Love – unrequited and transfiguring – is the subject of intimate and intense works by two of the most powerful and original composers of the late nineteenth century.
Brahms wove the name of a woman he once loved into this String Sextet – an act of atonement, or of longing? The musical and emotional seed of the entire work is contained in the yearning ascent of the opening melody. With a seam of strong emotion running through the work, the String Sextet, like many of Brahms’ finest pieces, reveals something of that complex man’s tender inner life.
Schoenberg’s music is a natural progression from Brahms’, both sharing a skill for intricate and rich harmonies created by the braiding of multiple voices. Written in 1899 and the last great musical statement of the 19th century, Transfigured Night doesn’t simply depict the sensations of desire, emotional turmoil and radiant love, it imposes those sensations directly on your heart. With music that surges with passion and dissolves into exquisite tenderness, Schoenberg depicts the moonlit transfiguration wrought by a man’s compassionate acceptance of his lover’s betrayal.
Both pieces will be performed in their original string sextet version.
Featured non-Australian music: Brahms, Schoenberg
Featured Australian Works
|Black is the night : for string sextet (2009) by Ian Munro — World premiere|
— performed by Australian Chamber Orchestra and Richard Tognetti
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