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Bach Perspectives 11

J. S. Bach and His Sons

Web Companion 6: Berlin Stadtschloss (pp. 43–51; Table 1, p. 75)

Figure 1

6.1 (pp. 43–46, 48–50; Table 1, p. 75): Berlin Stadtschloss, 2nd floor (1. Obergeschoss; Nicolai, 2. Geschoss). Floor plan (composite, depicting rooms discussed for the period ca. 1740 to ca. 1786). Comoediensaal and apartments of Frederick II, Crown Prince Frederick William (before and after his coronation in 1786 as Frederick William II), the Crown Princess of Prussia, and Princess Amalia. Room numbers from the floor plan may differ from those given in palace inventories.

Room 559 (upper left): Frederick William II's music salon (after 1786). This room was part of a set of apartments situated between portals II and IV. From the 1740s, these apartments were used by Frederick's sister Princess Luise Ulrike (p. 44).

Rooms 564–567 (upper center and right): Princess Amalia's apartments and her first organ chamber (room 567), the so-called Balkonzimmer (Balcony Room, which Nicolai called a "grosser Vorsaal" (large antechamber), with three windows (see 6.6 and pp. 5051)

Rooms 646–679 passim (lower right): Frederick II's apartments, including his music salon (Konzertzimmer), room 659 (room 7, Nicolai; room XV, 1793 inventory; room 216, 1794 floor plan) (pp. 44–45)

Rooms 682–686; 678–697 passim (lower left): Apartments of the Prince and Princess of Prussia (the future Frederick William II and his wives) before 1786, including their shared music salon, room 683 (room 5, Nicolai) (pp. 4546)

Room 766 (central wing): Comoediensaal / Hoftheater (1741), installed for the premiere C. H. Graun's Rodelinda) (pp. 48–49)


Figure 2

6.2 (p. 35, 44): Berlin Stadtschloss, ground floor (1. Geschoss, Nicolai). Floor plan reflecting the period before 1740. Apartments of King Frederick William I (upper left, garden side, rooms 1–7); apartments of Margrave Christian Ludwig of Brandenburg-Schwedt (upper left, court side, rooms 1–5). Room numbers for each apartment according to Nicolai (1786).

Nicolai (1786, 3:111) described the Margrave's "former apartments": "in the upper part of the second portal built by King Friedrich Wilhelm [e.g. portal IV], one arrives on the left at the Fouragen and Invalidenkasse . . . which face the Pleasure Garden and are next to the former rooms of the Margrave of Brandenburg-Schwedt. . . , which are on the inner court side" ("Im obern Theile des zweiten von K. Friedrich Wilhelm erbauten Portales [e.g. Portale IV on the floor plan] kommt man links zur Fouragen und Invalidenkasse. . . , welche nach dem Lustgarten heraus und daneben nach den ehemaligen Zimmern des Markgrafen von Brandenburg-Schwedt. . . , welche in den inneren Schlosshof geben"). The Margrave's living quarters were thus located on the ground floor. The king, who did not support the arts, nevertheless permitted the Margrave to retain a Hofkapelle at the palace. Due to the existence of a music salon in King Frederick William II's post-1786 suite of rooms, directly above this suite (see the floor plan, 6.1, room 559), I suggested that room as the possible location of the former music salon of Margrave Christian Ludwig of Brandenburg-Schwedt (d. 1734) (see p. 44).

Nicolai does not label a music salon in either the ground or second floor apartments, which does not preclude one of them serving as a music salon. The Margrave's music salon, if one existed in his ground-floor suite, may have been room 2, located directly below room 559 (compare this floor plan with the first floor plan, 6.1).


Figure 3

6.3 (pp. 4447): Berlin Stadtschloss, 3rd floor (2. Obergeschoss; Nicolai, 3. Geschoss). Floor plan reflecting the period ca. 1740 to 1786. Rittersaal and apartments of Queen Elisabeth Christine. Room numbers may differ from those given in palace inventories.

Room 792 (upper right): Rittersaal (knight's hall), large reception hall for royal weddings and grand court festivities (p. 44)

Room N.N. (room 7 of her suite in Nicolai) (lower right): Kleines Konzertzimmer (small music salon) of Queen Elisabeth Christine (pp. 46–47n)

Room 844 (room 11 of her suite in Nicolai) (lower right): Large concert hall (Grosse Cour und Konzertsaal) of Queen Elisabeth Christine for grand court concerts, also called "Elisabeth-Saal" (Elisabeth Salon) (pp. 46–47) NB: During summer, her concerts took place at Schloss Schönhausen (see 6.4a–b).


