Schoenberg: Verklaerte Nacht
Schoenberg's 1899 string sextet, Verklaerte Nacht, is one of the greatest late Romantic masterpieces of chamber music, steeped in the richest Romantic idiom while tinged with a flavour of the modernism soon to follow. It is established as a stalwart of the concert repertoire, both in its original sextet version and in the opulent arrangement made by the composer in 1917 for full string orchestra. We have heard it many times in Scotland, and it is much recorded in both versions. Less well known is the arrangement made in 1932 for piano trio by Eduard Steuermann, Schoenberg's resident pianist in the composer's Society for Private Musical Performances. Just exactly how Steuermann covered the "gaps" in the texture with three instruments instead of six is something of a musical miracle, but one that can be witnessed in this beautiful, transparent performance, released tomorrow by the Dutch Osiris Trio, impeccably faithful to the narrative flow and rich atmospheres of the piece. We should hear it live: a job for The Hebrides Ensemble?