Author Topic: Pierrot Lunaire by Schoenberg  (Read 10441 times)

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Haffner

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Pierrot Lunaire by Schoenberg
« on: June 12, 2007, 04:53:26 AM »
I need help choosing from the multiple recordings of this famous Schoenberg piece! I was introduced to it online. Help please!
« Last Edit: June 12, 2007, 06:36:57 AM by Haffner »

karlhenning

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Re: Pierrot Lunaire by Schoenberg
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2007, 04:57:07 AM »
My favorite (and just your query, Andy, makes me wish I were at home to pop it into the player) is Anja Silja, Sprechstimme / Twentieth Century Classics Ensemble / Rob't Craft in a Naxos reissue:


Haffner

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Re: Pierrot Lunaire by Schoenberg
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2007, 05:08:00 AM »
My favorite (and just your query, Andy, makes me wish I were at home to pop it into the player) is Anja Silja, Sprechstimme / Twentieth Century Classics Ensemble / Rob't Craft in a Naxos reissue:






This might seem strangely coincidental, Karl, but that's the one I've been checking out most closely on Amazon.


Pierre Lunaire is a captivating piece. I was pretty floored from the first time I heard it on. The emotions it expresses can go from turgidity, horror, insanity...but that's just the negative side of it. I'll let someone else fill in the blanks on the other side of the coin.

Drasko

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karlhenning

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Re: Pierrot Lunaire by Schoenberg
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2007, 06:50:31 AM »
Mmm . . . fascinating disc, Milos! — portions of Pli selon pli, and the exquisite Webern Opus 16, with its paired-clarinet accompaniment.

Offline Todd

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Re: Pierrot Lunaire by Schoenberg
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2007, 08:00:43 AM »
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head-case

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Re: Pierrot Lunaire by Schoenberg
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2007, 08:58:20 AM »


You can get this recording with a weirdo video interpretation.  I'm not sure how much it adds to the experience.

Drasko

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Re: Pierrot Lunaire by Schoenberg
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2007, 09:09:03 AM »
Mmm . . . fascinating disc, Milos! — portions of Pli selon pli, and the exquisite Webern Opus 16, with its paired-clarinet accompaniment.

Wouldn't know actually, it does look like interesting program but I only had that Pierrot on tape [note to oneself to finally buy the disc] and what I found to be the ultimate clincher, besides being wonderful performance altogether, is Sziklay's German with slight Hungarian accent, so coquettish, simply irresistible. 

Haffner

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Re: Pierrot Lunaire by Schoenberg
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2007, 09:12:56 AM »
The dvd does look interesting! Probably best for me to enjoy many repeat listenings of this piece before checking out the modernist-looking video, huh?

head-case

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Re: Pierrot Lunaire by Schoenberg
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2007, 09:27:21 AM »
The dvd does look interesting! Probably best for me to enjoy many repeat listenings of this piece before checking out the modernist-looking video, huh?

I rate this DVD quite low on the aesthetic, although if memory serves at one point Schafer finds herself with no clothes on.  I don't recall if it occurred in the Schoenberg on in the Schumann.
 

Haffner

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Re: Pierrot Lunaire by Schoenberg
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2007, 09:31:41 AM »
I rate this DVD quite low on the aesthetic, although if memory serves at one point Schafer finds herself with no clothes on.  I don't recall if it occurred in the Schoenberg on in the Schumann.
 


 :D

Larry Rinkel

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Re: Pierrot Lunaire by Schoenberg
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2007, 04:45:56 PM »
The Weisberg/De Gaetani on Nonesuch would be my first choice among easily available recordings, and you get as a bonus the wonderful Hanging Gardens songs. I would absolutely not recommend the Boulez DGG; it's far too prettified and smooth for my liking, and misses the spookiness of the piece completely. The only reason I keep the disc is that it includes the wonderful short song Herzgewaechse, though Frln. Schaeffer has trouble with the extreme high F. It also includes the Ode to Napoleon, but as I really loathe the Ode to Napoleon, the less said about that the better.

But my ultimate Pierrot has never made it to CD, and it's the old Robert Craft version on Columbia LPs with Bethany Beardslee. That 2-LP set also contains outstanding versions of Erwartung, the Violin Concerto, and Die Glueckliche Hand.

I can't speak to the new Craft version, but his Naxos Gurrelieder is terrific.

Offline Daverz

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Re: Pierrot Lunaire by Schoenberg
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2007, 05:03:51 PM »


http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00000303W

That would be my choice as well.  Szikaly's singing/sprechgesang is very sexy.

However, for a first recording for non-German speakers I'd recommend  Lucy Shelton and the Da Capo Chamber Players on Bridge Records with both the original German version and a version in an excellent English translation by Anthony Porter.


