Konzerthaus Kammerorchester Berlin: „Schönberg | Beethoven“

‘Music without borders’ and the idea of promoting works that do not receive the attention they deserve among the general public are key concerns of the Funk Foundation. The Konzerthaus Kammerorchester Berlin also stands for the same principles. In addition to its artistic quality, the ensemble is of interest to the Funk Foundation mainly due to its varied concert programmes and international line-up.

The latest product of this partnership is the release of the CD "Schönberg | Beethoven", a live recording of a concert held on 5 November 2015, in the small hall of the Konzerthaus Berlin.

The repertoire includes the piece "Verklärte Nacht op.4 (Transfigured Night op.4)" by composer Arnold Schönberg (1874–1951). The orchestra plays the arrangement for string orchestra written by Schönberg himself. The work, originally written for string sextet in 1899, was inspired by the poem of the same name by German writer and poet Richard Dehmel from his book Weib und Welt (Woman and World). The arrangement for string orchestra that can be heard on this CD was first completed in 1917 before being revised again by the composer in 1943.

A special arrangement of the "string quartet No. 14 in C-sharp minor op.131" by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827) was also performed and recorded. The quartet sounds polished here in a version for string orchestra by the Greek conductor, composer and pianist Dimitri Mitropoulos (1896–1960).

Both works resemble one another, according to KHKO concertmaster Michael Erxleben, mainly owing to the ‘continuous structure of the movements – everything interweaves.’ He adds that both also have similar themes and motifs in the foreground: ‘[…] the eternal contradiction between permanence and metamorphosis and even between life and death.’

You can find further information on this CD by watching the current trailer on YouTube.

The finished CD has been available since autumn 2018.