Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951)

Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
Comments
01* The Viennese Radical20080317

Donald Macleod assesses Schoenberg's position as an outsider in turn-of-the-century Vienna, with the battle lines between the composer and the critics drawn almost from the beginning.

Erwartung (song)

Mitsuko Shirai (mezzo-soprano)

Hartmut Holl (piano)

String Quartet in D (2nd mvt)

Arditti String Quartet

Verklarte Nacht

Donald McInnes (viola)

Jonathan Pegis (cello)

LaSalle Quartet

Des Sommerwindes wilde Jagd (Melodram) (Gurrelieder)

Thomas Quasthoff (bass-baritone/sprecher)

Runkfunkchor Berlin

MDR Rundfunkchor, Leipzig

Ernst Senff Chor Berlin

Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

Simon Rattle (conductor).

01Breaking Free: The Inventor20170102

Donald Macleod explores Schoenberg's life from five different viewpoints. Part of Radio 3's season: Breaking Free - the minds that changed music.

Today he celebrates Schoenberg's sheer inventiveness, including the development of the 12-tone compositional method.

Schoenberg, seen by many as the inventor of modern music, is perhaps best known as the creator of the twelve-tone method of composition. But it was an idea whose development he kept secret, until revealing it to his students in the 1920s. Donald traces the origins of the method which came to define the composer for many, from Schoenberg's early imitative work, through his exploration of the fullest possible romanticism, to the method's maturation during the 1930s.

Ei, du Lütte

Simon Joly Chorale

Robert Craft, Conductor

Gurreleider, Final Part: Behold, the Sun.

Bergen Philharmonic Choir

Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra

Edward Gardner, Conductor

Jane Grey, Op 12 No 1

Melanie Diener, Soprano

Urs Liska, Piano

Five Piano Pieces, Op 23 (Sehr Langsam; Waltzer)

Maurizio Pollini, Piano

Variations for Orchestra, Op 31

CBSO

Simon Rattle, Conductor

Phantasy for Violin with Piano Accompaniment, Op 47 (Scherzando)

Ulf Wallin, Violin

Roland Pontinen, Piano

Part of Radio 3's "Breaking Free - the minds that changed music", exploring the music of the Second Viennese School.

02* The Expressionist Painter20080318

Donald Macleod explores the effect on Schoenberg of his wife's affair, a personal crisis which he transformed into music as well as paintings, forming an important friendship with the artist Kandinsky.

Wenn Ich Heut Nicht Deinen Lieb Beruhre (Das Buch der Hangenden Garten, Op 15)

Sarah Connolly (mezzo-soprano)

Iain Burnside (piano)

String Quartet No 2 (3rd, 4th mvts)

Dawn Upshaw (soprano)

Arditti Quartet

Three piano pieces, Op 11

Mitsuko Uchida (piano)

Five orchestral pieces

BBC Symphony Orchestra

Pierre Boulez (conductor).

02Breaking Free: The Father20170103

Donald Macleod explores Schoenberg's life from five different viewpoints. Part of Radio 3's season: Breaking Free - the minds that changed music. Today the composer's family life, including his troubled first marriage.

Schoenberg's family life did not always run smoothly. His first wife ran off with the painter Schoenberg had engaged to teach them both, with tragic consequences. His relationship with his eldest son was never warm, Schoenberg's parenting style being old-fashioned to say the least. His second marriage however was a happy one, and the basis of a second family in America. Donald looks at Schoenberg's family life and relationships.

Four Songs, Op 2

Konrad Jarnot, Baritone

Urs Liska, Piano

Die Glückliche Hand, Op 18

Siegmund Nimsgern, Bass

BBC Singers

BBC Symphony Orchestra

Pierre Boulez, Conductor

Wind Quintet, Op 26: Rondo

London Sinfonietta

David Atherton, Conductor

Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, Op 42

Mitsuko Uchida, Piano

The Cleveland Orchestra

Part of Radio 3's "Breaking Free - the minds that changed music", exploring the music of the Second Viennese School.

03* The Twelve-tone Teacher20080319

Donald Macleod explores Schoenberg's role as an influential teacher and musical innovator.

Having crossed the barrier of tonality in his music, he formed a new set of rules to structure his compositions, which was called the twelve-tone system.

Es gingen zwei Gespielen gut

Simon Joly Singers

Robert Craft (conductor)

Five piano pieces, Op 23

Maurizio Pollini (piano)

Cello concerto after Monn

Fred Sherry (cello)

Philharmonia Orchestra

Variations for Orchestra

BBC Symphony Orchestra

Pierre Boulez (conductor).

03Breaking Free: The Teacher20170104

Donald Macleod focuses on Schoenberg's success as a teacher.

Donald Macleod explores Schoenberg's life from five different viewpoints. Part of Radio 3's season: Breaking Free - the minds that changed music. Today the composer's success as a teacher, including the leadership of the second Viennese School.

