Herbert von Karajan and the Berliner Philharmoniker in Schonberg's Verklarte Nacht
Last Friday (July 13) marked the passing of Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg (Sept. 13 1874 - July 13 1951). A major exponent of the so-called Second Viennese School, Schoenberg is famous for his 12-tone compositions. His early works however bear a strongly Late Romantic flavour with its chromaticism and expanded tonalities. The best examples include his "secular cantata" Gurrelieder, and his symphonic tone poem Verklarte Nacht. Here is my very favourite, full orchestral version of Verklarte Nacht, played by the Berlin Philharmonic under the baton of Herbert von Karajan. I still remember being totally enthralled hearing the LP for the first time when it came out in the early 1970's, the almost unbearably beautiful playing by the Berlin forces - the strings were to die for! It remains my desert island disc after almost forty years.
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