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SCHOENBERG, A.: Chamber Symphony No. 2 / Die gluckliche Hand / Wind Quintet (Craft) (Schoenberg, Vol. 8)

Composer(s):Schoenberg, Arnold
Period(s) 20th Century
Genre Classical Music
Category Chamber MusicOperaOrchestral
Catalogue 8.557526
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
Album Price
USD 9.99

USD 6.99


The little-known Second Chamber Symphony ought to be the most popular of Schoenberg’s later masterpieces. Neither “atonal” nor “twelve-tone”, it contrasts a lush, melodious, dramatic first movement with a rapid and richly polyphonic second movement. Die glückliche Hand is a pantomime for two silent actors and one solo singer, “the Man”. The music is very compressed, and its two middle scenes, apart from the lines by the Man, are purely orchestral. Realising that a work of 38 minutes in atonal idiom for five winds might be less audience-friendly than any of his music heretofore, Schoenberg imparted his Wind Quintet with a display of instrumental virtuosity that surpassed anything even he had ever attempted.



Review By Penguin Guide,January 2009

Robert Craft continues his excellent and dedicated series of key 20th-century works with this expertly played and sung Schoenberg collection. The complex second movement of the Second Chamber Symphony is vital, richly textured and carefully balanced. The weird Die glückliche Hand is dramatic and hauntingly atmospheric. It is well sung by Mark Beesley, while the chorus are extraordinarily vivid, and the Philharmonia Orchestra give a virtuoso account of the orchestral score, held in a firm grip by Craft. The Wind Quintet, dating from 1923/4, requires even more virtuosity, and it is only recently that it has been found possible to play the work up to tempo (the first performance by members of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in 1924 took an hour against


Review By David Denton, Naxos,April 2008

Arnold Schoenberg�s name has become so inexorably linked with atonal music



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