Arnold Schoenberg

Brahms and Bach:

  • Orchestrated by Schoenberg.

This is a new studio recording by the Warsaw Philharmonic. The orchestra and its conductor, Jacek Kaspszyk, present us with two real rarities: Pieces by Brahms Bachand Bach orchestrated by Arnold Schoenberg. I can just imagine the intensity of the disputes about this music when it was first presented in Vienna during the late 1920’s or so. They are seen in passionate reviews, essays and pamphlets from the now-yellowed newspaper pages of the time, mainly familiar to historians. The selections on this DVD are: Bach, J S: Prelude and Fugue in E flat major, BWV552 ‘St Anne’, orchestrated by Arnold Schoenberg. Brahms: Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor, Op. 25 (arranged for Orchestra), orchestrated by Schoenberg. Performed by the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, Jacek Kaspszyk conducting. Arnold Schoenberg’s formative years in Vienna coincided with the climax of the conflict between the New German School representatives, whose idol remained Wagner (and later Richard Strauss), and the more conservative community, extolling Classical ideals and following Johannes Brahms and the music critic, Eduard Hanslick. During the 1930’s Schoenberg composed and exceptional orchestral arrangement of the Brahms Piano Quartet in G minor, Op. 25, and it became a musical homage to the master. It is really amazing music! Around 1925, Schoenberg studied the monumental “Prelude and Fugue in E-flat major BWV 552” by Johann Sebastian Bach. Schoenberg said that Bach explores the secrets of relationships between sounds in this music.

Here is the Johannes Brahms Piano Quartet number 1-arranged for Symphonic Orchestra by Arnold Schoenberg:  


And next here is Prelude & Fugue in E-flat Major “St.Anne” BWV 552, orchestrated by Arnold Schönberg, and performed by the BBC Philharmonic: