MUSIC AND MIGRATION:

The Reinvention of Arnold Schoenberg 

August 15, 2019 at The Phillips Collection
6:30 PM

Wassily Kandinsky, Autumn II, 1912 (The Phillips Collection)
Wassily Kandinsky, Autumn II, 1912 (The Phillips Collection)

THE REINVENTION OF ARNOLD SCHOENBERG
In the years preceding World War I, Arnold Schoenberg, Wasilly Kandinsky, and Ferruccio Busoni craved liberation. The result was non-tonal music and non-representational painting.

 

Later, Schoenberg fled to the US, as did Kurt Weill. As patriotic immigrants, both responded to Pearl Harbor with some of their most deeply affecting music.

Alexander Shtarkman, piano
William Sharp, baritone/actor
Netanel Draiblate and Bela Horvath, violins
Chiara Kingsley-Dieguez, viola
Ben Capps, cello
Angel Gil-Ordóñez, conductor

Produced by Joseph Horowitz

ARNOLD SCHOENBERG (1874-1951)
Six Little Piano Pieces (1913)

Commentary/readings: Schoenberg, Kandinsky, Busoni

Piano Piece, Op. 11, No. 2 (1909)
Schoenberg/Busoni: Piano Piece, Op. 11, no. 2 (1909)

FERRUCCIO BUSONI (1866-1924)
Sonatina Seconda (1912) for solo piano

Commentary/readings: Schoenberg and Weill respond to America

KURT WEILL (1900-1950)
Dirge for Two Veterans (1942) for baritone and piano

ARNOLD SCHOENBERG
Ode to Napoleon (1942) for reader, piano, and string quartet; conducted by Angel Gil-Ordóñez
Netanel Draiblate and Bela Horvath, violins
Chiara Kingsley-Dieguez, viola
Ben Capps, cello

TICKETS: $45, $25 for members, $20 for students with ID, and $5 for youth (ages 8-18); museum admission for that day is included. Advance reservations are strongly recommended.

Willliam Sharp is one of America’s pre-emient concert singers.

To hear William Sharp sing Kurt Weill’s “Dirge for Two Veterans” (in live performance at the Washington National Cathedral with pianist Wan-Chi Su), click here. Setting Walt Whitman, Weill’s song — one of his peak American achievements — was composed in patriotic response to World War II.

To hear William Sharp in Arnold Schoenberg’s “Ode to Napoleon” (in live performance at the Washington National Cathedral with pianist Alexander Shtarkman, and members of PCE conducted by Angel Gil-Ordonez), click here. Lord Byron’s “Ode” excoriates Napoleon and praises George Washington. Setting these verses, Schoenberg was thinking of Hitler and FDR. His piece begins with some of the angriest music of the twentieth century. It ends on a high plateau of exaltation:
Where may the wearied eye repose
When gazing on the Great;
Where neither guilty glory glows,
Nor despicable state?
Yes—one—the first—the last—the best—
The Cincinnatus of the West,
Whom envy dared not hate,
Bequeath’d the name of Washington,
To make man blush there was but one!
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