Author Topic: Schoenberg's Sheen  (Read 65883 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Cato

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 8253
  • An American Hero!
Re: Schoenberg's Sheen
« Reply #500 on: November 28, 2017, 05:51:34 PM »
This is not at all what I would have expected, a year ago.  But my recent re-investigation of Moses und Aron has me thinking that it may very well be my new favorite Schoenberg piece.  I do not know just what veil was hiding the music from me before.  But that veil is now rent.

It's an amazing work, dramatic, beautiful, searing, incisive, and carrying a greater impact than its relatively short runtime might suggest.  It seems like opera houses are beginning to catch on to this, too, as the more frequent performances in recent years have been very successful.


There are few endings as searing as Moses, pounding the ground in frustration, unable to communicate his internal, personal, fiery vision of Divinity directly to the fickle, skeptical, stubborn Hebrews.  I have always thought that the - musically - similar ending to another unfinished, religious work, Die Jakobsleiter must  have been echoing in Schoenberg's mind, during the composition of the opera.
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

Offline ritter

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 4934
  • La création du monde (Fernand Léger)
  • Location: "La Villa y Corte"
Re: Schoenberg's Sheen
« Reply #501 on: November 29, 2017, 12:34:05 AM »
There are few endings as searing as Moses, pounding the ground in frustration, unable to communicate his internal, personal, fiery vision of Divinity directly to the fickle, skeptical, stubborn Hebrews.  I have always thought that the - musically - similar ending to another unfinished, religious work, Die Jakobsleiter must  have been echoing in Schoenberg's mind, during the composition of the opera.
"O Wort, du Wort, das mir fehlt"....one of the greatest closing lines in operatic history (even if it was not intended to be a closing line)...Simply breathtaking.

I've seen Moses und Aron live twice, both times here in Madrid. First, concert version conducted by Sylvain Cambreling (and the work is so powerful that it works perfectly well as an oratorio). As an anecdote, when it finished, two American tourists (father and son, I gathered) who were in my box and seemed new to the work, were perplexed when the audience started to leave after the applause at the end of Act II. I explained to them that Act III had not been composed (they had seen the text printed in the program, and were expecting the performance to continue). Their reaction was: "What a pity! This has been wonderful!".

Then I saw the piece fully staged, in a very insightful production by Romeo Castellucci (imported from the Paris Opéra), and conducted by Lothar Koenings. Again, very gripping, and as much a Gesamtkunstwerk as one can imagine.

Here the famous live golden calf (or bull, in this case) from that prodcution:

« Last Edit: November 29, 2017, 12:49:05 AM by ritter »
Ritter
-------------------------------------------------------------
”Auch deine Träne ward zum Segenstaue: du weinest - sieh! es lacht die Aue”.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 50046
  • Et quid amabo nisi quod ænigma est?
    • Henningmusick
  • Location: Boston, Mass.
  • Currently Listening to:
    Shostakovich, Frescobaldi, Stravinsky, JS Bach, Liszt, Chopin, Haydn, Henning
Re: Schoenberg's Sheen
« Reply #502 on: November 29, 2017, 04:46:01 AM »
"O Wort, du Wort, das mir fehlt"....one of the greatest closing lines in operatic history (even if it was not intended to be a closing line)...Simply breathtaking.

I've seen Moses und Aron live twice, both times here in Madrid. First, concert version conducted by Sylvain Cambreling (and the work is so powerful that it works perfectly well as an oratorio). As an anecdote, when it finished, two American tourists (father and son, I gathered) who were in my box and seemed new to the work, were perplexed when the audience started to leave after the applause at the end of Act II. I explained to them that Act III had not been composed (they had seen the text printed in the program, and were expecting the performance to continue). Their reaction was: "What a pity! This has been wonderful!".

Then I saw the piece fully staged, in a very insightful production by Romeo Castellucci (imported from the Paris Opéra), and conducted by Lothar Koenings. Again, very gripping, and as much a Gesamtkunstwerk as one can imagine.

Here the famous live golden calf (or bull, in this case) from that prodcution:



Cool.

The amusing aspect to my experience this week is, I really do not know what kept me from tuning in to the opera, all these years.  It is not as if the musical language is any barrier (to me) – I love the idiom.

And, I mean, why November 2017, after all?

No matter:  I’m digging it, now.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Cato

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 8253
  • An American Hero!
Re: Schoenberg's Sheen
« Reply #503 on: December 01, 2017, 02:59:07 AM »

"O Wort, du Wort, das mir fehlt"....one of the greatest closing lines in operatic history (even if it was not intended to be a closing line)...Simply breathtaking.


