Composer Of The Week: A New Century


Monday 6 January to Friday 10 January



As part of BBC Radio 3’s ‘Music on the Brink’ season examining the cultural life of Europe on the eve of the First World War.

In the first decade and a half of the 20th century, Vienna was the hub of the world's art, music and philosophy. Donald Macleod takes listeners through the key musical figures and works that made waves in pre-war Vienna, including Mahler, Korngold, Zemlinsky and the 'Second Viennese School' of Schoenberg, Berg and Webern, and explores the personal, musical and philosophical conflicts that tore it apart.

Donald begins the week at the dawn of the 20th century, with the 26-year old Schoenberg busily penning his early masterpiece for string sextet, Verklärte Nacht, before moving on to perhaps the last great work of the Romantic era, Gurrelieder. But the prodigy of Viennese new music circles is not Schoenberg, but his older colleague – and future brother-in-law – Alexander Zemlinsky, soon to be cruelly abandoned by the beautiful Alma Schindler – the future Mrs Gustav Mahler. Meanwhile, a wide-eyed young man from the countryside, Anton von Webern, arrives in the metropolis and seeks out a teacher...

Schoenberg: Schwer betönt (Verklärte Nacht)

Janine Jansen (violin); Boris Brovtsyn (violin); Amihai Grosz (viola); Maxim Rysanov (viola); Torleif Thedéen (cello); Jens-Peter Maintz (cello)

Schoenberg: Tauben von Gurre (Gurrelieder)

Anne Sofie von Otter (mezzo-soprano)

Berlin Philharmonic, Sir Simon Rattle (conductor)

Webern: I. Langsam (Two Pieces for 'Cello and Piano)

Clemens Hagen (cello), Oleg Maisenberg (piano)

Zemlinsky: 3 Ballet Pieces from "Triumph Der Zeit"

Hamburg State Philharmonic Orchestra, Gerd Albrecht (conductor)

Webern: Three Poems

Christine Oelze (soprano), Eric Schneider (piano)

Mahler: IV. Sehr behaglich: "Wir geniessen der himmlischen Freuden" (Symphony No. 4)

Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (soprano), Philharmonia Orchestra, Otto Klemperer (conductor)

Presenter/ Donald Macleod, Producer/ Steven Rajam for the BBC

BBC Radio 3 Publicity