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Classical Album of the Week: Step Back In Time to Vienna in 1900

November 16, 2020. Vienna was the place to be in the year 1900. It was a time of cross-fertilization of intellectual life. Sigmund Freud psychoanalyzed Gustav Mahler. Arnold Scheonberg took painting lessons from the Secessionist artist Richard Gerstl, who had an affair with Schoenberg’s wife. Gustav Klimt painted a portrait of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s sister for her wedding. This period comes to life again through its music in our Classical Album of the Week: Vienne 1900.

Return to the coffeehouses of Vienna through the music of Schoenberg and Mahler, Zemlinsky, Berg and Korngold.

Japanese violinist Daishin Kashimoto, Swiss flutist Emmanual Pahud, Israeli cellist Zvi Plesser and French pianist Eric Le Sage have been playing together for years. Last year, the quartet performed at the Salon de Provence Chamber Music Festival and recorded this album. 

Listen to Schoenberg’s Kammersymphonie No. 1, which premiered in Vienna in 1907 with the composer conducting, from Vienne: 1900.

Schoenberg made several arrangements of the work, one for piano four hands and one for a larger orchestra. Schoenberg disciple Anton Webern arranged the piece for violin, flute, clarinet, cello and piano. French clarinetist Paul Meyer joins the quartet for that work as well as Alexander Von Zemlinsky’s Clarinet Trio and Alban Berg’s flute and piano transcriptions of Mahler lieder. 

Listen to the third movement of the Zemlinsky Clarinet Trio from Vienne: 1900:

The Austrian-born composer Erich Korngold, best known for his film scores, is also represented by his Opus No. 1, his Piano Trio.

So, sit down, dish up a slice of Sacher torte, take a sip of strong Viennese coffee and enjoy!

A veteran broadcaster, Kevin garnered a wealth of experience in radio before taking the weekday classical host position from 2 to 6 PM at WRTI, where he was on the air until his retirement in March 2023.