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Schoenberg: Verklärte Nacht (Transfigured Night)

img  Tobias Fischer

„Verklärte Nacht“ („Transfigured Night“), originally a String Sextet later reworked into an orchestral tone-poem and a more minimal Piano trio (see our review of a recent performance by the Vienna Piano Trio for an account of the latter's charms), is perhaps the best example of his capacity to evoke a sense of deep yearning and sensuality. Marked by a mostly fluent narrative over the course of its half-hour-long single-movement-structure, the music develops through tight, almost claustrophobic and evocative textures, which spiral slowly but surely towards an uncertain resolution.

As befits this passionate outburst, composed in a mere three weeks, Transfigured Night was inspired by his wife-to-be Mathilde and can be regarded as a coded declaration of love.

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