Amen!  0:) 


I've seen Moses und Aron live twice, both times here in Madrid. First, concert version conducted by Sylvain Cambreling (and the work is so powerful that it works perfectly well as an oratorio). As an anecdote, when it finished, two American tourists (father and son, I gathered) who were in my box and seemed new to the work, were perplexed when the audience started to leave after the applause at the end of Act II. I explained to them that Act III had not been composed (they had seen the text printed in the program, and were expecting the performance to continue). Their reaction was: "What a pity! This has been wonderful!".


And because the ending of Act II is so powerful and true, I believe that Schoenberg's mind (unconscious or otherwise) sensed that fact, which is why Act III never happened musically.
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 50046
  • Et quid amabo nisi quod ænigma est?
    • Henningmusick
  • Location: Boston, Mass.
  • Currently Listening to:
    Shostakovich, Frescobaldi, Stravinsky, JS Bach, Liszt, Chopin, Haydn, Henning
Re: Schoenberg's Sheen
« Reply #504 on: December 01, 2017, 04:38:29 AM »
Like Jacob and the Angel, Schoenberg wrestled to find the harmony between Art and Idea.  Perhaps, yes, his inner artist resisted setting the brief third Act, as possibly too Idea-ish.

I mentioned (on the WAYLT thread, I think) that I feel inspired to set the libretto from the third Act.  Mahlerian informs us that Zoltán Kocsis thought of it first—which I am glad to learn.  I suspect that Kocsis has done it the Right Way, i.e., in the Master’s style, and employing the series-complex of the first two Acts.  I’m especially glad to suppose that this has been done, because I want simply to take the libretto as a text (not as a continuation of the opera), and set it my own way (however I discover that way to be, when I am engaged in the process).  Since I am thinking of rather a chamber music environment, my piece is not any proposal for a “fulfilment” of l’opéra entier.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Maestro267

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1329
  • Location: Wales
Re: Schoenberg's Sheen
« Reply #505 on: December 10, 2017, 05:46:59 AM »
I've finally gotten round to ordering a recording of Pelleas und Melisande, c/w Verklärte Nacht. Berlin PO conducted by Karajan. Looking forward to hearing these pieces at last.

Offline Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 9985
Re: Schoenberg's Sheen
« Reply #506 on: December 10, 2017, 06:16:23 AM »
Like Jacob and the Angel, Schoenberg wrestled to find the harmony between Art and Idea.  Perhaps, yes, his inner artist resisted setting the brief third Act, as possibly too Idea-ish.

I mentioned (on the WAYLT thread, I think) that I feel inspired to set the libretto from the third Act.  Mahlerian informs us that Zoltán Kocsis thought of it first—which I am glad to learn.  I suspect that Kocsis has done it the Right Way, i.e., in the Master’s style, and employing the series-complex of the first two Acts.  I’m especially glad to suppose that this has been done, because I want simply to take the libretto as a text (not as a continuation of the opera), and set it my own way (however I discover that way to be, when I am engaged in the process).  Since I am thinking of rather a chamber music environment, my piece is not any proposal for a “fulfilment” of l’opéra entier.

Tremendous! Good luck and I hope to get to hear it sometime.
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 44276
  • Bohuslav Martinů (1890 - 1959)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    The Opening of the Wells on Magic Nights
Re: Schoenberg's Sheen
« Reply #507 on: December 10, 2017, 10:53:56 AM »
I've finally gotten round to ordering a recording of Pelleas und Melisande, c/w Verklärte Nacht. Berlin PO conducted by Karajan. Looking forward to hearing these pieces at last.

Great stuff. A favorite recording of mine for sure. I suppose this is the recording you’re talking about?

“It must be beautiful, or it wouldn't be worth the effort.” - Bohuslav Martinů

Offline Maestro267

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1329
  • Location: Wales
Re: Schoenberg's Sheen
« Reply #508 on: December 12, 2017, 06:00:08 AM »
^ That's correct, yes.

It's interesting to note that Pelleas und Melisande was premiered at the same concert as another favourite symphonic poem of mine, Zemlinsky's Die Seejungfrau.

Offline Cato

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 8253
  • An American Hero!
Re: Schoenberg's Sheen
« Reply #509 on: December 12, 2017, 09:15:45 AM »


It's interesting to note that Pelleas und Melisande was premiered at the same concert as another favourite symphonic poem of mine, Zemlinsky's Die Seejungfrau.

