Schoenberg’s A Survivor from Warsaw

Another post in my Schoenberg campaign.

There’s a highly recommended (by me) concert at the Royal Festival Hall in London on Wednesday.28.November.2012 at 19:30:

It’s a good programme, but I especially want to recommend it for Schoenberg’s “A Survivor from Warsaw” for orchestra, speaker and male chorus: think of the emotional power of, say, the first movements of Tchaikovsky’s 4th or 6th Symphonies, and then maybe double that.

Some years ago I was at a performance at the RFH which was reviewed as being somewhat lacklustre and subdued. From which I deduce that if it’s likely that a performance will be full-blooded then Health & Safety requires that audience members should have a medical before attending and only those classified as military service A1 should be permitted to attend.

Seriously, “A Survivor from Warsaw” is a piece that really should be experienced live in a concert hall: if you think of Schoenberg as being dry and academic (etc), then this piece could change your mind.

*** Details:

Ludwig Van Beethoven: Overture, Fidelio
Arnold Schoenberg: Ode to Napoleon for reciter, piano & string quartet, Op.41
Arnold Schoenberg: A Survivor from Warsaw, Op.46
Luigi Nono: Julius Fucik
segue into
Ludwig Van Beethoven: Symphony No.5

London Philharmonic Orchestra
Vladimir Jurowski conductor
Robert Hayward narrator
Annabel Arden director
Omar Ebrahim Fucik
Malcolm Sinclair Voice
Gentlemen of the London Philharmonic Choir

Jurowski conducts a powerful and gripping programme of Beethoven and Schoenberg.

Few composers have done more to overthrow tyrannies both real and creative than Schoenberg and Beethoven. Images of the misuse of power pervade Schoenberg’s outspoken Ode to Napoleon Bonaparte, a cutting, visceral creation after Byron that was created in political circumstances but more functionally designed to mark 20 years of the League of Composers.

Most members of that organisation had been freed to some extent by the theoretical upheavals of Beethoven, whose mighty Fifth Symphony changed the way music was conceived – in the head and on the stage. Freedom reigns in this evening of powerful musical gestures.

Free pre-concert event, 6.15pm until 6.45pm, Royal Festival Hall
Composer and academic Silvina Milstein looks at the works of Nono and Schoenberg.

Free post-concert event on The Clore Ballroom Floor at Royal Festival Hall
Artists involved in the performance will discuss the evening’s programme.


About Colin Bartlett

I'm interested in arts, mathematics, science. Suliram is a partial conflation of the names of three good actors: Ira Aldridge, Anna May Wong, and another. My intention is to use a personal experience of arts to make some points, but without being too "me me me" about it. And to follow Strunk's Elements of Style. Except that I won't always "be definite": I prefer Niels Bohr's precept that you shouldn't write clearer than you think.
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