- Verklärte Nacht, for string sextet, Op. 4 - Arnold Schoenberg - Eduard Steuermann - Wolfram M. Burgert - Richard Dehmel - Paul Klee
Arnold Schoenberg: Verklärte Nacht; Eduard Steuermann: Piano Trioby Ravinia Trio
Despite its somewhat chilly reception at its 1902 premiere, Arnold Schoenberg's "Verklärte Nacht" has since established itself as one of his most well-known, often-performed compositions. Based on a poem by Richard Dehmel, the work was originally scored for string sextet, which gave the programmatic score a distinctly intimate setting for the evocative poem. Schoenberg made his own arrangement for string orchestra soon thereafter; although it is frequently performed in this format, the larger ensemble takes away from some of the intimacy and transparency of its original scoring. Best known as a pianist and champion of music from the Second Viennese School, Eduard Steuermann also studied composition with Schoenberg for a short time and made arrangements of several of his works. In 1932, he penned the piano trio arrangement of "Verklärte Nacht" heard on this album. Unlike the larger string orchestra arrangement, Steuermann's smaller scoring preserves much of the original transparency and intimacy of the original. His own piano trio, written some two decades later, clearly shows the influence of Schoenberg, but is also quite independent, particularly in the freedom with which he applies Schoenberg's twelve-tone system. Performing on this 1992 recording is the Ravinia Trio, an ensemble originally formed in 1989. Each of the members has strong technique, and in most respects they play together quite well. Balance is exceptionally good, particularly in the Schoenberg, and the trio obviously shares a unified vision of the musical interpretation of both scores. What is not always shared is a consistent center of pitch, a fact that often detracts from listener enjoyment. Still, hearing both of these works together is a rare treat, and listeners interested in music from this school would still find this disc enjoyable.
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Performance CreditsRavinia Trio Primary Artist
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