Tuesday, 16 October 2012

100 years of Pierrot Lunaire

To mark the centenary of the work’s Berlin premiere, Berlin comes to Vienna tomorrow night for a HIP Pierrot with members of the Philharmoniker and German actress Barbara Sukowa in the Albertine Zehme role. The Klangforum subscriber base could normally be relied on to sell out the Mozart Saal for something like this, but the prospect of more heightened speech than muted song appears to have kept folks away and the number of unsold seats is an embarrassment. I am not familiar with the 1988 Sukowa recording and have no idea what to expect, but the event at least promises some pocket-friendly Schoenberg fun after work: tickets are available in all price categories – Cat. 6 is best avoided, Cat. 5 Balkon centre is a bargain for the sight and sound – and include free entry to the new Pierrot exhibition at the Schoenberg Center


  1. And Uri Caine on the keyboard!
    Pity I can't go.

  2. So I will admit that my CD collection includes urlicht/primal light and Wagner e Venezia. One would have to be a very humourless Wagnerian not to smile at his Walkürenritt but klezmerized Mahler is a huge market and to what extent primal light stands out from that... Must say I’m only familiar with that side of his career but guess that prepares me for ‘moonsongs’.

    From the advertising it seems the Konzerthaus was relying on ‘Berlin Philharmonic’ to sell this thing, though they have two audience niches that should guarantee a full house on the strength of either Schoenberg or Caine alone. Very sad to see the balcony still looking practically empty.

  3. You seem to forget that Vienna offers more than one concert each day ;-)
    Today there is strong competition within the Konzerthaus (the first concert in the PHACE series),
    and without that I, for instance, would probably have chosen the Theater an der Wien (Vivaldi, Tito Manlio).

  4. I remember Klangforum or Nouvelles Aventures Mozart Saal concerts clashing with Im Loth before and on one occasion a badly timed birthday celebration for Lothar Knessl (or perhaps let us say a badly timed competing MS event), though I was told that was full, as was the Formenti event I chose to go to instead. The Klangforum/Wien Modern subscriber base is certainly large enough to cover more than one event at a time - look at the Wien Modern Eröffnungskonzert which is very nearly sold out, despite many of us unhappily jumping ship for the Musikverein's Penderecki premiere, a cheap bit of thunder stealing even by Angyan's low standards.

    Naturally one hopes that the lack of enthusiasm for Sukowa (or whatever else) won't turn out to be justified...

  5. Is that a picture of Albertine Zehme as Pierrot?