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Arnold Schonberg & Max Kowalski: Pierrot lunaire

By Brigitte Poulin

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By Brigitte Poulin, Carissa Klopoushak, Chloe Dominguez, Claire Marchand, Ingrid Schmithusen, Sara Laimon, and Simon Aldrich. By Arnold Schonberg and Max Kowalski. Country of Origin: Canada. Classical. Listening CD. ATMA Classique #ACD2 2734. Published by ATMA Classique (NX.ACD2-2734).

Item Number: NX.ACD2-2734

In the early 20th century Schonberg's opus 21 was revolutionary - thanks in part to his use of Sprechgesang, a spoken part with notated pitches and rhythms. The full recognition of this ground-breaking work took some time. Due to the influence of several composer colleagues and their enthusiasm for Pierrot Lunaire, it was soon considered a landmark modern work. Max Kowalski (1882-1956), an original and almost completely forgotten song composer, chose twelve poems. Six of those overlap with those set by Schonberg, and are featured on this recording. Kowalski composed his song cycle (published in 1913, the same year as Schonberg's) for the more familiar ensemble of voice and piano. In contrast to Schonberg's often nightmarish interpretation, Kowalski highlights the lighter and more ironic side of Hartleben's translated poems and lends a "cabaret" tone to the collection.

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