In the coming seasons, Spektral will undertake an ambitious project to perform Arnold Schoenberg's four string quartets, placing them in a historical context (among their predecessors and contemporaries) and illustrating how Schoenberg's ideas live on in the music of today. Each of the four programs is curated to explore different concepts in the music of this provocative composer, his fearless innovations grounded in the Austro-Germanic canon of Classical music, and unique modes of expression.

Though often portrayed as a humorless titan of modernity, Spektral aims to show Schoenberg in a clearer light: his compositions bursting with suave seductions, bold provocations, poetic musings and absurdly witty quips. Schoenberg's music expresses timeless human emotions through a new language laced with the rhetoric of tonality. What’s more, he's shown the following generations not just one path forward into the future, but a fertile, unmapped land ready for exploration.

We offer flexible programming with this project. These sample programs illustrate some possibilities:

Schoenberg cracks a smile.

Schoenberg cracks a smile.

Grand Tradition
Anton Webern: Langsamer Satz
Johannes Brahms, String Quartet in A minor, Op. 51
Arnold Schoenberg, String Quartet #1

Schoenberg as Prophet
Harrison Birtwistle: Four Songs of Autumn
George Lewis: new commission (2016)
Anton Webern, Six Bagatelles Op. 9
Arnold Schoenberg, String Quartet #2

Echoes of Voices
Ludwig van Beethoven: Grosse Fuga
Arnold Schoenberg: String Quartet #3
Franz Schubert: "Rosamunde" Quartet

Last Words
Arnold Schoenberg: String Quartet #4
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: String Quartet, K. 590