Arnold Schoenberg (1876-1951)

Moses und Aron: Act 2, Scene 3: Das Goldene Kalb und der Altar

Solti conducted the British premiere of Schoenberg’s unfinished opera on 28 June 1965, during his tenure as Music Director at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, in a production by the British stage director Peter Hall. The performances proved such a success that the production was revived the following season. Five years later he introduced the work to New York, leading the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in a celebrated concert performance at Carnegie Hall in November 1971. “I remember so vividly the fears and anxiety I had when I first studied the score of Moses und Aron in 1965. I found it unbelievably complicated, and thought I would never manage to learn it. But since then I have performed the work over twenty times in London, Paris, Chicago, and New York. With every performance the work became clearer, less complicated, and more expressive and romantic…Schoenberg loved Brahms and this comes out in the work if the expressivo character is enough underlined and played romantically. During the recording I said to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, ‘Please play and sing as if you were performing Brahms!’” (notes to recording, London (Decca) 414-264-2). Shown here is the beginning of the “Golden Calf” scene in the second act.

Arnold Schoenberg. Moses und Aron: Act 2, Scene 3: “Da goldene Kalb und der Altar”. Perf. Philip Langridge; Chicago Symphony Chorus; Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Recorded at Orchestra Hall, Chicago, April-May 1984 (London 414 264-2). Record Collection CD 407

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