Mr Thomas Kemp: Lecture Details

Mr Thomas Kemp (RNCM)

Wednesday 2 November 2011

Transfigured by time? - evolving performance practice issues in Schoenberg's Verklaerte Nacht

Written in 1899, Verklaerte Nacht was Arnold Schoenberg's first great  work: its first performance, given by the Rose Quartet  in The Musikverein on 18th March, 1902, caused a riot.  Considered a radical, iconoclastic work by its first audiences, the music is firmly rooted in 19th century romanticism and represents a synthesis of the two opposing camps that dominated the latter part of the 19th century: Wagner and Brahms.

Arnold Rose who led the first performance would have viewed this music as part of a continuity of tradition. In the early Twentieth Century, the idea of varying playing style for each period of music did not exist: music was part of one playing tradition.  This lecture will explore the changes of playing tradition and cultural aesthetics that occurred during the 20th century and will look at Schoenberg's own evolving interpretation of the work.  What can we learn from these changes and how can we make research relevant to performing this music?  What is there to be learnt from looking at the early performing materials and analysing seminal recordings of the work? Can looking back help us to look forward as performers?

Thomas Kemp teaches at the RNCM and works worldwide as a conductor and violinist.

Last modified: Friday, 8 June 2012, 4:17 PM