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Bach Perspectives 11

J. S. Bach and His Sons

Web Companion 1: Royal Prussian Music Rooms, pp. 26–31 and Table 1, p. 75

Figure 1

1.1 (pp. 28, 37): The orangerie's central salon (west wing, created by Eosander, 1712), the location of Frederick II's theater at Schloss Charlottenburg. Comic opera was performed here during the summer. Copper engraving, "Prospect des Sallons in der mitten von der Orangerie zu Charlottenburg," from Johann Philipp Abelinus, Theatrum Europaeum, vol. 19, pt. 2 (Frankfurt am Main: C. G. Merians Erben, 1723), pp. 214–15, Tafel 18. The source indicates that the salon was 700 feet long (about 58 English feet today).


Figure 2

1.2 (p. 28): Neue Kammern (New Chambers) at Sanssouci. Floor plan, Christian Friedrich Gottlieb Schadow (1761–1831), 1802. Room letters in the floor plan follow the 1782 Sanssouci inventory. NB: Contemporary sources, including Nicolai, often refer to the Neue Kammern as "das Kavalierhaus" or "das Cavalier-Haus" (the Cavalier House); in addition, when describing architectural spaces, the primary sources, including Nicolai and palace inventories, favor the spelling "Gallerie," as opposed to modern usage ("Galerie").

     This reconstruction of Knobelsdorff's 1747 orangerie was completed 1775 by Georg Christian Unger. Once a guest palace, the New Chambers contained seven rooms for distinguished lords and ladies (three two-room apartments and one additional bedroom) and three large spaces for entertaining. Concerts took place in the Ovid Gallery (room C; see 1.3), the second largest room.

Room A: 1ste Gallerie / Blaue Gallerie (1st Gallery / Blue Gallery)

Room B: 1ter Saal / Buffetsaal (1st Salon / Buffet Salon)

Room C: 2te Gallerie / Ovidgallerie (2nd Gallery / Ovid Gallery)

Room D: 2ter Saal / Japissaal (2nd Salon / Jasper Room)

Rooms E–K: Wohnzimmer (guest rooms)


Figure 3

1.3 (p. 28): "Ovidgallerie" (Ovid Gallery), Neue Kammern (New Chambers), at Sanssouci, Potsdam. The gilt plaster bas-reliefs depicting scenes from Ovid's Metamorphoses were created by the artist brothers Johann David Räntz (1729–1783) and Johann Lorenz Wilhelm Räntz (1733–1776). Photo: Mary Oleskiewicz, 2007.

     The five large mirrors, opposing windows (facing the garden), and marble floor all contribute to the room's remarkable resonance. The Ovid Gallery may have been modeled on Frederick's first Spiegelsaal (Hall of Mirrors) at Schloss Rheinsberg. For the room's location, see the floor plan, 1.2.


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