Works for solo piano and for voice and string quartet, performed by pianist Louis Schwizgebel-Wang, soprano Mary Elizabeth Mackenzie, and musicians from Ravinia’s Steans Institute.
- Brahms: Two Rhapsodies, Op. 79
- Schoenberg: String Quartet No. 2, Op. 10
With lush harmony and passionate, singing melody, the Brahms’ Rhapsodies are textbook examples of the mature Romantic style. As the Romantic era progressed, composers began pushing the harmonic envelope further, and that late Romantic language is typified and further extended by Schoenberg’s Quartet No. 2. The first and second movements exhibit that late Romantic practice of stretching tonality, but they are fairly idiomatic for the time period. It is in the final movement that the real change comes. There is no key signature; the harmonies roam freely across the chromatic scale, in what is considered by many to be the composer’s first real experiment with atonality. It would be a little more than a decade before Schoenberg introduced his 12-tone system, but there is a sense that, with this quartet, the path of modern music has been irrevocably altered.
Recorded live in the Tapestry Room of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston.
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is pleased to share this concert under a Creative Commons Music Sharing License. For details see www.gardnermuseum.org.
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