Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951)

Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
Comments
01Breaking Free: The Inventor20170102Donald 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.

Donald Macleod focuses on Schoenberg's invention of a new compositional method.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

02Breaking Free: The Father20170103Donald 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
Pierre Boulez, Conductor

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

Donald Macleod focuses on Schoenberg's family life, including his troubled first marriage.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

03Breaking Free: The Teacher20170104Donald 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.

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

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

04The Wanderer20170105Donald 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 & 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.

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

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

05The Believer20170106Donald 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
Robert Craft, Conductor

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.

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

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.