“It was as if heaven had silently kissed the earth” wrote Eichendorff in his poem “Mondnacht” (Moonlit Night), incomparably set to music by Robert Schumann in his Liederkreis op. 39. The lied was the genre that lent a voice to romantic inwardness. It remained that way for an entire century, and thus also applied for Brahms’ two songs of 1863 and 1884, and Arnold Schoenberg’s early string sextet to a poem by Richard Dehmel. A man and a woman come together on a moonlit night, a miniature drama of the sexes that Schoenberg set to music for a piano trio in 1899. The concert opens with Beethoven’s famous “Ghost” Trio, with its evocatively melancholy middle movement...
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