Recorded on 07/26/2008, uploaded on 12/12/2011
Musician's or Publisher's Notes
Mässig Sehr rasch Litanei: Langsam Entrükung: Sehr langsam This work in four movements was written during a very emotional time in Schoenberg's life. Though it bears the dedication "to my wife", it was written during Mathilde Schoenberg's affair with their friend and neighbour, artist Richard Gerstl, in 1908. Previous dedicatees are guessed at to have been either Arnold Rosé, the founder of the Rosé Quartet (who performed Schoenberg's string quartets) or Gustav Mahler, a good friend of Schoenberg.The third and fourth movements are quite unusual for a string quartet, as they also include a soprano singer, Marie Gutheil-Schoder, using poetry written by Stefan George."I was inspired by poems of Stefan George, the German poet, to compose music to some of his poems and, surprisingly, without any expectation on my part, these songs showed a style quite different from everything I had written before." - Arnold Schoenberg (1937)The first three movements are tonal, though as in his first string quartet this is the very extended tonality of the late Romantic period. The first movement is in a compressed sonata form. The second movement, the scherzo, quotes a Viennese street-song, 'Oh du lieber Augustin' (Oh, dear Augustin). The fourth movement has no key signature, and may be considered Arnold Schoenberg's first experiment in atonality, making use of the entire chromatic gamut, though its adventurous harmony comes to a close on a haunting F sharp major chord. Its first performance was given by the Rosé Quartet and Marie Gutheil-Schoder in Vienna on December 21, 1908. The work was later revised in 1921; Schoenberg also made a version for full string orchestra (from Wikipedia).courtesy of the Steans Music Institute
The Steans Music Institute is the Ravinia Festival's professional studies program for young musicians.
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