Brahms: Piano Quartet No. 1; Schoenberg: Accompanying Music to a Film Scene; Chamber Symphony No. 1

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide
The ever-brilliant Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic show off the arranging genius of Arnold Schoenberg, whom listeners might know best for his twelve-tone compositions and pedagogy. The composer, however, arranged Brahms' works for orchestra with so much success, in fact, that one can easily believe they are orchestral works by Brahms himself. The "Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor" is a perfect example of this. Reworked for a lush, grand orchestra, it begins with a moody theme that repeats throughout the first movement. The tempo picks up and then gives way to lyrical winds and a grand sound that is almost Russian in character. And yet, the orchestra can maintain an airy lightness when the music calls for it. A ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide
The ever-brilliant Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic show off the arranging genius of Arnold Schoenberg, whom listeners might know best for his twelve-tone compositions and pedagogy. The composer, however, arranged Brahms' works for orchestra with so much success, in fact, that one can easily believe they are orchestral works by Brahms himself. The "Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor" is a perfect example of this. Reworked for a lush, grand orchestra, it begins with a moody theme that repeats throughout the first movement. The tempo picks up and then gives way to lyrical winds and a grand sound that is almost Russian in character. And yet, the orchestra can maintain an airy lightness when the music calls for it. A livelier version of the haunting theme returns in the second movement, and Schoenberg has orchestrated the music so that the instruments are shown off best with their unique timbres. The third movement sounds characteristically Brahmsian, with its dotted rhythms, timpani, and its large scale of the orchestra. This shows Schoenberg's genius, for he truly understands the earlier master and can orchestrate piano music to truly sound like him. The conclusion is a wonderfully vigorous, violent piece that has echoes of Brahms' "Hungarian Dances," with its long lyrical lines that contrast with Brahms' legendary counterpoint. It is hard to believe that this was not written by Brahms for orchestra, except for the giveaway: Schoenberg's clever addition of a xylophone. "The Accompanying Music to a Film Scene" or, Begleitungsmusik is just that: very film-like and programmatic. It shimmers with various tone colors, moody and mysterious and full of angst, as the full German title suggests. Once again, it shows off Schoenberg's versatility and brilliance as a composer, how he plays with the listener's expectations by putting a climax earlier than the very end. It has a horror-film quality to it that is stirring, but the piece dies out calmly. The "Chamber Symphony No. 1" is not so much a structural piece as it is a flowing one; it is best not to question it, but to go along with it. It evolves seamlessly, using the strings in various unique ways, even including a lovely violin solo in the third movement. One can hear some of the famed twelve-tone method in the second movement as well. Overall, this is a wonderful introduction to Schoenberg for those who might feel intimidated by his less conventional work, but it is also a worthy addition to any Schoenberg fan's collection. ~ V. Vasan
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/13/2011
  • Label: Warner Classics
  • EAN: 5099945781520
  • Catalog Number: 57815
  • Sales rank: 199,175

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Chamber Symphony No. 1 in E major, Op. 9 - Arnold Schoenberg & Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra (21:58)
  2. 2 Accompaniment to a Film-Scene (Begleitungsmusik zu einer Lichtspielszene), Op. 34 - Arnold Schoenberg & Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra (9:14)
  3. 3 Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor, Op. 25 - Johannes Brahms & Arnold Schoenberg (42:25)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Simon Rattle Primary Artist
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