The Works of Arnold Schoenberg, Vol. 1

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
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 ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/29/2009
  • Label: Naxos
  • UPC: 747313522330
  • Catalog Number: 8505223
  • Sales rank: 113,034

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–4 Concerto for string quartet & orchestra (after Handel's Concerto Grosso, Op.6/7) - Arnold Schoenberg & Arnold Schoenberg (20:37)
  2. 5–9 Suite for Piano, Op. 25 - Arnold Schoenberg & Arnold Schoenberg (13:18)
  3. 6 Lied der Waldtaube, for mezzo-soprano & 17 instruments (arr. from "Gurrelieder") - Arnold Schoenberg & Arnold Schoenberg (12:55)
  4. 11–25 The Book of the Hanging Gardens, cycle of songs (15) for voice & piano, Op. 15 - Arnold Schoenberg & Arnold Schoenberg (26:27)
  5. 12 A Conversation with Arnold Schoenberg - Spoken Word & Arnold Schoenberg (6:27)
Disc 2
  1. 1–7 Serenade for baritone & septet, Op. 24 - Arnold Schoenberg & Arnold Schoenberg (33:17)
  2. 8–19 Variations for Orchestra, Op. 31 - Arnold Schoenberg & Arnold Schoenberg (20:30)
  3. 9 Transcription for orchestra of Bach's Prelude & Fugue in E flat major: Fuga (St Anne) - Arnold Schoenberg & Arnold Schoenberg (5:55)
  4. 10 Transcription for orchestra of Bach's "Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele" - Arnold Schoenberg & Arnold Schoenberg (5:33)
  5. 11 Transcription for orchestra of Bach's "Komm, Gott Schöpfer, heiliger Geist" - Arnold Schoenberg & Arnold Schoenberg (2:24)
Disc 3
  1. 1–5 Pieces (5) for orchestra, Op. 16 - Arnold Schoenberg & Arnold Schoenberg (16:57)
  2. 6–8 Cello Concerto (transcription of Matthias Georg Monn's "Concerto for keyboard & orchestra in D major") (also for cello & piano) - Arnold Schoenberg & Arnold Schoenberg (17:06)
  3. 9–12 Transcription for orchestra of Brahms' Piano Quartet No.1 in G minor - Arnold Schoenberg & Arnold Schoenberg (42:45)
Disc 4
  1. 1–2 Chamber Symphony No. 2 in E flat minor, Op. 38 - Arnold Schoenberg & Arnold Schoenberg (18:50)
  2. 3–6 Die glückliche Hand, 1-act drama, Op. 18 - Arnold Schoenberg & Arnold Schoenberg (21:14)
  3. 7–10 Quintet for winds, Op. 26 - Arnold Schoenberg & Arnold Schoenberg (38:10)
Disc 5
  1. 1 A Survivor from Warsaw, for narrator, male chorus & orchestra, Op. 46 - Arnold Schoenberg & Arnold Schoenberg (7:16)
  2. 2 Prelude, for wordless chorus & orchestra (for collaborative cantata "Genesis Suite"), Op. 44 - Arnold Schoenberg & Arnold Schoenberg (6:15)
  3. 3 Dreimal tausend Jahre, for chorus, Op. 50a - Arnold Schoenberg & Arnold Schoenberg (2:50)
  4. 4 De Profundis, for chorus, Op. 50b - Arnold Schoenberg & Arnold Schoenberg (5:01)
  5. 5 Ode to Napoleon Buonaparte, for narrator, piano & strings, Op. 41 - Arnold Schoenberg & Arnold Schoenberg (15:03)
  6. 6–8 Violin Concerto, Op. 36 - Arnold Schoenberg & Arnold Schoenberg (34:32)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Robert Craft Primary Artist
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