Ensemble BloedRood plays Schoenberg's Pierrot lunaire  Sunday 15 December 2013 12.00

Concert on the exhibition floor

AlbertineAn exclusive concert on the exhibition floor of the Permanent Exhibitions in the Great Synagogue, free for all visitors of the Jewish Historical Museum.

Dutch ensemble BloedRood performs Arnold Schoenberg's Pierrot lunaire (1912), a hundred years after the premiere, a boisterous performance which prodded the Münchner Zeitung to claim that maybe in a hundred years this piece would prove its efficacy. So now would be the time to test that claim: was the Zeitung right?

Back in 1912 during the premiere in Berlin the audience was confronted with quite some surprising musical innovations. Most importantly the Sprechstimme: the female voice not singing but not exactly speaking either. Then there was the experimental handling of the instruments. The absence of tonality. Supposedly one member of the audience cried out: "So now I, too, can play the piano!"

Pierrot lunaire consists of three groups of seven songs ("melodramas," Schoenberg called them), based on the poems written by Belgian author Albert Giraud (1860-1929), translated into German by Otto Erich Hartleben. By this time Schoenberg had not yet invented the twelve-tone technique, but was surely on its path: the music of Pierrot lunaire is usually referred to as "free atonality" or "free chromaticism". Furthermore, the piece dictates a colorful combination of instruments and even demands the violinist, flutist and clarinetist to double on viola, piccolo and bass clarinet respectively.

BloedRood will play their theatrical adaptation based on Pierrot lunaire, called Albertine. Next to the actual songs from Schoenberg's composition, the ensemble will tell the story of the composition from the perspective of its first vocal performer and instigator, Albertine Zehme. Next to Schoenberg's songs based on the Giraud-via-Hartleben poems, BloedRood will also play three songs of composer Otto Vrieslander (1880-1950), who almost at the same time as Schoenberg based his music on the same poetic source.

Ensemble BloedRood

Michaela Riener - Sprechstimme
Anna van Nieukerken - Piano
Sanne van der Horst - Cello
Anne-Marie Volten - Violin, Viola
Rob van Dord - Flute, Piccolo
Annette Schenk - Clarinet, Bass Clarinet

When: Sunday December 15
Where: Great Synagogue (Permanent Exhibitions)
More information: evenementen@jhm.nl