Schoenberg & Mahler from Symphony Hall, Birmingham
Jac van Steen conducts Schoenberg’s Five Pieces and Mahler’s Seventh Symphony.
The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Jac van Steen, presents Schoenberg’s Five Pieces for orchestra (in the 1909 original version) and Mahler’s Symphony No. 7. Mahler described his own symphony as a ‘song of the night’.
The programmatic work begins in an alpine setting and ends with a triumphant brass fanfare, encountering bugle calls, moonlit serenades and moments of horror in between. Schoenberg’s Five Pieces are exercises in total chromaticism, presenting tense and, at times, extremely violent passages. Written at a time of crisis for the composer, the work looks confidently towards a new world in a way that Mahler did with his monumental symphonies.
Photo: Ross Cohen