Gesellschaftsspiel der Schubertianer in Atzenbrugg by Leopold Kupelwieser, 1821

© Historisches Museum der Stadt Wien


Heliopolis Playlist

[…] the poet lives on Existence.
Breathe the sacred ether,
fling your arms around the world
only the worthy, the great
remain boldly joined.
Let passion roar
in metallic harmony
when the strong storms bluster,
you will find the right word.

(J. Mayrhofer, Heliopolis n. 12, 1821)

copyright © by Emily Ezust

[…] der Dichter lebt vom Seyn.
Athme du den heil’gen Aether,
Schling’ die Arme um die Welt;
Nur dem Würdigen, dem Großen
Bleibe muthig zugesellt.
Laß die Leidenschaften sausen
Im metallenen Accord;
Wenn die starken Stürme brausen,
Findest du das rechte Wort.

(J. Mayrhofer, Heliopolis n. 12, 1821)

This poem faithfully pictures the early Romantic ideal: the artist is overwhelmed by the sublime beauty of Nature. But what intrigues us most is the detail Im metallenen Accord. Could it refer to the most underestimated companion of the Romantic soul: the guitar?

Thanks to technical improvements in the first years of the 19th century, the popularity of the guitar increased enormously. Indeed, recent research has shown how this instrument inspired composers like the young Franz Schubert. During the first years of his career he would own no piano and many of his close friends played the guitar.

Biedermeier Vienna after the Restoration was a town oppressed by one of the most repressive and powerful political censorship police ever. During those difficult years of injustice artists did find a way to express themselves; they found a safe place in the idyllic and innocent bucolic life and organised private salons and secret societies.

Heliopolis, the city of the sun, is a place where the golden rays of Art enlighten society against the shadows of fear and oppression. In our music program we guide you through the youth of Franz Schubert and his friends in their fight for Honour, Freedom and Fatherland.


Nicholas Cornia (artistic director, bass)
Igor Sirotinksy (romantic guitar)
Mathis Van Cleynenbreugel (tenor)
Leander Van Gijsegem (tenor)
Lidwien Van Winckel (soprano)
Veera Voordeckers (pianoforte)