20.11.09

Arnold Schoenberg

Arnold Schoenberg's Verklärte Nacht, Op. 4 ("Transfigured Night", 1899) a string sextet in one movement, after poem by Richard Dehmel of the same name.
Berliner Philharmoniker - Dir. Herbert von Karajan.


Verklärte Nacht, Op. 4 ("Transfigured Night", 1899), a string sextet in one movement, is regarded as the earliest important work of Arnold Schoenberg. It was inspired by Richard Dehmel's poem of the same name — along with great inspiration upon meeting the sister of Schoenberg's teacher Alexander von Zemlinsky (Mathilde von Zemlinsky, whom Schoenberg would later marry).[1] Schoenberg composed this very complex, passionate string sextet within three weeks of meeting Mathilde.

Dehmel's powerful poem is about a man and a woman walking through a dark forest on a moonlit night, wherein the woman shares a dark secret with her new lover; she bears the child of a stranger. The mood of Dehmel's poem is reflected throughout the composition in five sections, beginning with the sadness of the woman's confession; a neutral interlude wherein the man reflects upon the confession; and a finale, the man's bright acceptance (and forgiveness) of the woman: O sieh, wie klar das Weltall schimmert! Es ist ein Glanz um Alles her (see how brightly the universe gleams! There is a radiance on everything).