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Schoenberg: Six A Cappella Mixed Choruses, Etc / Craft

Release Date: 12/13/2005 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8557521   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Arnold Schoenberg
Performer:  Ida KavafianJennifer Welch-BabidgePaul NeubauerFred Sherry,   ... 
Conductor:  Robert Craft
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fred Sherry String Quartet20th Century Classics EnsembleSimon Joly Singers
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 18 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Arnold Schoenberg's a cappella folksong settings are among his least-appreciated--and most easily listenable--works, excellent examples of his pre-12-tone harmonic style, with masterfully crafted polyphonic textures. For one thing, they're rarely heard, and although not especially a breeze to sing, they're effectively and soundly written--Schein uns, du liebe Sonne being the standout among the six works. The Op. 10 string quartet performed here is its original 1908 version rather than the one for string orchestra that the composer produced in 1929. It's craggy and difficult--but also offers a multitude of lyrical and beautiful moments that the Fred Sherry String Quartet fully exploits. Soprano
Read more Jennifer Welch-Babidge adds poignancy, sensitivity, and knowing style to the solos in the final two movements, using her thoughtful inflection to capture the music's colorful, moody impressionistic elements.

The 1934 Suite in G for String Orchestra is another gem--solidly tonal yet occasionally stretching the boundaries of traditional harmony, rich in melodic ideas and exciting rhythmic touches. Its five movements demand the highest level of technique from the players, even though it originally was written for developing student musicians. Again, this outstanding piece is rarely played or recorded, but this first-rate performance by Robert Craft's Twentieth Century Classics Ensemble is all you will need. The same goes for the rest of the program--and Naxos' engineering, from London's Abbey Road studios (choral works) and New York's premiere chamber-music recording venue, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, matches the disc's fine musical values. Informative notes by Craft, along with texts and translations for the vocal works, crown this much-needed addition to the Schoenberg catalog. [1/5/2006]
--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

Quartet for Strings no 2 in F sharp minor, Op. 10 by Arnold Schoenberg
Performer:  Ida Kavafian (Violin), Jennifer Welch-Babidge (Soprano), Paul Neubauer (Viola),
Fred Sherry (Cello), Erin Keefe (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fred Sherry String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1907-1908; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 01/2005 
Venue:  Academy of Arts & Letters, New York City 
Length: 29 Minutes 59 Secs. 
Language: German 
Suite for String Orchestra in G major by Arnold Schoenberg
Conductor:  Robert Craft
Orchestra/Ensemble:  20th Century Classics Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1934; USA 
Date of Recording: 11/2004 
Venue:  Academy of Arts & Letters, New York City 
Length: 30 Minutes 1 Secs. 
Folksongs (3) for Chorus, Op. 49 by Arnold Schoenberg
Conductor:  Robert Craft
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Simon Joly Singers
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1948; USA 
German Folksongs (3) for Chorus by Arnold Schoenberg
Conductor:  Robert Craft
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Simon Joly Singers
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1929; Vienna, Austria 

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