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Schönberg, Berg & Knussen

Wonderful instrumental mastery by three geniuses


Nov 14

Who is afraid of Arnold Schoenberg? His popular Kammersinfonie No. 1 is an early masterpiece that is clearly rooted in the 19th century, yet beneath it whispers of tonal unrest begin to stir. Asko|Schoenberg honours its namesake tonight with a programme in which superior instrumental mastery is the common denominator. Listen closely as Schoenberg’s meticulous craftsmanship finds new life in the music of his students Alban Berg and Oliver Knussen (1952-2018), a dear friend of Asko|Schönberg and the Muziekgebouw.

Schoenberg chose an unusual ensemble for his chamber symphony, with ten wind players and only five string players. This rearrangement of ensemble relationships, pioneered by Schoenberg, found enthusiastic followers, including Alban Berg. His finely crafted Kammerkonzert requires an ensemble of no less than thirteen wind instruments, with the piano and violin as soloists. Berg wrote the work on the occasion of Schoenberg’s fiftieth birthday. The closing piece of the programme is the deeply moving, wonderful requiem Songs for Sue (2006), which Knussen composed after the death of his wife.

Arnold Schönberg

Kammersymphonie No.1, op. 9

Oliver Knussen

Requiem - Songs for Sue, op. 33

Alban Berg



Michael Wendeberg conductor
Pierre Laurent Aimard piano
Joseph Puglia violin
Katrien Baerts soprano

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Nov. 14




Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ

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