🎻♫♪ – Gurrelieder by Arnold Schoenberg

List Item: Listen to half of the 1001 Classical Works You Must Hear Before You Die
87/501Title: Gurrelieder
Composer: Arnold Schoenberg
Nationality: Austrian

This is weird. I haven’t written a blog post in months (as explained in my last post) and I am having to get back into the swing of things with a post that – quite coincidentally – goes up on my birthday. So a happy birthday to me, you made it through and will continue to do so. Now, let’s talk about a classical piece that has one of the best pieces of album artwork that I have ever seen.

Gurrelieder is described as a cantata, meaning a choral piece of music for multiple voices. However, that’s also how you could describe an opera… so I am not entirely sure of the difference between the two other than general feel. The use of the voices in this piece didn’t feel operatic. Must be something about the orchestration and how it’s performed I guess.

When I picked a classical piece out of the random bucket (as we have a bucket now for three of the different challenges) I never imagined it would be one where the third act essentially required a chorus of zombies. Okay, I am embellishing a little bit – but when you read the description, it’s hard to not think of the Thriller video in a classical context with 13th century clothing.

My weird mental picture aside, everything about Gurrelieder screamed an epic romance – albeit about the mythologised life of a very important Danish king. It’s an interesting first thing to write about and I look forward to what classical piece comes next now that I am back.

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