BERG; BUSONI; WEBRN; ZEMLINSKY Lieder

Author: 
Richard Fairman
ZZT345. BERG; BUSONI; WEBRN; ZEMLINSKY LiederBERG; BUSONI; WEBRN; ZEMLINSKY Lieder

BERG; BUSONI; WEBRN; ZEMLINSKY Lieder

  • Berceuse élégiaque
  • (7) Frühe Lieder
  • (6) Gesänge nach Maeterlinck
  • Passacaglia

The short-lived Society for Private Musical Performances, founded by Schoenberg and his pupils, is the inspiration for this unusual disc. Restricted by their limited funds, the Society’s concerts regularly offered full-scale works in modest arrangements. As a result, reductions exist of a fair number of pieces by Second Viennese School composers for small, flexible ensembles, and it is in that spirit that Reinbert de Leeuw has conceived this programme. Old or new, the arrangements mostly employ nine or ten instruments and crucially include the distinctive sounds of harmonium and piano.

This is a world of shimmering beauty, reflected in glowing colours. Busoni’s dreamy Berceuse élégiaque, in an arrangement by Schoenberg, sets the tone. Then two sets of songs – Berg’s Seven Early Songs and Zemlinsky’s little-heard Six Songs after Maeterlinck – are sung with light, lyrical warmth by soprano Katrien Baerts. De Leeuw’s arrangements of the Berg engage the most suggestive of colours, subtly underpinned by the harmonium (there is little of the post-Wagnerian lushness found in Berg’s own version for full orchestra). Various hands were involved in the arrangements of the Zemlinsky songs, which range from a dark, fairy-tale ambience to Pelléas-like, barely suppressed passion. The disc ends with Webern’s Op 1 Passacaglia, arranged again by de Leeuw and played on a surprisingly large scale by the fine musicians of Het Collectief. Only just over 50 minutes’ playing time, but this is a disc where size is pointedly not the issue.

Gramophone Subscriptions

From£64/year

Gramophone Print

Gramophone Print

no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From£64/year
Subscribe
From£64/year

Gramophone Reviews

Gramophone Reviews

no Print Edition
no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Events & Offers
From£64/year
Subscribe
From£64/year

Gramophone Digital Edition

Gramophone Digital Edition

no Print Edition
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From£64/year
Subscribe

If you are a library, university or other organisation that would be interested in an institutional subscription to Gramophone please click here for further information.

© MA Business and Leisure Ltd. 2017