What’s Interesting About This Episode
Produced by Mercury Soul for California Symphony, FREE three-part season finale series “Poetry in Motion” melds the arts of performance and cinematography for a new way to experience the symphony. Filmed in 4K at Bay Area landmark the Oakland Scottish Rite Center, each 15- to 45-minute features music for string orchestra that takes its inspiration from poetry.
- Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht (Transfigured Night) for string orchestra is inspired by German poet Richard Dehmel’s work of the same name, which explores a confession between two lovers: A woman reveals she is pregnant with another man’s child, yet the man ultimately accepts and willingly forgives her.
- Between the subject matter and Schoenberg’s lush and romantic musical treatment of it, the piece was shocking and scandalous to early 20th century Vienna audiences.
- Although it is played as one continuous piece, the work consists of five sections which correspond to the five stanzas of the poem, as Schoenberg translates the narrative of the text into music.