Schoenberg’s sadness

Schoenberg’s sadness

This CD groups together two chamber music works: one by Brahms and one by Schoenberg, as arranged for string orchestra.

The performance is by the Dutch group, The Amsterdam Sinfonietta.

The Amsterdam Sinfonietta performs the original version of this string quartet, with the addition of a bass part created by the bass player and arranger Marijn van Prooijen.

The selections are:


  • String Quartet No. 1 in C minor, Op. 51 No. 1

…………………….version for string orchestra


  • Verklärte Nacht, Op. 4

……………………version for string orchestra

In 1899, Arnold Schönberg wrote within three weeks the string sextet entitled Verklärte Nacht. It was inspired by Richard Dehmel’s poem of the same name from “Weib und Welt”, a volume of poetry that caused great controversy at the time because of the sexual nature of its subject matter, and the sadness of the entire piece.

Arnold Schönberg later arranged the string sextet for string orchestra in 1917 on the request of the Viennese publisher Universal Edition, and only then did the work become widely known. The composer corrected the orchestral score in 1943, adapting dynamics and tempos to increase the transparency of his arrangement. This is the version used by Amsterdam Sinfonietta in this recording.

The Amsterdam Sinfonietta occupies a unique position on the Dutch music scene as a professional string orchestra. It is regularly invited to perform in concert halls throughout the world as one of the very few large-scale string ensembles on the international scene. The ensemble consists of 23 chamber musicians and its repertoire covers a variety of styles, extending from the Baroque repertoire to contemporary works. What sets Amsterdam Sinfonietta apart from the ‘regular’ chamber orchestras is the top priority it gives to a ‘chamber music mentality’.

Here is the sextet version of Schoenberg’s Verklaerte Nacht, as performed beautifully by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center:

Tags: Brahms, Schoenberg, Verklärte Nacht, Amsterdam Sinfonietta

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