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Transfigured / Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective

Transfigured / Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective

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Known for its championship of neglected repertoire; the Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective presents a program of works by composers within and around the Second Viennese School, centered on Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht. Probably Schoenberg’s best-known piece – in either of its two orchestral versions or the original string sextet version heard here, Verklärte Nacht is certainly not neglected! The Collective has chosen to surround it, however, with works that are much less well known, producing a fascinating and rewarding program. Schoenberg composed the work in 1899; whilst on holiday with his friend and fellow composer Alexander Zemlinsky and Zemlinsky’s sister, Mathilde, whom Schoenberg would marry two years later.

Zemlinsky’s Maiblumen blühten überall for soprano and string sextet was never completed, intended originally to be a much larger work. Webern studied composition with both Zemlinsky and Schoenberg. His Piano Quintet may, like Zemlinsky’s composition, have been conceived a part of a larger work; but only this one movement was ever composed. Alma Schindler was another pupil of Zemlinsky; one with whom he developed a deep romantic infatuation. Their relationship ended when she herself fell in love with Gustav Mahler who, when they married, famously forbade her from pursuing her career as a composer. The four songs included here (arranged for soprano and string sextet by Tom Poster) are embedded in the soundworld of Zemlinsky and Schoenberg, and offer an intriguing glimpse of what she might have composed in other circumstances...

REVIEWS:

Francesca Chiejina’s lustrous soprano brings serious class to Zemlinsky's and Alma Mahler’s songs.

-- BBC Music Magazine

The youthful exuberance of the Kaleidoscope Collective evoke the appropriate exhilaration of Schoenberg’s response to Richard Dehmel’s poem via his Verklärte Nacht.

-- Gramophone

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