NMSAT :: Networked Music & SoundArt Timeline

1615 __ Garden of Hellbrunn — mechanical birds and theatre
Comment : The gardens of Hellbrunn at Salzburg (1613-15), built by the Archbishop Markus Sittikus von Hohenems, offered numerous auditory delights, including an "Orpheus grotto" with automated singing birds and mechanical trick fountains (Wasserspiele). The architect was the Italian, Santino Solari. (Joseph Dillon Ford - The Soniferous Seventeenth Century)In a grotto in Hellbrunn : hydraulically driven mechanical birds, with a cuckoo. Their last trace at the end of the slow movement of the Pastoral [Beethoven’s symphony). [246] (Theodor Adorno)Another feature : Open-air mechanical "theatre", built 1748-1750 by Lorenz Rosenegger as part of the aquatic gardens of Hellbrunn. More than 140 moving and over 100 stationary figures depict life in a small town during the Baroque era. The (mostly wooden) moving figures and the mechanical organ are operated by water pressure. The trick fountain garden of Hellbrunn Palace were built by masons from Salzburg and Italy, the best craftsmen of their time, under the guidance of Santino Solari. The most famous features are the Neptunfountain by H. C. Asper, built in the early 17th century and the so-called Roman Theatre with a marble table with seats that are part of a hidden fountain. The grounds and gardens contain wells, fountains, ponds, five artificial grottos, sculptures and statues – a Baroque Disneyland, created for the sole purpose of entertaining the immensely rich Prince Archbishop of Salzburg and his guests. If the Prince Archbishop hosted a dinner in Hellbrunn Palace, nobody was supposed to get up from his or her seat as long as the Prince Archbishop was still seated – which explains why his chair is the only one not targeted by the fountain. The machinery underlying this mechanism is based on five automatic water pumps that are part of the original ensemble. They were supplemented with waterpower driven mechanical theatre between 1749 and 1752. This theatre of Hellbrunn contains 138 moving, wooden figures.Great horologic care and skill in water technology enliven with apparent ease this amusing genre scene. That the entire technology with waterwheels, copper wiring and cogwheels is hidden behind the theatre is betrayed only by the deafening noise when the works are set in motion. Certainly to subdue the noise, Rosenegger (The miner Lorenz Rosenegger von Dürrnberg offered to redesign the grotto on 12 July 1748) was also commissioned to construct an “organ works” after the pattern of the “Salzburg Steer” on the Hohensalzburg Fortress, which was to be exclusively driven by water. In June 1753 the organ, which at that time had 35 pipes, was first tuned by the court music director Johann Ernst Eberlin and the organ builder Rochus Egedacher. Originally one could choose between three pieces of music, all of which were from Eberlin’s pen, today the three rows of pins on the mighty wooden roller can play the following pieces: a choral by J. E. Eberlin, the “Reich mir die Hand, mein Leben” duet by W. A. Mozart and the “Ohne Rast, angepackt” tradesman’s song by D. F. Auber. The five small grottos, arranged unspectacularly here on a narrow path, as the so-called Royal Way shows, are unique worldwide today and depict small genre scenes from Greek mythology and the local artisan scene. The inherent technology remains completely hidden from the observer, one sees only small dolls, which carry out their movement to an infinitely uniform rhythm, which are delightful to watch and of a touching simplicity. The pumps that provide these technical works of wonder with water are hidden in a hill of tuff at the beginning of the path that is fringed by a narrow channel (For example, in the second grotto we see the mythological scene in which Apollo flays Marsyas. Apollo can be turned on the axis of his right leg and he takes the right arm of Marsyas with him as he moves. Apollo’s right arm makes a cutting movement. Marsyas shakes his head in despair; And the Grotto number five shows the potter in his workshop, which contains the most delightful examples of his art and craft. The potter’s wheel turns from left to right. The potter’s right hand first makes a small upward movement, then both hands and the head make stronger upward movements, which indicates the typical throwing of a tall vessel. His head also moves. His right foot is moved by the wheel by means of a cog.). The development of mechanism during the Renaissance goes back to the examination of writings of the Antiquity. (Archimedes, Aristotle, Pliny and Vitruvius). As essential Vitruvius’s “Libri decem de architectura” is for the architecture of the New Age, as infl uential on the mechanism and hydraulic technology of today are the two most important tracts from the second century by Herophilus of Alexandria, “Pneumatica” and “Automata”. Due to the great interest in natural science, which during the cinquecento not only encompassed the provision of drinking water and the building of baths, but was also dedicated much more to the love of life and intellectual challenge, which resulted in the most diverse air- and water-driven automats, machines and organs. (Compiled from various sources)
French comment : Le chateau d'Hellbrunn est un château baroque construit en 1612 sur la demande du prince-archevêque Markus Sittikius von Hohenems. Si l'architecture et les jardins sont très beaux, l'originalité du lieu se trouve dans ses nombreux jeux d'eau: automates d'eau, grottes, fontaines, jets d'eau.. etc. En effet, Markus Sittikius était particulièrement doué d'humour et partout dans son parc se cachent ici et là des fontaines farceuses qui arrosent les visiteurs à leur insu dans des endroit plus ou moins extravagants mais toujours inattendus! Des automates étranges, animés par la force hydraulique offrent également des visions magiques et bizarres. (Compiled from various sources)
Source : Ford, James Dillon (1995), "From Vocal Memnon to the Stereophonic Garden : a short history of sound and technology in landscape design", a paper prepared for CELA, Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture Annual 1995.
Source : Adorno, Theodor W. (1969/1993), “Beethoven — The Philosophy of Music - Fragments and Texts”, translated by Edmunt Jephcott, Stanford University Press (2002), p. 112.
Urls : http://www.newmusicclassics.com/resume_folder/cela_1995.html (last visited ) http://www.hellbrunn.at/hellbrunn/english/start/index.asp (last visited ) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SecTJ1kqVdc (last visited ) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uKfW_-PvQY (last visited )

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