Label: NEOS 10709Opus21musikplus: Bruno Jouard, flute; Dörte Sehrer, clarinet/bass clarinet; Lisa Schatzmann, violin; Nils Mönkemeyer, viola; Benjamin Santora, cello; Helen Radice, harp; Philipp Jungk & Alex Glöggler, percussion
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ARNOLD SCHONBERG (1874 - 1951): Pierrot lunair, Op. 21 (1912)
LUCIANO BERIO (1925 - 2003): Folk Songs for mezzo-soprano, flute (piccolo), clarinet, viola, harp and percussion (1964)
Stella Doufexis, speaking voice/mezzo; Maria Baptist, piano/jazz improvisations
Konstantia Gourzi, conductor
Schönberg wrote this work between March 12 and July 9, 1912, shortly before he developed the twelve-tone system. He chose twenty-one poems from a cycle by the French poet Albert Giraud, in the German translation by Otto Erich Hartleben. There is no continuous plot. Each poem describes a small scene, a lively image, a macabre anecdote, or a grotesque with the moonstruck Pierrot. Schönberg's music and the singer's "Sprechgesang" (speech-song) fuse everything into a unity.Berio's "Folk Songs" is a short anthology of melodies from various sources (sheet music, records, oral recollection) from various epochs and countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, France, North Italy, Sicily, Sardinia, and United States), selected, harmonized and arranged by Berio. Sometimes the instrumental setting reinforces typical traits of the cultural frame from which the songs originate, other times these traits are disguised or sublimated. Berio himself writes that "these arrangements are my contribution to the prevention of folk song performances with piano accompaniment and, of course, constitute also a little homage to the artistry of Cathy Berberian".