There are several events in London to mark the 100th anniversary of Schoenberg’s revolutionary piece Pierrot Lunaire, but I want to suggest/recommend a lunchtime performance on Tuesday 16 October 2012 at the Royal Academy of Music in London of Schoenberg’s Second String Quartet, for several reasons:
* I really love this music.
* I love that he uses a soprano in the third and fourth movement, singing poems by Stefan George: sort of a chamber music equivalent of Beethoven introducing voices into the symphony in his ninth symphony.
* I really love the opening words of the second poem Schoenberg sets, which he uses in the last (fourth) movement of the quartet:
“I feel the air from other planets”.
I like those words just for themselves, but in the context of Schoenberg leaving late romanticism for something quite new, they are for me even more moving.
* This is a relatively rare opportunity to hear a live performance of this string quartet.
Jennifer France and Sofia Larsson soprano
Finnegan Downie Dear piano
Schoenberg Four Songs op.2; Two Songs op.14; String Quartet no.2 in F sharp minor, op.10
This event is part of the Pierrot Lunaire at 100 series. Arnold Schoenberg’s masterpiece, a seminal work of twentieth-century modernism, still retains its power to delight, inspire and provoke. This series of lectures and concerts celebrates the 100th anniversary of its first performance on 16th October 1912.
BBC Radio3 Discovering Music
Talk on Schoenberg’s Second String Quartet: I haven’t listened to this yet (I will before Tuesday, probably more than once), but Stephen Johnston is usually a perceptive talker.
Schoenberg: String Quartet No. 2 in F sharp minor (Op. 10)
Recorded in front of an audience at West Road Concert Hall in Cambridge with the Quatuor Parisii and soprano, Rachel Nicholls, Stephen Johnson explores the ideas behind one of Arnold Schoenberg’s most extraordinary pieces, the Second String Quartet.
In this work the composer takes the listener on a journey from the music of late romanticism to the expressionism of the early twentieth century.