Epic Cantata

  Arnold Schoenberg:

German-born composer Arnold Schoenberg had a profound impact on the development of 20th century music. He knew Gustav Mahler, and likely attended the Mahler funeral in Vienna when Mahler died in 1911. Schoenberg was the pioneer and discoverer of the 12-tone music system, which was used by other composers who followed him, such as Alban Berg and others. The music on this CD deals with Schoenberg’s cantata for five vocal soloists, narrator, chorus and large orchestra. The title means Songs of Gurre, referring to the “Gurre Castle” in Denmark, scene of the medieval love-tragedy revolving around the Danish king Valdemar Atterdag (Valdemar IV, 1320–1375) The Gurzenich-Orchester of Cologne, Germany, has a musical background second to none: It can count Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss among those who have entrusted it with premieres of their works, and when you hear this new recording the reasons for this are very clear. Powerful brass sounds combine with excellent winds and strings in a performance of Schoenberg’s late Romantic masterpiece, the Gurre-Lieder. Markus Stenz conducts a fine lineup of soloists and marshals the massed choirs in this most epic of Schoenberg’s works. Here is the entire performance of Schoenberg’s Gurre-Lieder as led by Sir Simon Rattle with the Berliner Philharmoniker:   https://youtu.be/FXhAtBT57zA   Tags: Arnold Schoenberg, Gurre-Lieder, Danish king Valdemar Atterdag, 12-tone music system, Gurzenich-Orchester of Cologne