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The 2011 Salzburg Festival hosted pianist Mitsuko Uchida, actress Barbara Sukowa, and a hand-picked international ensemble, who performed Schoenberg's 'Pierrot Lunaire' for its centennial with exemplary energy and finesse, acclaimed as a real occasion by audience and critics alike.
Along with the live concert recording, a documentary film was made during the rehearsals at Schloss Elmau in Salzburg on the work’s historical, contextual and musical exegesis. Mitsuko Uchida and the other musicians speak of the eclectic scoring for their instruments and the great emotions they constantly encountered during the performance, while Nuria Schoenberg Nono and Lawrence Schoenberg present a variety of original materials from the time when 'Pierrot' was written, retelling how Schönberg was commissioned to compose it in 1912 by elocutionist Albertine Zehme of Berlin. Schoenberg’s now-famous expressive device of Sprechgesang and specific instrumentation for each poem characterises the 21 poems in previously unimaginable splendour.
"A good performance needs to have heart and spirit, and that is what we try to achieve. The piano should sing and the voice should speak. I should also play the piano in a way that doesn’t sound like piano. I have to sound like the flute, the violin and so on. Everybody melts into one". Mitsuko Uchida
Special Interview Partners: Nuria Schoenberg Nono, Lawrence Schoenberg
1 DVD: Concert 39’32’’, Documentary 52’
Sound: 5.1 Dolby Digital Language: English and German
Picture Format: 16:9 Subtitles: English and German
DVD 5, Region: 0/NT
“this new [recording] is clearly the work of someone who has thought about the peice for a long time. Her voice is ethereal, otherworldly, haunted. We feel the air from another planet. Anthony McGill talks up his preference for unconducted Pierrots and the utterly alive in-chatter of the ensemble proves his wisdom.” Grammophone