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Vienna Secret Classical Music Treat at Church St. Peter

Vienna Secret Classical Music Treat: Mozart Off-Path

Vienna secret classical music treat. Classics echo from every corner in Vienna. But how do you know your chosen performance pays off? The choice would be easy if the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra gave daily concerts for non-subscribers at EUR 50 a ticket. But then I wouldn’t have been where I was and would never have discovered what I did.

The Venue

Vienna secret classical music treat: Church St. PeterVienna secret classical music treat. St. Peter’s is well known for its baroque splendour: red and white marble columns, carved pulpits plated with gold, marble angels, monumental size oil paintings, colourful frescoes, Persian carpets and crystal chandeliers. In the crypta underneath, simplicity reigns. Apart from vaulted ceilings there is not much to distract your mind. The concert I was going to listen to took place in the main church. “There are quite a few people who prefer a concert in the simple crypta, though, especially the music connoisseurs”, said concert organiser Sergio from Classic Ensemble Vienna.

The small church in the Vienna city centre filled its benches with a steady stream of visitors. It was unusual for a quiet Friday a few days after Christmas. 

The Music

Vienna secret classical music treat. Two violins, a viola and a violoncello were put on the Persian carpet in front of the altar. Four musicians showed up. That simple quartet was to serve up the best of Austrian, German and Italian composers. A lot of classical music pieces just require a few instruments rather than a full blown orchestra. It’s a more intimate music experience than a 70-people sinfonie orchestra could produce. The quartet started with well known classics like Mozart’s Little Night Music, Haydn’s Serenadenquartett and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Gradually they introduced lesser known pieces such as Schubert’s Death and the Girl and Beethoven’s String Quartet in C-Minor. My horizon of classical music was gently pushed.

There was wild applause. In a church this felt bold and epic. We refused to accept the official end of the concert. The musicians appeased us with a slice each of Mozart’s sultry Hungarian Dances and Johann Strauss’ electrifying Pizzicato Polka.

The Musicians

Vienna secret classical music treat: MusiciansVienna secret classical music treat.  I’m not a food critic but I recognise great cooks when I taste their food. The same goes with musicians. The violinists and the cellist applied a rare fervour to their music. The tunes exchanged the most beautiful dialogues and conversations. Every last note of each piece was allowed to float across the church while we listened after it. Just four people created a universe dense in sound and motion (remind me what’s an orchestra for…?). I mused about Vienna, local life in Mozart’s and Schubert’s times, and the role of music and composers in shaping political power.

Later on I found out that the cellist, Thomas Auner, was a child prodigy. He won numerous awards and now teaches at the Viennese Prayner Conservatory. Violinist Lukas Medlam is a British-Austrian master violinist, successful composer and graduated physicist. His works have been performed at Vienna’s most prestigious concert venues, Wiener Musikverein and Wiener Konzerthaus.

Vienna Secret Classical Music Treat: Book Tickets

Vienna secret classical music treat.  The concerts take place every Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday evening at Peterskirche. Tickets cost between EUR 19 and EUR 49. Musical programme and musicians may vary. Some concerts are performed in the church crypt. Find out more and book tickets online.

NOTE: I was invited by Classic Ensemble Vienna. All opinions provided are strictly my own.


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