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SCHOENBERG: Pierrot Lunaire / Chamber Symphony No. 1 / 4 Orchestral Songs (Schoenberg, Vol. 6)

Composer(s):Schoenberg, Arnold
Period(s) 20th Century
Genre Classical Music
Category OrchestralVocal
Catalogue 8.557523
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
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Arnold Schoenberg sought to write music that avoided traditional tonal implications, which eventually led him away from tonality altogether. Herzgewächse is a short piece for high soprano and what has been called ‘an awkward ensemble’. It is an example of the ‘sound of colour’, the result of Schoenberg’s collaboration with his friend, the avant-garde painter Kandinsky. One of Schoenberg’s best-known works, Pierrot Lunaire marks a return to counterpoint. His Four Orchestral Songs balance the traditional settings of texts with innovatory instrumentation, while the propulsive power of the earlier Chamber Symphony brings to mind the music of Beethoven.


Review By William Yeoman,Limelight Magazine,July 2007

Given his interests in both early and contemporary music, writer, critic and conductor Robert Craft is in many ways the ideal interpreter for Pierrot. Not to mention the fact that he recorded much of Schoenberg’s music as far back as 1963, and all of Webern (1957). Naxos has been busy reissuing the Schoenberg recordings Craft made for Koch International Classics; this is volume six. I originally bought Schoenberg’s Gurre-Lieder when it was still on Koch, and was impressed not so much by the soloists as by the focused delineation of the score under Craft’s baton. That same precision is brought to all the works here, but this time the soloists are also excellent. Herzgewäschse for coloratura soprano, celesta, harmonium and harp sees


Review By David Denton, Naxos,March 2007

Those who enjoy Pierrot Lunaire—and I do not belong to their clan—get very worked up about the singer’s interpretation of Schoenberg’s intentions. This recording from the great opera soprano, Anja Silja, will certainly divided opinion as she sings most of the work rather than using a speech-orientated approach, which was arguably Schoenberg’s intention. So far as I am concerned, and I guess many others, Silja almost persuades me as to the work’s value, her account a virtuoso use of the voice, with diction that is second to none. Robert Craft presses forward with tempos, the Twentieth Century’s playing wonderfully detailed with the interplay between voice and instruments realised with a surety you will seldom hear. Assembled from previous



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