Four Orchestral Songs
Four Orchestral Songs, Op. 22 (in German: Vier Lieder für Gesang und Orchester or Vier Orchesterlieder) is a composition by Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg, scored for soprano and large orchestra.
The work was begun in 1913 and completed in 1916. These songs were the last works that Schoenberg was to write in the freely atonal style. After finishing this composition, Schoenberg would complete no new works for seven years, when he composed the Five Piano Pieces, Op. 23. During this compositional hiatus, he would develop the twelve-tone technique; thereafter, he would compose mainly (though not exclusively) using the twelve-note method.
The four songs are as follows:
- I. Seraphita
- II. Alle, welche dich Suchen (All that Seek Thee)
- III. Mach mich zum Wächter deiner Weiten (Make me thy Guardian)
- IV. Vorgefühle (Premonition)
The first of the songs, Seraphita, was composed in October 1913. The text comes from a poem by Ernest Dowson, translated by Stefan George. This is the most extended of the four songs with the vocal line separated by substantial orchestral interludes. The six clarinets open this song with a melody primarily based on seconds and thirds. The second song was written from November to December 1914, taking a text from a collection of poetry entitled The Book of Hours, by Rainer Maria Rilke; it is found in the second volume, Das Buch von der Pilgerschaft (The Book of Pilgrimage).
The third song, which also comes from Rilke's The Book the Hours, Das Buch von der Armut und vom Tode (The Book of Poverty and Death), was written between December 1914 to January 1915 and is divided into three sections. The fourth and final song, Vorgefühle, was finished in July 1916 with the text coming from Rilke's The Book of Images.
- The Philharmonia Orchestra recording on the Naxos label with the voice of Catherine Wyn-Rogers under the baton of Robert Craft. At the time of its release in 1998, it received a positive critical reception.
- "Tracklist from the CD 8.557523 in the Naxos Records catalogue". Hong Kong: Naxos Digital Services Ltd. March 2007. Retrieved July 22, 2011. "Four Orchestral Songs"
- "Composition overview hosted at allmusic.com". Rovi Corporation. Retrieved July 22, 2011. "Orchestral Songs (4), Op. 22"
- John Palmer. "Composition description hosted at allmusic.com". Santa Clara: Rovi Corporation. Retrieved July 22, 2011.
- Arnold Schoenberg; Ernest Dowson, Stefan George, Rainer Maria Rilke (2007). "Libretto from Four Orchestral Songs, Op. 22" (in German). Hong Kong: Naxos Digital Services Ltd. pp. 7–9. Retrieved July 23, 2011.
- "Reviews for the CD 8.557523 from the Naxos catalogue". MusicWeb International, Gramophone, Limelight, David's Review Corner. Hong Kong: Naxos Digital Services Ltd. March–August 2007. Retrieved July 23, 2011.
- Blair Sanderson (2007). "Review for the CD 8.557523 from the Naxos catalogue.". Santa Clara: Rovi Corporation. Retrieved July 23, 2011. "7 stars out of 10"