Schoenberg conducts Pierrot Lunaire (excerpts)

November 10, 2008

Here is a piece I love to hear (but not all the time). “Pierrot Lunaire” conducted by the composer, Arnold Schoenberg (exerpts here). I’m just imagining what his face must have looked like while he was conducting this. I love the wild energy of this piece. (The eccentric singing style is called sprechstimme.)

Opus 21, from 1912. On words by Albert Giraud. From the first part: Der kranke Mond. From the second part: Nacht; Gebet an Pierrot; Raub; Rote Messe; Galgenlied; Enthauptung.

“Heavy, gloomy giant black moths
Massacred the sun’s bright rays (…)
And from heaven earthward bound
Downward sink with sombre pinions
Unperceived, great hordes of monsters
On the hearts and souls of mankind
Heavy, gloomy giant black moths”

“Pierrot ! My laughter I have unlearnt”

Erika Stiedry-von Wagner, recitation
Rudolf Kolisch, violin
Stefan Auber, cello
Eduard Steuermann, piano
Leonard Posella, flute & piccolo
Kalman Bloch, clarinet & bass clarinet

Recording dates from 1940, but was re-issued in 1951.

Arnold Schoenberg self portrait

Arnold Schoenberg self portrait

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