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SCHOENBERG, A.: Pelleas und Melisande / Erwartung (Craft) (Schoenberg, Vol. 9)

Composer(s):Schoenberg, Arnold
Artist(s) Craft, Robert, Conductor • Philharmonia OrchestraSilja, Anja, soprano
Period(s) 20th Century
Genre Classical Music
Category OperaOrchestral
Catalogue 8.557527
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
Download and Stream

Schoenberg’s polyphonic tone poem Pelleas und Melisande is often compared to Debussy’s opera based on the same text by Maurice Maeterlinck. According to the composer, “The first performance, 1905, in Vienna, under my own direction, provoked riots among the audience and even the critics. Reviews were unusually violent and one of the critics suggested putting me in an asylum and keeping music paper out of my reach. Only six years later, under Oscar Fried’s direction, it became a great success, and since that time has not caused the anger of the audience”. The most innovative features of Erwartung, a “monodrama for soprano and large orchestra”, are the continual variation of orchestral textures, and the constantly



Review By ,Limelight Magazine,November 2008

The challenges of Schoenberg present no difficulties in this recording; the evocative Pelleas und Melisande contrasts well with the tension-filled Erwartung.

Review By David Denton, Naxos,August 2008

“Reviews were unusually violent and one of the critics suggested putting me in an asylum and keeping music paper out of my reach”, was Arnold Schoenberg’s recollection of the first performance of Pelleas und Melisande in of 1905. Now we view it as part of the final apotheosis of the Romantic era that spilled over into the erotic sounds of the French Impressionist composers. It graphically relates the Pelleas and Melisande story used in Debussy’s opera, but opts for a very large orchestra that he builds the most complex mosaic of colours, layers of sound laid upon others in the way painters of the time used their oils. The death of Melisande is some of the most deeply moving music of that time and comes as the culmination of long episodes of tragic



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