Oh, the good old days!  Imagine a concert today with TWO premieres by living composers! 

I suppose it might be happening now and then somewhere.  Do any orchestras make it a habit of having at least one premiere for every concert?  I recall that being the goal of some conductors, but...

"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 50046
  • Et quid amabo nisi quod ænigma est?
    • Henningmusick
  • Location: Boston, Mass.
  • Currently Listening to:
    Shostakovich, Frescobaldi, Stravinsky, JS Bach, Liszt, Chopin, Haydn, Henning
Re: Schoenberg's Sheen
« Reply #510 on: December 12, 2017, 09:40:25 AM »
Oh, the good old days!  Imagine a concert today with TWO premieres by living composers!

Not both pieces of such scale (and the conductor is now in deserved disgrace) but . . . Jas Levine did indeed lead the BSO in a concert which featured the première of both Jn Harbison’s Darkbloom Overture and Chas Wuorinen’s Fourth Piano Concerto (or was it the Eighth Symphony? . . .)
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Mahlerian

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2966
Re: Schoenberg's Sheen
« Reply #511 on: December 12, 2017, 10:12:20 AM »
Not both pieces of such scale (and the conductor is now in deserved disgrace) but . . . Jas Levine did indeed lead the BSO in a concert which featured the première of both Jn Harbison’s Darkbloom Overture and Chas Wuorinen’s Fourth Piano Concerto (or was it the Eighth Symphony? . . .)

Whatever negative things one can say about Levine's character, he did show an admirable commitment to American music.  I first encountered Elliott Carter under his baton.
"l do not consider my music as atonal, but rather as non-tonal. I feel the unity of all keys. Atonal music by modern composers admits of no key at all, no feeling of any definite center." - Arnold Schoenberg

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 50046
  • Et quid amabo nisi quod ænigma est?
    • Henningmusick
  • Location: Boston, Mass.
  • Currently Listening to:
    Shostakovich, Frescobaldi, Stravinsky, JS Bach, Liszt, Chopin, Haydn, Henning
Re: Schoenberg's Sheen
« Reply #512 on: December 12, 2017, 10:15:42 AM »
Whatever negative things one can say about Levine's character, he did show an admirable commitment to American music.  I first encountered Elliott Carter under his baton.

And, even while he honored Ozawa's long-term "new-music monogamy" with John Harbison, Levine brought us Carter and Wuorinen, too, as observed.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

kishnevi

  • Guest
Re: Schoenberg's Sheen
« Reply #513 on: December 12, 2017, 06:12:39 PM »
Not both pieces of such scale (and the conductor is now in deserved disgrace) but . . . Jas Levine did indeed lead the BSO in a concert which featured the première of both Jn Harbison’s Darkbloom Overture and Chas Wuorinen’s Fourth Piano Concerto (or was it the Eighth Symphony? . . .)

Actually, both the concerto and the symphony. You do have this one, don't you?



ETA
Ah, I read that too hastily. The BSO did premiere both, but I have no idea which one might have been paired with the Harbison
« Last Edit: December 12, 2017, 06:15:21 PM by Jeffrey Smith »

Offline Mahlerian

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2966
Re: Schoenberg's Sheen
« Reply #514 on: February 25, 2018, 10:21:35 AM »
I was wondering, if one of the big label conglomerates were to produce a complete Schoenberg edition (unlikely, but perhaps for the 150th birthday coming up in a few years), how many discs would it fill?  The answer as far as I can tell (excluding most fragments) is 31.

Did I miss anything that Schoenberg wrote or arranged himself?

Schoenberg Complete Set (31 discs)

Arrangements of Other Composers' Works (4 discs):
1   - Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde
2   - Mahler: Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, Reger: Romantic Suite, J. Strauss: Waltzes
3   - Bach: Chorale Preludes, Prelude and Fugue in E-flat, Brahms: Piano Quintet in G minor
4   - Cello Concerto after Monn, String Quartet Concerto after Handel

Chamber Works for mixed ensembles (2 discs):
1   - Wind Quintet Op. 26, Chamber Symphony No. 1 (original version)
2   - Serenade Op. 24, Suite Op. 29, Three Pieces for Chamber Ensemble, Christmas Music

Chamber Works for Strings (4 discs):
1   - Juvenilia, String Quartet in D major
2   - String Quartet No. 1 in D minor, String Quartet No. 2 in F# minor
3   - String Quartet No. 3, String Quartet No. 4
4   - Verklarte Nacht (sextet), String Trio, Phantasy for violin with piano accompaniment

