Berg’s ‘missing songs’

Reading time: 1 min. Alban Berg

On the 3rd of May 1917, the sixth anniversary of their wedding, Alban Berg gave his wife Helene a special gift: a vocal score containing ten songs from 1907, the year of their first meeting. We are familiar with seven of those songs as Alban Berg’s Seven Early Songs.

In 1927/28, Berg orchestrated seven songs from the original 1917 ‘wedding gift’ cycle, following Helene Berg’s suggestion to offer a selection of his early songs in orchestral versions to the public. The three remaining songs An Leukon, Die Sorglichen and Schließe mir die Augen beide were orchestrated by Chris Gordon.

Soprano Lisa Larsson performs the Dutch première of Alban Berg’s complete 10 Early Songs (cond. Antonello Manacorda) together with Het Gelders Orkest on 8 April.

Further performances take place on 9.4. in Nijmegen, on 10.4. in Utrecht, on 15.4. in Enschede and on 16.4. in Arnheim.

Chris Gordon on the 10 Early Songs

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