The Palffy Palace, opposite the Hofburg (Royal Winter Palace), was first mentioned in 14th-century archive files. In the 15th century the palace was owned by Count Paul Eberhard Palffy von Erdod and remained property of the Palffy family until the end of the 19th century. It was rebuilt after being damaged in WW2 and is now considered one of the most beautiful palaces in Vienna.
Figaro-Saal (Figaro Room) upstairs is certainly a beautiful venue for modern chamber concerts. The idea for this modern tradition stems from the historical concert given in this room by Wolfgang Mozart and his sister Nannerl on October 16th, 1762.
We attended a concert one Sunday evening. These old palaces are amazingly grand and we felt lucky to get a glimpse inside, of wide staircases, high ceilings with lovely frescoes, chandeliers, huge framed paintings, heavy curtains. Our Mozart and Strauss-Dynasty concert was pretty varied giving a flavor of chamber music performances in Imperial days gone by, but it wasn’t too long or too demanding on the audience. Lovely, light-hearted fun. The 5 musicians, a soprano singer and a duo dancing in various costumes were very professional and had obviously practised together a lot as they were really slick.
Attending at least one of these concerts while in Vienna should be on every visitor’s list! Different venues around the city offer various concerts, all with a similar focus on Mozart and Strauss (but this year—2009—many Haydn concerts are also being offered as this is the celebration of his death 200 years ago). Over the years we’ve been fortunate enough to attend 5 concerts; 2 in Musikverein, one in Schonbrunn, one in an old Mozart House, and now this one.