What’s Interesting About This Episode
This is episode two of “Poetry in Motion,” a FREE three-part series filmed at Bay Area landmark the Oakland Scottish Rite Center. Each 20- to 45-minute episode features music for string orchestra that uses poetry as a source of inspiration.
- Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht (Transfigured Night) for string orchestra is inspired by German poet Richard Dehmel’s piece, which explores a confession between two lovers: A woman 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.