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Zubin Mehta conducts Pierrot Lunaire

Schoenberg’s atonal melodrama, Pierrot Lunaire, shocked audiences when it premiered in 1912. Based on 21 poems by Belgian Symbolist poet Albert Giraud, Pierrot was a watershed work in the history of musical modernism; as Schoenberg wrote in his diary entry on March 12, 1912, 'I believe I am approaching a new way of expression.' Pierrot highlights Schoenberg's ingenious modernism in various ways: it uses free atonality (which came before Schoenberg's stricter twelve-tone serialism) and makes fascinating use of Sprechstimme ('speech-song') to express complex psychological drama. Its unique chamber instrumentation, known as the 'Pierrot ensemble', brings together eight instruments across woodwinds, strings and keyboard in dazzling combinations that change from movement to movement. More than a century since its premiere, Pierrot Lunaire has lost none of its power to fascinate and astound us. Don't miss Schoenberg's experimental masterpiece on MSO.LIVE as Zubin Mehta, one of the leading conductors of our time, directs the Boulez Ensemble from Berlin's Pierre Boulez Saal.

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