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Music From Marlboro – Schoenberg: Verklaerte Nacht; Faure: La Bonne Chanson

Release Date: 06/28/2011 
Label:  Sony   Catalog #: 92170  
Composer:  Arnold SchoenbergGabriel Fauré
Performer:  Michael GrebanierHarry ZaratzianFelix GalimirErnestine Briesmeister,   ... 
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Verklaerte Nacht (Transfigured Night) was Arnold Schoenberg’s first major work and remains after sixty-odd years by far his most popular one. It was composed in three weeks (September 1899) but had to wait four years for its first performance. Although we now recognize the late Wagnerian idiom of the work and its harmonic superabundance, early audiences found it shatteringly new and difficult. This may have been owing to the novelty of the form: Verklaerte Nacht is a symphonic poem written not for the mammoth orchestra fashionable at the turn of the century but for six string players. When Schoenberg transcribed it for string orchestra in 1917 the musical public began to respond more enthusiastically. But the original version, with its Read more purer intonation and greater intimacy, does better justice to the intentions of the composer and of his program.

Although Faure?’s one hundred and three songs were spread over his long career as a composer, they show a remarkable consistency of style from first to last. Aaron Copland said of one of his relatively early songs, “All of Faure? is contained in its three short pages.” La bonne chanson is the song cycle in which Faure?’s art rises to its apogee. Norman Suckling has called it “the supreme example in musical history of a work, written to an amorous programme, which loses nothing and gains a great deal by its tone of exquisite urbanity and by the sense of design, rather than passionate outpouring, that pervades it.” Faure? chose nine of the poems written by Paul Verlaine to his fiance?e during a brief period of happiness when he anticipated becoming a bridegroom. The poems themselves belong among the finest blossoms of French lyric art, but Faure?’s settings are (to quote Suckling) “even better than their texts. For Verlaine, keenly armed and delicate poet though he was, sometimes lacks the last touch of reserve ... which will enable an artist to endure the most penetrating scrutiny of a civilized mind.”That reserve was one of Faure?’s strongest attributes.

Founded in 1950 as a chamber music workshop for professional musicians, the Marlboro Festival has attracted outstanding concert and chamber music artists who have come to Vermont at their own expense to exchange musical ideas and to play chamber music. Away from the routine pressures of professional activity, they are free to explore the vast literature combining piano, strings, woodwinds, brass and voice, with concern only for the music itself. Weekend Festival concerts have been described by Time magazine as “the most exciting chamber music in the U.S.”
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Works on This Recording

Verklärte Nacht for String Orchestra, Op. 4 by Arnold Schoenberg
Performer:  Michael Grebanier (Cello), Harry Zaratzian (Viola), Felix Galimir (Violin),
Ernestine Briesmeister (Violin), Samuel Rhodes (Viola), Judith Rosen (Cello)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1899/1943; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 8/1960 
Venue:  Marlboro School of Music, Vermont 
La bonne chanson, Op. 61 by Gabriel Fauré
Performer:  Michael Grebanier (Cello), Michael Tree (Viola), Martial Singher (Baritone),
Philipp Naegele (Viola), Richard Goode (Piano), Gaetan Molieri (Viola)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892-1894; France 
Date of Recording: 8/1960 
Venue:  Marlboro School of Music, Vermont 

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