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Schoenberg: Gurrelieder / Esa-Pekka Salonen, Philharmonia Orchestra

Release Date: 10/27/2009 
Label:  Signum Classics   Catalog #: 173   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Arnold Schoenberg
Performer:  Barbara SukowaRalf LukasAndreas ConradStig Andersen,   ... 
Conductor:  Esa-Pekka Salonen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia OrchestraCity of Birmingham Symphony ChorusPhilharmonia Voices
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Multi 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This two-SACD set documenting a live performance from February 2009 just might make the best case yet for Schoenberg’s sprawling Gurrelieder, similar to Mahler’s Eighth in length and employment of massive orchestral, choral and vocal forces. Both works also demand the listener accept them for what they are — including those aspects that don’t immediately make sense. Gurrelieder’s Part I is firmly in the lush chromatic tradition of post-Wagnerian Romanticism; some passages even sound like the mature Elgar. So don’t be scared off: this is not the atonal Schoenberg of later years. Salonen is blessed for his principal singers, Stig Anderson (Waldemar) and Soile Isokoski (Tove). Compared to James McCracken and Jessye Norman on the landmark Read more Ozawa/BSO live recording from 1979, Salonen’s soloists are less “operatic,” more direct and unmannered in expression. This approach is not only more accessible for modern listeners, it allows for tauter, faster pacing. The Philharmonia plays with total commitment. The orchestral and choral climaxes — especially the Richard Strauss–esque concluding “sunrise” — are stunning. — John Marks, Listen Read less

Works on This Recording

Gurrelieder by Arnold Schoenberg
Performer:  Barbara Sukowa (Voice), Ralf Lukas (Bass), Andreas Conrad (Tenor),
Stig Andersen (Tenor), Monica Groop (Mezzo Soprano), Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Conductor:  Esa-Pekka Salonen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus,  Philharmonia Voices
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1900-1911; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: Live 

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