Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Arnold Schoenberg, Ensemble Musique Oblique, Alice Ader|
Schönberg: Pierrot lunaire op. 21
Genres: Pop, Classical
Listen to Samples
Seems like the best choice to me
Ruminator | The Fencepost | 04/30/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you're like me, you want to like these pieces but find most recordings too painful to listen to. I partially agree with the famous comment that Schoenberg's music isn't so bad, its just often played badly. Even some highly regarded recordings can't seem to make this music as enjoyable as it could be. Some kind of difficult balance is needed between the romantic and radical elements of the music, the recorded sound must be clear but not too dry, and singers who perform Pierrot Lunaire are up for a difficult challenge.
Being familiar with Herreweghe's fine early music work and this group's recording of Schoenberg's orchestration of Mahler's Das Lied, I had cause for optimism for both performances and sound quality on this recording, and I was not disappointed at all. The sound is typical of Harmonia Mundi's high standards with small chamber groups, providing excellent ambience and balance between soloists. Pousseur can be clearly heard but is never over-projected, and her vocal technique seems completely natural and appropriate for Schoenberg's demands.
Pierrot Lunaire is possibly the most Webernesque piece in Schoenberg's ouvre. While Schoenberg gets more attention as leading innovator of the 2nd Viennese movement, I've always preferred Webern's more minimal approach to atonalism. Again, however, good Webern recordings are scarce, and so I am happy that this group decided to record Webern's transcription of Schoenberg's 1st Chamber Symphony. The result is a lighter and more ingratiating listening experience than this piece usually offers.
Given the budget price, this Pierrot and the Chamber Symphony make a recommended choice for particular Schoenberg/Webern listeners like myself."
A very fine and natural sounding recording of this masterpie
Steven Guy | Croydon, South Australia | 09/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this recording some years ago now, ten years ago, I think. I have listened to it fairly regularly ever since. Schoenberg's music isn't always easy to get to know. Classical radio stations don't often schedule his music - the three radio stations which play "Classical" music in my city, Adelaide, don't often play Schoenberg or Berg or Webern, the other members of the Second Viennese School. So my knowledge of the music of Schoenberg has largely come via my own efforts and my music teacher at high school, Ms Arianna Dobbie, who presented us with Serialism one year - via the Piano Variations of Webern. I still love that work.
Marianne Pousseur and the Ensemble Musique Oblique, directed by Philippe Herreweghe, present us with a very warm and natural sounding Pierrot Lunaire. Mademoiselle Pousseur is not a conventional "Classical" singer, she seems to be more of what we may call a "chanteuse" - a nightclub singer. This is probably exactly what Schoenberg wanted, because Pierrot Lunaire really is a kind of cabaret piece, albeit very sophisticated and "cerebral" cabaret! Schoenberg even suggests that the singer might wear a Pierrot costume while performing the work. It is a pity Ute Lemper has never been lured into recording this work!
However, Marianne Pousseur does an admirable job of interpreting the poems of Albert Giraud and Schoenberg's rather loose vocal lines.
Ensemble Musique Oblique provide us with a very colourful and stylish interpretation of the music and the experience of the maestro, Philippe Herreweghe, in period instrument / HIP music making informs this recording.
The Kammersymphonie, op. 9, transcribed by Anton Webern, is a very attractive piece of music. It is one not easily engaged with, like some of Schoenberg's piano music, but it is worth the effort.
All things considered, this is an excellent CD, but one in which the listener has to do a little work to "get at". For those who are new to Schoenberg and Pierrot Lunaire, I cannot recommend the 'One Night. One Life' DVD, with Christine Schäfer, too highly. It really brought Schoenberg to life for me. Ms Schäfer's CD recording with Pierre Boulez on DG is also excellent. Christine Schäfer is more of a conventional soprano and those who prefer a more "Classical" singer in the Pierrot Lunaire may prefer her to the less Classically "cultivated" voice of Marianne Pousseur. I like both."
Personne | Rocky Mountain West | 03/09/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Pierrot is one of the landmark pieces of the early 20th century. It is also one of the less-frequently heard. I've heard performances with a screechy vocalist, with a too-operatic vocalist (including a former Met diva) and with poor instrumental performance. This recording is none of those.
Let's start out with sound quality and balance. They are excellent. The recording is natural and unforced, with the listener in an ideal position. Balance is such that both vocalist and instruments are easy to hear (pity about the lack of text in the CD).
The vocal performance is very good, with clarity of tone and no fear of the dramatic elements. Marianne Pousser has a flexible voice, clear across the tessitura of the piece. The instrumental performance is quite nice--there is some really fine music going on behind the drama.
This is a recording worth spending time with. I can't believe it's so inexpensive (under $7 as of this review). I'm looking forward to other recordings by this group."