in search of futures past
The lineage and legacy of arnold schoenberg
This season we invite you to join us as we discover and rediscover one of the most groundbreaking composers in the history of classical music – and to find your path through his four string quartets by way of the brilliant music that inspired, paralleled, and bloomed from this extraordinary mind. Arnold Schoenberg was fearless, and we invite you to be bold with us in revealing why – as with so much great art – this music remains simultaneously revered and divisive…in this case, for a jaw-dropping one hundred years.
In the early twentieth century, the world was in political and artistic upheaval, and at this pivotal moment, one man forever changed the course of Western art music. He was classical music’s avant-garde without ever losing sight of the melodies of Mozart or the counterpoint of Beethoven. He journeyed back to propel music forward, leaving an indelible and radiant mark. Come with us as we go in search of futures past.
Like Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, Schoenberg and Brahms are brothers from another mother. We kick off our series luxuriating in the plush harmonies that link these two geniuses.
Johannes Brahms – String Quartet in C minor, Op. 51 No. 1
Arnold Schoenberg – String Quartet No. 1
Rite of Spring may get all the street cred, but the premiere of Schoenberg’s second quartet actually caused a riot, and here we raise a glass to the liberation of dissonance with world-renowned soprano Kiera Duffy.
Anton Webern – Langsamer Satz
Béla Bartók – String Quartet No. 1
Arnold Schoenberg – String Quartet No. 2 featuring Kiera Duffy, soprano
Rules were meant to be broken–and like his contemporary Frank Lloyd Wright, Schoenberg replaced the rules he shattered with new ones. (And unlike Falling Water, the composer’s third quartet was never in danger of collapsing during a dinner party.)
Ruth Crawford-Seeger – String Quartet (1931)
Arnold Schoenberg – String Quartet No. 3
Schoenberg’s imprint on classical music continues to ripple outward to this day, so we’ve got a new work coming from composer David Fulmer and we’ll be climbing out on a branch of the musical family tree with Elliott Carter as we swoop into Schoenberg’s final quartet.
David Fulmer – New Commission
Elliott Carter – Fragments 1 & 2
Arnold Schoenberg – String Quartet No. 4