Alban Berg
Published April 19, 2019
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66 min
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    Donald Macleod surveys the life, loves and music of Alban Berg. As a youngster, Berg loved the music of Brahms, Mahler and Richard Strauss and composed 34 songs as a teenager. Maybe this would have been the end of it, but his brother Charly secretly took some of these songs to show a music professor in the city - Arnold Schoenberg. This week’s episode begins with a look at their stimulating but often turbulent relationship. Donald tells the story of Berg’s long marriage to Viennese beauty Helene Nahowski, and the secrets beneath the surface, including Berg’s love affair with Hanna Fuchs-Robettin which permeated his compositions. We hear about how his time in army training led to physical collapse, from which he emerged to write a brutal opera – Wozzeck. Finally, Berg’s premature death from an infected insect sting, and how his wife Helene set up a shrine to his memory, forbidding the completion of Lulu, the unfinished opera he left behind. Music featured: Über den Bergen – Over the Mountains Lied de Lulu from Lulu Suite Still is where the graves are (Schattenleben) Where the Laburnum Grows Passacaglia (arr. Von Borries) Piano Sonata, Op 1 String Quartet, Op 3 Vielgeliebte schone Frau Seven Early Songs Four Pieces for Clarinet and Piano, Op 5 Five Altenberg Lieder Chamber Concerto for piano, violin and 13 wind instruments (Rondo) Ferne Lieder – Distant Songs Wozzeck: Act 3, Tanzt Alle Wozzeck: Act 3, Scenes 4 and 5 Three Pieces for Orchestra Wein, Weib und Gesang (Waltz Op 333 by Johann Strauss II, trans. Berg) Chamber Concerto for piano, violin and 13 wind instruments (Adagio) Lyric Suite Der Wein Schliesse mir die Augen beide (1907) Schliesse mir die Augen beide (1925) Lulu Suite: Variationen Violin Concerto Presented by Donald Macleod Produced by Rosie Boulton for BBC Wales For full tracklistings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Alban Berg https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m00047vv And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3cjHdZlXwL7W41XGB77X3S0/composers-a-to-z
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