“Pierrot Lunaire, Cabaret for a Crazed Clown: A Performance-Presentation on Arnold Schoenberg’s Expressionist Chamber Music Masterpiece” by Nonsemble 6

Nonsemble 6 gives a performance-presentation of Arnold Schoenberg’s epic masterpiece Pierrot Lunaire. Scored for voice, piano, violin, cello, flute, and clarinet, this melodrama is about Pierrot, the original melancholy, moon-drunk clown and mime from Italy’s commedia dell’arte. The music ranges in fits of hyperactive expressionism–Schoenberg’s “atonal” music was and still is reviled by many. But in the hands of the competent, this music sings with delicious romanticism, dances the waltzes of Vienna, and claws at the psyche with frightful hallucinations. This presentation will outline the history of the commedia dell’arte, the wildness of Pierrot Lunaire’s poetry, Schoenberg’s use of instruments and voice in his musical storytelling, and the cabaret style of pantomime and costume–and is a special preview for an October 4th performance at the SF Conservatory of Music. (For more information and for tickets, click here.)

Nonsemble 6 is a San Francisco-based sextet committed to pushing the boundaries of the traditional concert experience and engaging audiences with multi-genre collaborations. Their current season focuses on Pierrot Lunaire and on expanding monodrama repertoire, with upcoming commissions by composers including Luciano Chessa, Danny Clay, and Adrian Knight. Nonsemble 6 is a fiscally sponsored affiliate of the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music, a nonprofit dedicated to the service of chamber music in California.

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