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    Transfigured Night

    Presented by at NEC's Jordan Hall

    January 31, 2013


    Transfigured Night

     Two people walk through a bare, cold grove.

    Woman: I'm carrying a child, not yours.
    I walk in sin beside you.

    Man: A special warmth flickers
    From you into me, from me into you.
    It will transfigure the strange man's child.

    Two people walk through the lofty, bright night.

    from Stanley Applebaum's translation of Richard Dehmel's poem

    In 1899, at the dawn of a new century, composer Arnold Schoenberg created a breakthrough musical work, Verklärte Nacht (Transfigured Night). In creating this epic half-hour of unprecedented sounds, Schoenberg drew on his love of two opposing musical models of his time: Brahms's pure, abstract music, Wagner's musical storytelling—along with a poem that was scandalous for its time in treating an illegitimate child as a catalyst for human transformation. Paradoxically, Schoenberg's uncompromising quest for a new musical aesthetic was triggered by this consummate musical peace offering.

    Writing for string sextet, Schoenberg expressed a vision of orchestral scale. In fact, he eventually created an arrangement for string orchestra (in 1917, revised in 1943), and on February 27, Donald Palma and the NEC Chamber Orchestra offer the opportunity to hear this version of the work.

    Each year John Heiss recruits students interested in performing 20th- and 21st-century music to join the NEC Contemporary Ensemble. After a fall concert that included an early modernist icon that is often on the Contemporary Ensemble playlist, Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire, Heiss continues his Schoenberg survey.

    Also on the program: a 1938 trio by Béla Bartók based on Hungarian and Romanian dance melodies; and Gunther Schuller's 1979 Octet, written shortly after he stepped down from the presidency of New England Conservatory.

    Bartók Contrasts
    Robyn Bollinger, violin
    Nathan Raderman, clarinet
    Yannick Rafalimanana, piano

    Schuller Octet
    Amy Galluzzo, Sarah Ryu, violin
    Danielle Weibe, viola
    Yina Tong, cello
    Edward Kass, double bass
    John Diodati, clarinet
    Sean Maree, bassoon
    Nick Rubenstein, horn

    Read Gunther Schuller's notes on this work.

    Schoenberg Transfigured Night
    Audrey Wright, Alexi Kenney, violin
    Wenting Kang, Alice Webber, viola
    Emileigh Vandiver, Andrew Larson, cello

    Since 1967, John Heiss has taught NEC students the roots of 20th-century modernism both in the classroom and as a conductor and coach. His courses on Ives, Schoenberg, and Stravinsky have shaped generations of musicians. Due to the accuracy of his ear in rehearsals, Stravinsky called him "the pitch doctor."

    NEC's Jordan Hall

    30 Gainsborough Street
    Boston, MA 02115

    Full map and directions

    Admission Info:

    Free/General Admnission

    General Day and Time Info:

    Seating is first come, first served

    Phone: 6175851148

    Accessibility Information: Currently, no accessibility information is available for this event.

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