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Leaving Home - Orchestral Music in the 20th Century
A Conducted Tour by Sir Simon Rattle. Volume 1 - Dancing on a Volcano

Excerpts from:
Berg:
Violin Concerto 'To the Memory of an Angel' (1935)
Mahler:
Symphony No. 7
Schoenberg:
Verklärte Nacht, Op. 4
5 Orchestral Pieces, Op. 16 - No. 2
Strauss, R:
Elektra
Wagner:
Tristan und Isolde: Prelude to Act 1
Webern:
Five Pieces for Orchestra Op. 10 (Nos. 3, 4, 5)

Soloists including: Felicity Palmer, Gidon Kremer
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Sir Simon Rattle
Recording Date: 1996
Running Time: 50min + 60 minutes Extras
Picture Format: 4:3
Sound Format: PCM Stereo

DANCING ON A VOLCANO is the first episode of Sir Simon Rattle's "Leaving Home", a television programme introducing 20th century orchestral music. We go between the brief lectures of Rattle, seated at a piano, and excepts from various pieces in performance by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra conducted by Rattle. This first volume starts at the very beginning: Vienna before World War I, when tonality was being pushed to the limit by Wagner, Mahler, and Schoenberg, and then broken entirely by the first twelve-tone serialists.

For Rattle, Wagner's "Tristan" makes a convenient beginning, though some might want to contest the composer's intentions in its infamous atonal passage. Mahler (Symphony No. 7) comes along with some innovations so subtle that it took decades for people to recognise how original he was. Schoenberg ("Transfigured Night", "Five Orchestral Pieces") expands on the freedom of pitches, and then Webern ("Five Pieces for Orchestra") comes up with the sensible next step, twelve tones arrayed in a row after which there was nothing more to be said. Finally, Berg writes his Violin Concerto (performed here by the great Gidon Kremer) that elegantly reconciles the twelve-tone method with echoes of traditional harmony. .

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  • Seller location: Lower Hutt City, Wellington, NZ

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