The past is present and the future foretold in these emblematic works of the 20th century.
The small orchestra and sense of play in Stravinsky’s 1924 concerto might suggest a look back at the world of the Baroque Concerto Grosso or Mozartian serenade through cubist-shaped spectacles, but the dark colouring (thanks to the four horns), the restless interplay between piano and winds, the wisps of jazz phrasing and the austere melancholy of the central Largo tell you that, in the aftermath of WWI, the world would never be the same – and that the future of music looked quite different to the composer of this work than it did to the Stravinsky who’d composed The Firebird some 14 years earlier.
‘Seminal’ is an over-used word, but how else to describe Schoenberg’s first Chamber Symphony? In its blurring of melody and harmony it foretold of the atonal space Schoenberg would create in his very next work, the Second String Quartet. And in its ‘reduction sauce’ approach to symphonic form – in which he compresses the movements of a traditional symphony into a continuous 20-minute whole – he prefigures the formal experiments which would become so dominant a feature of 20th century composition. In the transcription of the Chamber Symphony by Schoenberg’s pupil Anton Webern for violin, flute, clarinet and piano, the work’s frequently intricate issues of internal balance are solved with clarity and elegance.
Claude DEBUSSY Études (selections)
Arnold SCHOENBERG Chamber Symphony no. 1, arr. Webern
Igor STRAVINSKY Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments
Paavali Jumppannen (ANAM Artistic Director) director/piano
Paavali Jumppanen’s position of ANAM Artistic Director is supported by Janet Holmes à Court AC
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