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Karajan: 3 Classic Albums - Berg: Three Pieces , Op. 6; Lyric Suite; Schoenberg: Verklärte Nacht; Variations, Op. 31; Pelleas und Melisande; Webern: Passacaglia; Five Pieces, Op. 10; Symphony, Op. 21; Six Pieces for Orch. Op. 6 / Berlin PO

Album Summary

>Schoenberg, Arnold : Verklärte Nacht, for string orchestra (arr. from String Sextet, Op.4)
>Schoenberg, Arnold : Variations for Orchestra, Op. 31
>Berg, Alban : Pieces (3) for orchestra, Op. 6
>Berg, Alban : Lyric Suite, for orchestra (arr. from Nos.2-4 of string quartet version)
>Schoenberg, Arnold : Pelleas und Melisande, symphonic poem, Op. 5
>Webern, Anton : Passacaglia for orchestra, Op. 1
>Webern, Anton : Movements (5), version for string orchestra, Op. 5
>Webern, Anton : Pieces (6) for orchestra, Op. 6
>Webern, Anton : Symphony, Op. 21
Conductor Ensembles Composers

Notes & Reviews:

3 GREAT albums presented in original cover art, by one artist, at the price of just a single full-price album.

SCHOENBERG:Verklärte Nacht op. 4 / Variations op. 31 Schoenberg's sumptuously late-Romantic Verklärte Nacht (Transfigured Night) closely follows a poem by Richard Dehmel in which two lovers wander through the trees on a cold moonlit night. The girl is pregnant by another, but her new lover reassures her that their love will help bind the child to them. Originally for sextet, it was later arranged by the composer for string orchestra. Karajan's"committed, beautifully played" recording (High Fidelity) was made in 1973. In the Variations (1926-28), Schoenberg's first serial work for large orchestra, his thematic manipulation is equally compelling. The lyrical theme is played by cellos after an extended introduction, and the variations are differentiated through tempo, texture and color. This is the work of Schoenberg's that most fascinated Karajan, who first conducted it in 1962. In 1974, when he made this "powerfully dramatic" recording (Gramophone), he reseated the orchestra for each variation and demanded that certain instruments be separated by Plexiglas for greater audibility. "In our recording", wrote the conductor, "we could realize Schoenberg's ideas and intentions in a way that would never be possible in a concert."

BERG: 3 Orchestral Pieces op. 6 / 3 Pieces from "Lyric Suite" SCHOENBERG: Pelléas et Mélisande op. 5 Arnold Schoenberg pushed musical expression beyond all traditional bounds and paid a price for his artistic integrity. Even his early Pelleas und Melisande (1902-3), still opulently late Romantic, was coolly received when he conducted the premiere in Vienna in 1905. Alban Berg, together with Schoenberg and another of his pupils, Anton Webern, helped break the bounds of traditional harmony. His powerful works, including the two heard here - the expressionistic, quasi-symphonic Three Pieces for Orchestra (1914-15) and the gripping Lyric Suite (for string quartet, 1925-26; three movements orchestrated in 1928) - are among the most compelling masterpieces of modern music. The present performances were first released in 1975 as part of a 4-LP set that quickly achieved classic status. "Karajan's Pelleas und Melisande combines all of the lushness of that marvelous symphonic poem...with a startling clarity of instrumental balance and counterpoint." Thus wrote the Financial Times in 1975, while, reviewing a 1999 reissue, ClassicsToday.com declared: "Great performances.... The Berg pieces never have sounded so decadently beautiful.... Essential."

WEBERN: Passacaglia; 6 Pieces for Orchestra op. 6; 5 Pieces for Orchestra op. 10; Symphony op. 21 "I had always had a special relationship to the so-called Second Viennese School," wrote Herbert von Karajan, "because I was studying at the time in Vienna, and indeed with Anton Webern himself. I can remember a concert at which he conducted his own works. A tremendous row broke out, and I was in the midst of it all. What was clear to me from the start was that an inadequate performance of this music cannot carry any conviction with the public. One of the characteristics of the Second Viennese School is that they made demands which can only very rarely be fulfilled." Karajan made his only Webern recordings in Berlin in 1973-74 - beginning with Op.6 at the Jesus-Christus-Kirche, the remainder taped at the Philharmonie. Gramophone wrote of the original 1975 release that the music emerged as "the glowing crystalline structure that Webern himself must have imagined". Reviewing a reissue years later, Penguin Guide wrote: "Karajan's expressive refinement reveals the emotional undertones behind this seemingly austere music, and the results are riveting. Karajan secures a highly sensitive response from the Berlin Philharmonic, who produce sonorities as seductive as Debussy."



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Works Details

>Schoenberg, Arnold : Verklärte Nacht, for string orchestra (arr. from String Sextet, Op.4)
  • Conductor: Herbert Karajan
  • Ensemble: Berlin Philharmonic
  • Running Time: 29 min. 19 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1917

>Schoenberg, Arnold : Variations for Orchestra, Op. 31
  • Conductor: Herbert Karajan
  • Running Time: 20 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1926-1928

>Berg, Alban : Pieces (3) for orchestra, Op. 6
  • Conductor: Herbert Karajan
  • Notes: Composition written: 1913-29.
  • Running Time: 21 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1913-1929

>Berg, Alban : Lyric Suite, for orchestra (arr. from Nos.2-4 of string quartet version)
  • Conductor: Herbert Karajan
  • Notes: Composition written: 1928.
  • Running Time: 17 min. 29 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1928

>Schoenberg, Arnold : Pelleas und Melisande, symphonic poem, Op. 5
  • Conductor: Herbert Karajan
  • Notes: Composition written: 1902-03.
  • Running Time: 42 min. 4 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1902-1903

>Webern, Anton : Passacaglia for orchestra, Op. 1
  • Conductor: Herbert Karajan
  • Running Time: 12 min. 18 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1908

>Webern, Anton : Movements (5), version for string orchestra, Op. 5
  • Conductor: Herbert Karajan
  • Running Time: 9 min. 37 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1929

>Webern, Anton : Pieces (6) for orchestra, Op. 6
  • Conductor: Herbert Karajan
  • Running Time: 12 min. 23 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1909

>Webern, Anton : Symphony, Op. 21
  • Conductor: Herbert Karajan
  • Running Time: 10 min. 14 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1927-1928