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Works of Arnold Schoenberg, Vol. 1
     

The Works of Arnold Schoenberg, Vol. 1

by Robert Craft
 
Robert Craft performed a valuable service by recording the complete works of Arnold Schoenberg at a time when many of them were not otherwise available. Though the American conductor was Igor Stravinsky's dedicated musical amanuensis during the Russian composer's final decades, he was also devoted to the works of the Austrian composer,

Overview

Robert Craft performed a valuable service by recording the complete works of Arnold Schoenberg at a time when many of them were not otherwise available. Though the American conductor was Igor Stravinsky's dedicated musical amanuensis during the Russian composer's final decades, he was also devoted to the works of the Austrian composer, and these recordings testify to the degree of his devotion. Using world-class orchestras such as the Philharmonia and the London Symphony, Craft creates unfailingly precise readings of such tremendously difficult works as "Variations for Orchestra" and "Five Pieces for Orchestra." Using first-rank soloists like mezzo-soprano Jennifer Lane and bass Stephen Varcoe, Craft delivers uncannily accurate accounts of the "Serenade" and the one-act opera, "Die glücklicke Hand." But beyond devotion and precision, Craft gives nothing to Schoenberg's music, and what's most conspicuously missing is feeling: dread in "Die glückliche Hand," anxiety in "Five Pieces," fury in "A Survivor from Warsaw," affection in the Bach arrangements, and drop-jawed awe in the "Woodwind Quintet." These letter-perfect readings inspire admiration, but one feels nothing in these performances. There was a time when devotion and precision were not qualities often associated with Schoenberg performances, when Craft's versions would have been more than enough. But now that there are outstanding performances by interpreters like Claudio Abbado and Pierre Boulez, which are both precise and passionately felt, it's hard to warm up to Craft's accounts. Originally recorded by Koch International and reissued by Naxos, the digital sound here is rich, deep, and colorful, all qualities sadly lacking in Craft's interpretations.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/29/2009
Label:
Naxos
UPC:
0747313522330
catalogNumber:
8505223
Rank:
177832

Tracks

Disc 1

  1. Concerto for string quartet & orchestra (after Handel's Concerto Grosso, Op.6/7)

    1. Largo - Allegro  (05:04)
    2. Largo  (03:09)
    3. Allegretto grazioso  (06:35)
    4. Hornpipe  (05:49)
  2. Suite for Piano, Op. 25

    1. Präludium  (00:54)
    2. Gavotte - Musette - Gavotte  (03:11)
    3. Intermezzo  (03:09)
    4. Menuett; Trio; Menuett da capo  (03:21)
    5. Gigue  (02:43)
  3. Lied der Waldtaube, for mezzo-soprano & 17 instruments (arr. from "Gurrelieder")  (12:55)
  4. The Book of the Hanging Gardens, cycle of songs (15) for voice & piano, Op. 15

    1. [Part 1]  (02:15)
    2. [Part 2]  (01:23)
    3. [Part 3]  (01:43)
    4. [Part 4]  (01:35)
    5. [Part 5]  (01:08)
    6. [Part 6]  (01:06)
    7. [Part 7]  (01:07)
    8. [Part 8]  (00:43)
    9. [Part 9]  (01:34)
    10. [Part 10]  (02:06)
    11. [Part 11]  (02:36)
    12. [Part 12]  (01:57)
    13. [Part 13]  (01:38)
    14. [Part 14]  (00:48)
    15. [Part 15]  (04:48)
  5. A Conversation with Arnold Schoenberg  (06:27)

Disc 2

  1. Serenade for baritone & septet, Op. 24

    1. March  (04:14)
    2. Menuet  (07:02)
    3. Variations  (04:07)
    4. Sonnet by Petrarch  (03:02)
    5. Dance Steps  (07:03)
    6. Song Without Words  (02:34)
    7. Finale  (05:15)
  2. Variations for Orchestra, Op. 31

    1. Introduction  (01:28)
    2. Theme  (00:55)
    3. Variation 1  (01:05)
    4. Variation 2  (01:43)
    5. Variation 3  (00:41)
    6. Variation 4  (01:19)
    7. Variation 5  (02:00)
    8. Variation 6  (01:26)
    9. Variation 7  (02:14)
    10. Variation 8  (00:36)
    11. Variation 9  (00:58)
    12. Finale  (06:05)
  3. Transcription for orchestra of Bach's Prelude & Fugue in E flat major: Fuga (St Anne)

    1. Fuga (St Anne)  (05:55)
  4. Transcription for orchestra of Bach's "Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele"  (05:33)
  5. Transcription for orchestra of Bach's "Komm, Gott Schöpfer, heiliger Geist"  (02:24)

Disc 3

  1. Pieces (5) for orchestra, Op. 16

    1. Premonitions  (02:12)
    2. The Past  (05:17)
    3. Chord-Colours  (03:10)
    4. Peripeteia  (02:10)
    5. The Obbligato Recitative  (04:08)
  2. Cello Concerto (transcription of Matthias Georg Monn's "Concerto for keyboard & orchestra in D major") (also for cello & piano)

    1. Allegro moderato  (06:55)
    2. Andante, alla Marcia  (04:53)
    3. Tempo di Minuetto  (05:18)
  3. Transcription for orchestra of Brahms' Piano Quartet No.1 in G minor

    1. Allegro  (13:49)
    2. Intermezzo: Allegro ma non troppo  (09:09)
    3. Andante con moto  (10:59)
    4. Rondo alla zingarese: Presto  (08:48)

Disc 4

  1. Chamber Symphony No. 2 in E flat minor, Op. 38

    1. Adagio  (07:20)
    2. Con fuoco  (11:30)
  2. Die glückliche Hand, 1-act drama, Op. 18

    1. 1. Bild  (03:15)
    2. 2. Bild  (05:11)
    3. 3. Bild  (06:57)
    4. 4. Bild  (05:51)
  3. Quintet for winds, Op. 26

    1. 1. Schwungvoll  (11:55)
    2. 2. Anmutig und heiter; Scherzando  (09:09)
    3. 3. Etwas langsam. Poco adagio  (08:44)
    4. 4. Rondo  (08:22)

Disc 5

  1. A Survivor from Warsaw, for narrator, male chorus & orchestra, Op. 46  (07:16)
  2. Prelude, for wordless chorus & orchestra (for collaborative cantata "Genesis Suite"), Op. 44  (06:15)
  3. Dreimal tausend Jahre, for chorus, Op. 50a  (02:50)
  4. De Profundis, for chorus, Op. 50b  (05:01)
  5. Ode to Napoleon Buonaparte, for narrator, piano & strings, Op. 41  (15:03)
  6. Violin Concerto, Op. 36

    1. Poco allegro - Vivace  (12:54)
    2. Andante grazioso  (09:12)
    3. Finale: Allegro  (12:26)

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