It's ironic that the man who should become known as the leader of the Second Viennese School had such a limited formal education. He'd attended a technical school and had to provide for his family as a teenager, so was largely self-taught, yet his impact as a teacher is still felt today. Donald looks at Schoenberg's life in the context of the various teaching roles he took on.

Suite in Old Style: Minuet and Trio

Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin

John Mauceri, Conductor

Three Pieces for Piano, Op 11

Maurizio Pollini, Piano

Three Satires for Mixed Chorus, Op 28

Sudfunk-Chor Stuttgart

Rupert Huber, Conductor

String Trio, Op 45

Arnold Schonberg Trio

Part of Radio 3's "Breaking Free - the minds that changed music", exploring the music of the Second Viennese School.

04The Jewish Composer20080320

Donald Macleod looks at the works Schoenberg wrote drawing on his Jewish heritage, which became increasingly important to him as anti-Semitism swelled in Europe.

Six Little Piano Pieces, Op 10 No 6

Daniel Barenboim (piano)

Dance round the Golden Calf (Erotic Orgy); Scene 4 (Moses und Aaron)

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

Chorus of Nederlandse Opera

Pierre Boulez (conductor)

Kol Nidre

David Wilson-Johnson (Rabbi-narrator)

Simon Joly Chorale

Philharmonia Orchestra

Robert Craft (conductor)

Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra

Schoenberg Quartet

Arnhem Philharmonic Orchestra

Roberto Benzi (conductor)

A Survivor from Warsaw, Op 46

John Tomlinson (narrator)

Chor der Sachsischen Staatsoper Dresden

Staatskapelle Dresden

Giuseppe Sinopoli (conductor).

04The Wanderer20170105

Donald Macleod on Schoenberg's moves between Germany and Austria, and further afield.

Donald Macleod explores Schoenberg's life from five different viewpoints. Part of Radio 3's season: Breaking Free - the minds that changed music. Today the composer's moves between Germany and Austria - and further afield.

Schoenberg never really knew where to call home. In Europe he had moved frequently between Vienna and Berlin as well as further afield, and the developing political situation in pre-war Germany and Austria made permanency impossible for him. From the thirties he lived in the states - but this was an exile rather than a homecoming. Donald explores the composer's relationship with the places he lived.

Pelleas and Melisande Op 5 (extract: Lebhaft, Sehr Rasch)

Philharmonia Orchestra

Robert Craft, Conductor

Six Little Piano Pieces Op 19 1911

Glen Gould, Piano

Pierrot Lunaire Op 21

Sonia Bergamasco, Speaker

Contempoartensemble

Mauro Ceccanti, Conductor

Piano Pieces Op 33a and b

Maurizio Pollini, Piano

Concerto for Violin and Orchestra Op 36

Pierre Amoyal, Violin

London Symphony Orchestra

Pierre Boulez, Conductor

Part of Radio 3's "Breaking Free - the minds that changed music", exploring the music of the Second Viennese School.

05 LAST* The Emigre20080321

Donald Macleod examines Schoenberg's final years, having fled from Berlin to the USA in 1933 with his family. While the composer spent his time in Hollywood, with tennis partners such as Charlie Chaplin and George Gershwin, he remained an outsider, never fully embraced by the American musical establishment.

Der Mai tritt ein mit freuden (May Arrives with Joy)

Simon Joly Singers

Chamber Symphony No 2

Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester, Berlin

John Mauceri (conductor)

Ode to Napoleon Bonaparte

Schoenberg Quartet

Sepp Grotenhuis (piano)

Michael Grandage (reciter)

Phantasy for violin and piano

Ulf Wallin (violin)

Roland Pontinen (piano).

05 lastThe Believer20170106

Donald Macleod on Schoenberg's changes of faith and his predilection for superstition.

Donald Macleod explores Schoenberg's life from five different viewpoints. Part of Radio 3's season: Breaking Free - the minds that changed music. Today, the composer's changes of personal faith, and his predilection for superstition.

Schoenberg was sincere about faith and belief throughout his life, though not always with consistency. Superstition governed his daily life, in particular a horror of the number thirteen, whilst in religion he first converted from Judaism to Protestantism and later back again, not least because of the impact of the persecution of Jews. Towards the end of his life, he wrote several Jewish works celebrating the establishment of the state of Israel.

Early Songs (Ekloge; Juble, schöne junge Rose; Einst hat vot deines Vaters Haus; Einsam bin ich und alleine; Lied der Schnitterin; Vergissmeinnicht; Mädchenlied)

Claudia Barainsky, Soprano

Urs Liska, Piano

Friede auf Erden Op 13

BBC Singers

Pierre Boulez, Conductor

Kol Nidre Op 39

Simon Joly Chorale

Philharmonia Orchestra

Robert Craft, Conductor

A Survivor From Warsaw Op 46

Simon Callow, Narrator

London Symphony Orchestra

Thrice a Thousand Years Op 50a

Südfunk-Chor Stuttgart

Rupert Huber, Conductor

Part of Radio 3's "Breaking Free - the minds that changed music", exploring the music of the Second Viennese School.