The Music of Arnold Schoenberg
Robert Craft, conducting
Here at last is the newly reissued CD of a wonderful album, originally recorded in stereo by Robert Craft in the ’60s. Get set for breathtakingly brilliant orchestrations of music by J.S. Bach and Johannes Brahms, rethought for a modern orchestra by Arnold Schoenberg. The Brahms piece is the Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor, which in Schoenberg’s hands sounds like a glimmering symphony, magnificently played by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The Bach pieces, two Chorale Preludes and the “St. Anne” Prelude and Fugue, all originally for organ, are here transformed into luminous, eloquent orchestral works, often in lovely autumnal colors. For the Bach, Craft led the Columbia Symphony, a pickup orchestra of first-chair players who could do everything supremely well.