Choral Works (2 discs):
1   - Friede auf Erden, Deutsche Volkslieder (1st version), Canons for chorus, Four Pieces Op. 27, Three Satires Op. 28
2   - Six Pieces Op. 35, Kol Nidre Op. 39, A Survivor from Warsaw Op. 46, Deutsche Volkslieder (2nd version), Choral Works Op. 50a, 50b, 50c

Lieder (5 discs):
1-4 - Lieder for voice and piano
5    - Lieder for voice and orchestra Op. 8 and Op. 22, Herzgewachse, Lied der Waldtaube  (chamber version)

Melodrama (1 disc):
1   - Pierrot lunaire, Ode to Napoleon (chamber version)

Keyboard Music (1 disc):
1   - Works for solo piano, Variations on a Recitative for organ

Opera (4 discs):
1   - Erwartung, Der gluckliche Hand
2   - Von heute auf morgen
3/4 - Moses und Aron

Oratorio (3 discs):
1/2 - Gurrelieder
3    - Die Jakobsleiter

Orchestral Works (5 discs)
1   - Verklarte Nacht (string orchestra), String Quartet No. 2 (string orchestra)
2   - Pelleas und Melisande, Chamber Symphony No. 1 (full orchestra), Chamber Symphony No. 2
3   - Five Pieces Op. 16, Variations for orchestra, Accompaniment to a Cinema Scene, Ode to Napoleon (string orchestra version)
4   - Suite in G for Strings, Prelude to Genesis Op. 44, Theme and Variations Op. 43a
5   - Violin Concerto Op. 36, Piano Concerto Op. 42, Theme and Variations Op. 43b
"l do not consider my music as atonal, but rather as non-tonal. I feel the unity of all keys. Atonal music by modern composers admits of no key at all, no feeling of any definite center." - Arnold Schoenberg

Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 44276
  • Bohuslav Martinů (1890 - 1959)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    The Opening of the Wells on Magic Nights
Re: Schoenberg's Sheen
« Reply #515 on: February 25, 2018, 12:26:49 PM »
Be sure to do a better job of separating the atonal works from the tonal works next time. >:D ;D
“It must be beautiful, or it wouldn't be worth the effort.” - Bohuslav Martinů

Offline Mahlerian

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2966
Re: Schoenberg's Sheen
« Reply #516 on: February 25, 2018, 12:29:37 PM »
Be sure to do a better job of separating the atonal works from the tonal works next time. >:D ;D

If I ever hear an atonal Schoenberg work, I'll be sure to do that.
"l do not consider my music as atonal, but rather as non-tonal. I feel the unity of all keys. Atonal music by modern composers admits of no key at all, no feeling of any definite center." - Arnold Schoenberg

Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 44276
  • Bohuslav Martinů (1890 - 1959)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    The Opening of the Wells on Magic Nights
Re: Schoenberg's Sheen
« Reply #517 on: February 25, 2018, 01:10:36 PM »
If I ever hear an atonal Schoenberg work, I'll be sure to do that.

Sounds like a plan! ;)
“It must be beautiful, or it wouldn't be worth the effort.” - Bohuslav Martinů

Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 44276
  • Bohuslav Martinů (1890 - 1959)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    The Opening of the Wells on Magic Nights
Re: Schoenberg's Sheen
« Reply #518 on: February 25, 2018, 01:52:57 PM »
But seriously, I think you did a good job with your organization, Mahlerian. I do often wonder why a Schoenberg complete edition hasn’t been offered. Now’s as good as a time as any I would think. I’d definitely buy it even if I own most of the performances, because of the sheer value of it.
“It must be beautiful, or it wouldn't be worth the effort.” - Bohuslav Martinů

Offline Mahlerian

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2966
Re: Schoenberg's Sheen
« Reply #519 on: February 25, 2018, 04:47:28 PM »
But seriously, I think you did a good job with your organization, Mahlerian. I do often wonder why a Schoenberg complete edition hasn’t been offered. Now’s as good as a time as any I would think. I’d definitely buy it even if I own most of the performances, because of the sheer value of it.

Thanks.  Well, we can only hope that the 150th birthday in 2024 is seen as enough of an occasion to commemorate.  My sense is that Schoenberg's music is being performed more regularly today in Europe than it was before, although it's still something of a rarity on US orchestral programs.
"l do not consider my music as atonal, but rather as non-tonal. I feel the unity of all keys. Atonal music by modern composers admits of no key at all, no feeling of any definite center." - Arnold Schoenberg