Author Topic: Schoenberg's Sheen  (Read 124050 times)

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Offline Lisztianwagner

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Re: Schoenberg's Sheen
« Reply #820 on: July 24, 2022, 06:15:19 AM »
I don't really remember the Fauré (neither the Schoenberg very well) but Sibelius' P&M is a rather lightweight romantic incidental music barely comparable with a 40-45 min. tone poem. I once read that Zemlinsky's "Mermaid" was overshadowed by Schoenberg's "Pelleas" back in the day. Overall, large scale tone poems are not quite as popular as they might have been, especially if they are rather unflashy (that Strauss still does quite well might be because most of his are shorter and more picturesque and "orchestral spectacular").

Indeed, although Schönberg's Pelleas was heavily booed by the audience at the prèmiere; it's quite unfair Zemlinsky never got (and hasn't got either yet) all the appreciation he deserved, because Die Seejungfrau is an astounding work.
About Richard Strauss, he wrote in a letter some years later: "He would be better off shovelling snow than scribbling on manuscript paper".
« Last Edit: July 24, 2022, 02:18:11 PM by Lisztianwagner »
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Offline TheGSMoeller

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Re: Schoenberg's Sheen
« Reply #821 on: July 30, 2022, 04:47:12 PM »
Cross posting from WOperaAYLT...



Finally got around to watching these two operas, and didn't realize until I started Salome that they were both staged by Romeo Castellucci. For musical performance and interpretation they were both excellent, and the leads of both operas were spectacular, especially Asmik Grigorian as Salome.
The stage production of Moses was mesmerizing while the Salome was not as effective. Moses begins in a calming haze of white that eventually fades as the opera gets closer to the second act. Aron's rod looks like it's straight out of Kubrick's 2001, and yes that is a real bull being used on stage. It eventually becomes a pretty messy stage (literally with black ink) and closes with mountain climbers, but the minimalist set allows for an easy focus on the words and music, and since, I believe, the majority of the setting is just "the desert" this leaves plenty of room for visual interpretation, which I feel worked brilliantly here. It was a shocking yet stunning production, one I will revisit soon. Moses und Aron is quickly moving into my top 5 favorite operas.
Salome filmed at the Salzburg Festival, is performed on a huge stage and perhaps that is the reason it didn't necessarily translate well onto a TV but I felt I was missing things as watching. And some of the staged choices by Castellucci meant no actually dancing during the famous "dance" number, and at the end nothing or nobody visibly kills Salome, which for someone not familiar with the opera or story might've left confused. But still sounded great, would love to have this on a CD version.   

Next up in my BluRay collection is a Death in Venice production and a revisit of Birtwistle's The Minotaur.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Schoenberg's Sheen
« Reply #822 on: July 30, 2022, 06:05:06 PM »
Indeed, although Schönberg's Pelleas was heavily booed by the audience at the prèmiere; it's quite unfair Zemlinsky never got (and hasn't got either yet) all the appreciation he deserved, because Die Seejungfrau is an astounding work.
About Richard Strauss, he wrote in a letter some years later: "He would be better off shovelling snow than scribbling on manuscript paper".

Unfortunately, this is just the way things turned out. Zemlinsky was rather popular towards the beginning of his career, especially when he was a conductor, but with the rise of the Nazis, he fled to the US where no one knew him (Bartók, of course, had a similar fate, although he did receive some recognition). I think Zemlinsky taught at a college in New York or something and died alone. Schoenberg had his own problems, too, but it seemed that he did rather well for himself in the US and had several students that would go on and have successful careers of their own. Still, it does seem that no matter what happened The Second Viennese School and all of the composers associated with this school were never going to be popular. An interesting anecdote about Strauss and Schoenberg is even though Strauss did indeed write such things about Schoenberg, there was never any negative feelings from Schoenberg about Strauss. In fact, Schoenberg revered Strauss until the end of life even though he knew Strauss wasn't a big fan of his music.
"Humility is society's greatest misconception."

My "Top 5" Favorite Composers: Debussy, Mahler, Strauss, Sibelius and Bartók


Offline Lisztianwagner

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Re: Schoenberg's Sheen
« Reply #823 on: July 31, 2022, 07:06:01 AM »
Unfortunately, this is just the way things turned out. Zemlinsky was rather popular towards the beginning of his career, especially when he was a conductor, but with the rise of the Nazis, he fled to the US where no one knew him (Bartók, of course, had a similar fate, although he did receive some recognition). I think Zemlinsky taught at a college in New York or something and died alone. Schoenberg had his own problems, too, but it seemed that he did rather well for himself in the US and had several students that would go on and have successful careers of their own. Still, it does seem that no matter what happened The Second Viennese School and all of the composers associated with this school were never going to be popular. An interesting anecdote about Strauss and Schoenberg is even though Strauss did indeed write such things about Schoenberg, there was never any negative feelings from Schoenberg about Strauss. In fact, Schoenberg revered Strauss until the end of life even though he knew Strauss wasn't a big fan of his music.