Offline Dancing Divertimentian

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    probably something somebody somewhere is snickering at...wait, Schoenberg! Definitely Schoenberg! (And, let's see, does he have a disciple or two...)...
Re: Pierrot Lunaire by Schoenberg
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2007, 05:25:36 PM »
DeGaetani/Weisberg on Nonesuch for me.





There's also a version on Decca that's OOP but well worth mentioning in case someone stumbles upon it: Mary Thomas/Atherton with the London Sinfonietta.





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Offline mjwal

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Re: Pierrot Lunaire by Schoenberg
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2007, 02:38:18 AM »
Hi - I'm new here. I agree with those who have praised De Gaetani, Sziklay, Mary Thomas/Atherton (very Maxwell Davies-esque!) and, most recently Silja - whose very subtle & free interpretation is like a synthesis of old (I'm thinking of the first recording ever, overseen by Schoenberg) and new. I do not possess, but remember being extremely impressed by, the earlier Boulez recording with Helga Pilarczyk (the greatest Lulu in my experience, Hamburg 1966), where the instrumental part was unfortunately disadvantaged. The downside of the Sziklay is her faulty German, which can be irritating: "lachen" may not be pronounced "lashen". Finally, the Sziklay is also too lacking in the macabre & grotesque elements supplied by the others, and the instrumental part, though beautifully rendered, is slightly under-characterised compared with Atherton or Craft. The De Gaetani recording is very recommendable as a sort of double whammy, though my preferred version of the Buch der hängenden Gärten is by Fassbaender, but finally I have to go for the Silja/Craft, where you get a superb Herzgewächse with Hulse, op. 22 with Wyn-Rogers & op. 9 into the bargain.
The Violin's Obstinacy

It needs to return to this one note,
not a tune and not a key
but the sound of self it must depart from,
a journey lengthily to go
in a vein it knows will cripple it.
...
Peter Porter

karlhenning

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Re: Pierrot Lunaire by Schoenberg
« Reply #15 on: June 13, 2007, 02:47:56 AM »
The Herzgewächse is indeed lovely, too!

Offline val

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Re: Pierrot Lunaire by Schoenberg
« Reply #16 on: June 13, 2007, 02:59:29 AM »
My favorite version is the one of Erika Sziklay with the Budapest Chamber Orchestra conducted by Andras Mihaly. It seems to me the almost ideal synthesis between declamation and singing. The only problem here is the way Sziklay pronounces the German language, in special in the last song.

Larry Rinkel

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Re: Pierrot Lunaire by Schoenberg
« Reply #17 on: June 13, 2007, 03:05:54 AM »
Hi - I'm new here. I agree with those who have praised De Gaetani, Sziklay, Mary Thomas/Atherton (very Maxwell Davies-esque!) and, most recently Silja - whose very subtle & free interpretation is like a synthesis of old (I'm thinking of the first recording ever, overseen by Schoenberg) and new. I do not possess, but remember being extremely impressed by, the earlier Boulez recording with Helga Pilarczyk (the greatest Lulu in my experience, Hamburg 1966), where the instrumental part was unfortunately disadvantaged. The downside of the Sziklay is her faulty German, which can be irritating: "lachen" may not be pronounced "lashen". Finally, the Sziklay is also too lacking in the macabre & grotesque elements supplied by the others, and the instrumental part, though beautifully rendered, is slightly under-characterised compared with Atherton or Craft. The De Gaetani recording is very recommendable as a sort of double whammy, though my preferred version of the Buch der hängenden Gärten is by Fassbaender, but finally I have to go for the Silja/Craft, where you get a superb Herzgewächse with Hulse, op. 22 with Wyn-Rogers & op. 9 into the bargain.


How is the op. 22 on Craft? That set is infrequently recorded, and I have yet to hear a satisfying version.

Haffner

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Re: Pierrot Lunaire by Schoenberg
« Reply #18 on: June 13, 2007, 06:52:28 AM »
Mmm . . . fascinating disc, Milos! — portions of Pli selon pli, and the exquisite Webern Opus 16, with its paired-clarinet accompaniment.




Just oredered the Naxos and for good measure borrowed the Boulez disc from Das Bibliotek. Am excited to check out also on that disc the compositions of Webern whom up to now is entirely unknown to me.

Offline mjwal

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Re: Pierrot Lunaire by Schoenberg
« Reply #19 on: June 13, 2007, 10:30:57 AM »
"How is the op. 22 on Craft? That set is infrequently recorded, and I have yet to hear a satisfying version."
I only know this and the Boulez/Minton - is there another? The latter has better singing qua singing, but I feel that Wyn-Rogers, whose voice has an unfortunate beat & is not very flexible, understands more of her text than Yvonne Minton, and Craft gets much more dramatic expressiveness out of his orchestra than Boulez. The ideal version has yet to be made, but in the interim...
The Violin's Obstinacy

It needs to return to this one note,
not a tune and not a key
but the sound of self it must depart from,
a journey lengthily to go
in a vein it knows will cripple it.
...
Peter Porter