Pierrot Lunaire is a key work from the 20th century, inextricably connected with the radical musical changes taking place around the time of the First World War.
Arnold Schoenberg played a crucial role in this evolution; he tirelessly sought out new sound worlds, often at a speed that audiences of the time could not handle.
The exploration of the intrinsic beauty of this music is an ongoing journey, and Reinbert de Leeuw is one of the best guides you could wish for. For more than fifty years now, his mission has been to convince listeners of the sometimes-difficult-to-access richness of new music. Pierrot Lunaire is a recurring work in his exhaustive odyssey. De Leeuw has performed it dozens of times all over the world, and every time seeking out new subtleties and shadings of colour.
In Leuven, he’ll juxtapose the work with Schoenberg’s late-Romantic Verklärte Nacht (Transfigured Night), so that you can hear both the light and dark sides of the moon in one concert. Between the two pieces, Reinbert de Leeuw will talk about the musical and aesthetic choices Schoenberg made at the beginning of the 20th century.
In the context of the four day hommage to Reinbert de Leeuw in the occasion of his honorary doctorate of KU Leuven Faculty of Arts.
Arnold Schönberg: Verklärte Nacht op. 4 arrangement E. Steuermann, Pierrot Lunaire op. 21
NOTES DURING CONCERT
In between the two pieces, Reinbert de Leeuw talks about Schönberg's musical and aesthetic choices at the start of the 20th century.
(Visuals: Klaas Verpoest)
Klaas Verpoest is an actor, graphic designer , video artist and sound designer .
Het Collectief o.l.v. Reinbert de Leeuw & Marianne Pousseur
The performers are Het Collectief, an ensemble that was ‘born’ when it was formed to play Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire, with which De Leeuw has worked intensively in the last few years.
Belgian soprano Marianne Pousseur is Pierrot. She has now been ‘married’ to the role for over twenty years, and her interpretations of it have become increasingly sober and vulnerable.