Vienna in the years leading up to the First World War was one of the most intellectually and artistically daring cities in Europe, the birthplace of Freud’s psychoanalysis, the symphonies of Mahler and the paintings of Klimt. In 1912, the young Arnold Schoenberg, who was already at the center of this ferment, composed his extraordinary “three times seven poems,” a miniature drama for one singer and five instruments. To its astonished first listeners, this eerily beautiful music seemed like no musical sounds that they had ever heard before.
This Beyond the Score production was first developed in conversation with composer and CSO Helen Regenstein Conductor Emeritus Pierre Boulez, who traveled to Chicago to coach the performers in this interpretation. The occasion celebrated the 100th anniversary of Pierrot lunaire, which had its premiere in Berlin in 1912.
Following intermission, this production was followed by a complete performance of Pierrot lunaire, viewable here.
Recorded at Orchestra Hall in February, 2012
Gerard McBurney, creative director
Pierre-Laurent Aimard appears courtesy of Deutsche Grammophon.
With special thanks to Anne and Larry Schoenberg and to the Arnold Schönberg Center for their help and support.