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Arnold Schönberg: Gurre-Lieder

  • for solos, choir and orchestra
  • 8 5 7 5 - 10 6 6 1 - timp, perc, hp(4), cel, bass tpt, bass tbn, str
  • Duration: 130’
  • Soloists:
    soprano, mezzo-soprano or alto, 2 tenors, bass, speaker
  • Instrumentation details:
    1. piccolo (+fl)
    2. piccolo (+fl)
    3. piccolo (+fl)
    4. piccolo (+fl)
    1. flute
    2. flute
    3. flute
    4. flute
    1. oboe
    2. oboe
    3. oboe
    4. oboe (+c.a)
    5. oboe (+c.a)
    1. clarinet in Eb (+cl(A))
    2. clarinet in Eb (+cl(A))
    1. clarinet in B (+cl(A))
    2. clarinet in B (+cl(A))
    3. clarinet in B (+cl(A))
    1. bass clarinet in B (+cl(A))
    2. bass clarinet in B (+cl(A))
    1. bassoon
    2. bassoon
    3. bassoon
    1. contrabassoon
    2. contrabassoon
    1. horn in F
    2. horn in F
    3. horn in F
    4. horn in F
    5. horn in F
    6. horn in F
    7. horn in F
    8. horn in F
    9. horn in F
    10. horn in F
    1. trumpet in F (+tpt(Bb)
    2. trumpet in F (+tpt(Bb)
    3. trumpet in F (+tpt(Bb)
    4. trumpet in F (+tpt(Bb)
    5. trumpet in F (+tpt(Bb)
    6. trumpet in F (+tpt(Bb)
    basstrumpet in Eb
    1. tenor bass trombone
    2. tenor bass trombone
    3. tenor bass trombone
    4. tenor bass trombone
    bass trombone in Eb
    contrabass trombone
    contrabass tuba
    1. harp
    2. harp
    3. harp
    4. harp
    violin I
    violin II
  • Choir: Waldemars Mannen: 3 (eventuell 4) 4-stimmige Männerchöre, 8-stimmiger gemischter Chor (große Besetzung)
  • Composer: Arnold Schönberg
  • Thematic analysis: Alban Berg
  • Text author: Jens Peter Jacobsen
  • Translator: Robert Franz ArnoldDonna Hewitt

Work introduction

Schönberg worked on his Gurre- Lieder for soloists, chorus and orchestra from 1900-1911, a period in which he left the work’s style far behind. For him its completion represented the documentation of a compositional style and spiritual attitude no longer his own. At its 1913 première in the Vienna Musikverein the piece enjoyed overwhelming success; Schönberg’s pupil Webern wrote: What a moment of my life! Unforgettable… The sensation of this tumultuous noise thrills me to the point where I swoon…


World première

Musikverein, Großer Saal, Wien (AT)
Wiener Tonkünstler-Orchester
Franz Schreker
Main soloists:
Anna Bahr-Mildenburg - Waldtaube; Marya Freund - Tove; Franz Nachod - Waldemar

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