Transfigured Night

Schoenberg and Ravel



Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Lawrence Renes conductor
Jack Schiller bassoon


Ravel Pavane pour une infante défunte
Matthew Laing* Bassoon Concerto (World premiere of an MSO Commission)
Schoenberg Transfigured Night

*2021 Cybec Composer in Residence

About the performance

Highly emotional, turbulent and ultimately ecstatic, Arnold Schoenberg’s Transfigured Night is one of the most important works by the 20th century revolutionary composer. Lawrence Renes conducts this Romantic and inventive piece, paired here with one of Ravel’s most well-loved works and a world premiere by the MSO’s 2021 Cybec Young Composer in Residence.

  • A poignant poem
    Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht (Transfigured Night) originated as a string sextet in 1899, (the string orchestra version premiered in 1943) inspired by a poignant poem by German writer Richard Dehmel. The story tells of a woman, confessing to her lover that she is pregnant with another man’s child, and the man’s acceptance and love for her regardless. Perhaps more well known for his radical style that was to form in the years to come, here Schoenberg was inspired by the Great Romantics in Strauss, Mahler and Wagner – particularly the latter’s opera Tristan and Isolde.
  • A mysterious masterpiece
    Melancholic and mysterious, Ravel’s Pavane for a Dead Princess was composed for the Princesse de Polignac (née Winnaretta Singer, an heiress to the Singer sewing machine fortune) – an arts patron for whom Fauré, Stravinsky, Weill, Poulenc and de Falla also dedicated works.
  • A showcase of young virtuosity
    Rising star composer and violist Matthew Laing has been commissioned by such esteemed ensembles as Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, Affinity Quartet (London) and Flinders Quartet – where he was mentored by Brett Dean – in his burgeoning compositional career. As MSO’s 2021 Cybec Young Composer in Residence, this concerto was written to showcase the virtuosity of MSO Principal Bassoon Jack Schiller.

Duration: approx. 60 minutes with no interval

Program and artists subject to change

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