ravel' was finally over. After the jury of the 'Prix de Rome' had rejected his works for years, including his dazzling, dance-like String Quartet in F major, two of the conservative judges were forced to resign under public pressure - leaving the young composer standing there without a prize, but still as the winner. Serenity begins the evening: not one note in Joseph Haydn's Quartet op. 77/1 suggests that it would prove to be one of his last works in this genre. Humour, melancholy, and depth of feeling yet again form a delightful union.

Leonkoro Quartet, Adelphi Quartett und Isidore String Quartet

It may already be considered a new musical tradition on the eve of Palm Sunday at Esterházy Palace: to contrast one of Joseph Haydn's greatest and distinctive works with the music of one or more other composers and, ultimately, to provide a unique spiritual experience. 'The Seven Last Words of Our Saviour on the Cross' was commissioned for a church in Cadíz, Spain. 'It was certainly one of the most difficult tasks,' reported Haydn's friend Griesinger, 'to have seven adagios follow each other without an underlying text, out of free imagination, which should not tire the listener, and awaken in him all the feelings which lay in the meaning of each word spoken by the dying Saviour. Haydn thus often declared this work to be one of his most successful.' Three distinguished young string quartet ensembles, all prize winners of leading competitions, share this task and bring Haydn's music into dialogue with the works of three contemporary female composers and one male composer: a harmonious collaboration across the boundaries of epochs, styles, cultural circles, and religions.