AGP175 - Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951) | Pierrot Lunaire (1912)
The Avant Garde Project celebrates its dodransbicentennial (quartoseptcentennial?) with the only out-of-print recording of Arnold Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire that I could find in my stacks. It is sung/recited by Mary Thomas with The Fires of London, and was released on LP on Unicorn Records RHS 319 in 1973. Pierrot Lunaire had a special place in the repertoire of The Fires of London in that they were originally named The Pierrot Players when they formed in 1967. The LP also includes a recording of Schoenberg's Chamber Symphony in an arrangement by Anton Webern for the same instrumentation that is used for Pierrot Lunaire.
These works were recorded in July 1973 in Wigmore Hall by Angus McKenzie and Tony Faulkner. It is a clear and natural recording that is also just a bit dark, as though it were recorded with a single microphone pair. You may notice in quiet sections in the middle of the Chamber Symphony a very light recurrent squiggly noise, which I think is caused by the tape mis-feeding the tiniest bit in a reel-to-reel player, either during recording or playback. It's not obtrusive, but maybe that's why this otherwise worthwhile recording of important works by Schoenberg has not been re-released on CD.
Mary Thomas – recite
Judith Pearce - flute and piccolo
Alan Hacker - clarinet and bass clarinet
Duncan Druce - violin and viola
Jennifer Ward Clarke - cello
Stephen Pruslin - piano
Pierrot Lunaire is conducted by Peter Maxwell Davies. The Chamber Symphony is performed without conductor.
I didn't scan the LP cover because plenty of information about Pierrot Lunaire and the Chamber Symphony are available on the internet.
UbuWeb Sound | UbuWeb
PennSound | CENTRO | EPC | WFMU