Site Search

Other Resources
News Archive

Looking to the Heavens

 07 December 2012 at 7.30pm 

Looking to the Heavens

Symphony Hall, Birmingham
Broad Street, Birmingham, West Midlands, B1 2EA
United Kingdom
0121 200 2000

Conductor: Andris Nelsons
Soprano: Claire Booth *
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Birmingham Contemporary Music Group

Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire was premiered at the Berlin Choralion-Saal on 16 October 1912. The small mixed ensemble that Schoenberg invented for this masterpiece of early atonal music has over the last 100 years become a ‘standard ensemble’, spawning a large repertoire for this grouping of instruments by subsequent composers.

Pierrot Lunaire is a three-part work that sets German translations of poems by Albert Giraud. The eight instruments played by five performers are arranged differently in every number and produce an amazing variety of sound. A striking feature of the work is the vocalist’s Sprechstimme (speech-singing), an eerie declamation between song and speech, where the pitch is sounded but not held; instead, the vocalist immediately leaves the note, falling or rising to the next.

The first of three performances of Pierrot Lunaire in our 25th anniversary season follows a CBSO performance of Bruckner’s Eighth Symphony. Composed just 20 years before Schoenberg’s tour de force, Bruckner’s symphony is one of late Romantic music’s most overwhelming experiences.

Concert preceded by a free 30-minute piano recital at 6.15pm, performed by one of the rising stars of Birmingham Conservatoire.

Anton Bruckner : Symphony No. 8
Arnold Schoenberg : Pierrot Lunaire

Review this Concert