Figure 4a
6.4a. Gartensaal, ground floor of Schloss Schönhausen

Figure 4b
6.4b. Festsaal, 2nd floor of Schloss Schönhausen (from 1763)

6.4a–b (pp. 27, 46, 46nn71–72): Schloss Schönhausen, Niederschönhausen, ground and 2nd floors, ca. 1824, by anonymous. Queen Elisabeth Christine's summer apartments (ground floor, rooms 1–3 and 14–20). Bedroom of Wilhelmine of Hesse-Kassel ("Princess Heinrich") (2nd floor, room 32). Distribution of rooms based on the palace inventory of 1795.

Spaces for Music

Room 1, ground floor (garden side, lower center): Gartensaal (garden salon), used for the Queen's grand court concerts in summer from ca. 1740 to 1763. This large salon, preceded by an Audienzzimmer (room 3) and a Vorkammer (room 2), like the large concert hall in the Berlin Stadtschloss, was contained within her apartments (see the floor plan 6.3, room 844).

Room 21, 2nd floor (garden side, lower center): Festsaal / Saal (festival salon / salon), for summer concerts after 1763

Originally the ceiling of the Gartensaal extended through both stories. In 1763, following the pillaging of the palace during the Seven Years' War, the architect Johann Michael Boumann Sr. (1706–76) was engaged to renovate and expand the size of the palace. At this time, the large open space over the Gartensaal was sealed off to create a second, splendid Festsaal / Saal (festival salon, room 21). From this point forward, the upper salon—whose decorative, rococo motifs included musical instruments—became the new summer location of the queen's grand court concerts (grosse Hofkonzerte) at Schloss Schönhausen, in which Emanuel Bach, as a member of the royal court orchestra, performed. After 1763, the ceiling height of room 1 was 4.6 meters and room 21 was 3.8 meters; the other dimensions were identical: 13.5 meters long by 7 meters wide (see p. 46n72). See 6.5 for the earlier profile of the palace.


Figure 5

6.5 (pp. 27, 46–47): Rococo Festsaal (festival hall), 2nd floor of Schloss Schönhausen (room 21). Courtesy of Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten Berlin-Brandenburg / Photo: Wolfgang Pfauder. For the location of this room, see 6.4b. This is the summer location where Queen Christine's grand court concerts took place after 1763.


Figure 6

6.6 (pp. 50–51; Tables 3 and 5, pp. 77–78): Depiction of Princess Amalia's first house organ, by Ernst Marx. Installation in the Balcony Room (room 567) of the Berlin Stadtschloss, 1755. Copper engraving by Johann David Schleuen, from Johann Samuel Halle,"Der Orgelbauer," in J. S. Halle, Werkstätte der heutigen Künste (Halle, 1764). For the location of this room, see the floor plan, 6.1, room 567. For a contemporaneous view of her balcony doors from the street, see another engraving by Schleuen, 6.7.


Figure 7

6.7 (pp. 44, 50): The Berlin Stadtschloss, façade facing the Lustgarten to the north. Detail from the Berlin city map of 1757, by J. D. Schleuen.

The original caption, shown here, reads: "Das Königl. Residenz-Schloss, wie sich solches nach dem Parade-Platz prasentiret" (The royal residence palace as it appears from the parade grounds). Portal IV is center; further left is portal V. The doors to Amalia's second-story Balcony Room (located just above portal V) opened onto this area, which Amalia mentioned in a letter to Wilhelmine of Hesse-Kassel ("Princess Heinrich") (see p. 50). The Rittersaal can be seen one floor directly above it. For the location of the latter, see the floor plan, 6.3, room 792.


Figure 8

6.8 (pp. 44–46): The Berlin Stadtschloss, façade facing the Schlossplatz and the Breitestrasse to the south. Detail from the Berlin city map of 1757, by J. D. Schleuen.

The original caption, shown here, reads: "Das Königl. Residenz-Schloss, wie sich solches gegen die Breitestrasse prasentiret" (The royal residence palace as it appears towards the Breitestrasse). Portal I is to the right; Portal II is to the left. The three windows of the queen's large, third-floor concert hall are over portal I; her small music salon and the king's second-story music salon are the third and fourth windows farther to the right. Compare the floor plan, 6.1 and 6.3.


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