I'm not sure Zemlinsky taught at a college, since no longer after arriving in America, he suffered from the first of a series of strokes that left him quite ill and paralyzed one of his arm; but he was described as a very old, broken man even before he left Europe. At least, he received some recognition before he died when his Sinfonietta was highly praised by audience and critics (by Schönberg too) at its American prèmiere. Yes, despite all the difficulties, Schönberg made a successful transition to a renewed career in the US, he also offered help to Zemlinsky to come to California too, but Zemlinsky was too ill to travel.
Well, I don't know how much Schönberg revered Strauss, as he said: "He is no longer of the slightest artistic interest to me, and whatever I may once have learnt from him, I am thankful to say I misunderstood".  ;) But that was in 1910, maybe then he changed idea.
About the little popularity of the Second Viennese School and the composers associated, I agree it's quite unfair, because that music is really outstanding; many people preferred and prefer less complex music and pieces that make the foot tap to the rhythm.
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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Schoenberg's Sheen
« Reply #824 on: July 31, 2022, 08:23:34 AM »
I'm not sure Zemlinsky taught at a college, since no longer after arriving in America, he suffered from the first of a series of strokes that left him quite ill and paralyzed one of his arm. [snip]

I never knew that bout Zemlinsky. While I hope to keep my "stroke count" down to just the one, I see that in the slow recovery of my left hand, I have something in common with a past relatively unknown composer of excellence.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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Offline Lisztianwagner

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Re: Schoenberg's Sheen
« Reply #825 on: July 31, 2022, 12:19:50 PM »
I never knew that bout Zemlinsky. While I hope to keep my "stroke count" down to just the one, I see that in the slow recovery of my left hand, I have something in common with a past relatively unknown composer of excellence.

I'm very sorry to read that, Karl, I hope you've recovered and you're doing better now.

By the way, since some days ago you asked about Rattle's work in Berlin, he recorded a superb performance of Schönberg's Gurre-Lieder:

"Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire." - Gustav Mahler

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Schoenberg's Sheen
« Reply #826 on: July 31, 2022, 12:41:20 PM »
I'm very sorry to read that, Karl, I hope you've recovered and you're doing better now.

By the way, since some days ago you asked about Rattle's work in Berlin, he recorded a superb performance of Schönberg's Gurre-Lieder:



Grazie, Ilaria! Va bene.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
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Offline Lisztianwagner

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Re: Schoenberg's Sheen
« Reply #827 on: August 06, 2022, 01:57:46 PM »
I listened to Schönberg's Cello Concerto (after Monn's Harpsichord Concerto in D major) for the first time and I really enjoyed it, it was a very enchanting, brilliant piece. Like the String Concerto (after Haendel), it doesn't share many similarities with the original work, apart from the use of tonality, the three-movements structure and the beginning, but then it freely develops in a very different way. At first, the movements elegantly started with clarity in a baroque style, but soon after few passages, the clear and beautiful 18th-century atmospheres were darkened in sudden variations of the rhythmic flow, which was often interrupted and confused, like a game of parodies of Neoclassicism; the orchestration showed great inventiveness to combine strident 20th-century solutions to the 18th-century geometries and indeed I liked how the precise, harmonious texture was rarefied because of unexpected instrumental entries, especially brass and percussion, that created sharp, dissonant contrasts and seemed to tangle the melodic scheme; the solo cello tried to retie the lines, but it didn't disdain to contribute to dissonance too.
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Online vers la flamme

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Re: Schoenberg's Sheen
« Reply #828 on: August 06, 2022, 02:53:17 PM »
I listened to Schönberg's Cello Concerto (after Monn's Harpsichord Concerto in D major) for the first time and I really enjoyed it, it was a very enchanting, brilliant piece. Like the String Concerto (after Haendel), it doesn't share many similarities with the original work, apart from the use of tonality, the three-movements structure and the beginning, but then it freely develops in a very different way. At first, the movements elegantly started with clarity in a baroque style, but soon after few passages, the clear and beautiful 18th-century atmospheres were darkened in sudden variations of the rhythmic flow, which was often interrupted and confused, like a game of parodies of Neoclassicism; the orchestration showed great inventiveness to combine strident 20th-century solutions to the 18th-century geometries and indeed I liked how the precise, harmonious texture was rarefied because of unexpected instrumental entries, especially brass and percussion, that created sharp, dissonant contrasts and seemed to tangle the melodic scheme; the solo cello tried to retie the lines, but it didn't disdain to contribute to dissonance too.

I like it too; might have to revisit tonight.

Offline Lisztianwagner

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Re: Schoenberg's Sheen
« Reply #829 on: August 06, 2022, 03:01:43 PM »
I like it too; might have to revisit tonight.

Very nice; I only have the Craft/PO recording for the Cello Concerto, I should try other versions for a comparison; which one do you prefer instead?
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Re: Schoenberg's Sheen
« Reply #830 on: August 06, 2022, 05:17:10 PM »
Very nice; I only have the Craft/PO recording for the Cello Concerto, I should try other versions for a comparison; which one do you prefer instead?

That's the one I've got too. It's really good!

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Schoenberg's Sheen
« Reply #831 on: August 06, 2022, 05:24:07 PM »
That's the one I've got too. It's really good!

It is, indeed. Fred Sherry is superb!
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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[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