Berlin-based orchestras / Arnold Schönberg

Staatskapelle Berlin

Opening Concert

Photogram, Massimo Drago

Photogram, Massimo Drago

© Wikimedia Commons

  • Duration 1h 45, one interval

Past Dates

18:15 work introduction

“He succeeded in summarizing everything that was written before him – and yet at the same time he points us the way to the future.” It was with these frank words that Daniel Barenboim described composer Arnold Schönberg’s seminal achievements. With this, the passionate as well as charismatic Schönberg interpreter hinted at the challenge each musician continues to face when tackling the composer’s works: namely the challenge to connect the antitheses in the musical personality of this Janus-faced artist in an intellectually clear and at the same time sensual manner at each point of the performance. That Schönberg could at the same time be an thinker and storyteller, iconoclast and painter of timbre, nostalgic and visionary can be heard in three key works from his main creative phases. In them, we can experience how Schönberg romantically portrays the nocturnal admission of a concealed paternity in a provocative way, how the colours of a summer morning at the lake are expressionistically interpreted and how he signs his definitive departure into modernity with the B-A-C-H notes.

With this, the Musikfest Berlin 2015 opens this year’s programme. In the following concerts, Arnold Schönberg’s oeuvre, together with the music of his contemporary, the Dane Carl Nielsen, enters into a dialogue with the works of Gustav Mahler.

Arnold Schönberg [1874–1951]
Verklärte Nacht for string orchestra op. 4 [1899/1917]

Arnold Schönberg
Five Pieces for Orchestra op. 16 [1909]

Arnold Schönberg
Variations for Orchestra op. 31 [1926–1928]

A Berliner Festspiele / Musikfest Berlin event
in cooperation with Staatsoper Unter den Linden