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Schoenberg: Von Heute Auf Morgen

Georg Nigl (Mann), Brigitte Geller (Frau), Sonia Visentin (Freundin), Mathias Schulz (Sänger) & Michelangelo D’Adamo (Kind) Orchestra & Chorus Teatro La Fenice Venezia/Eliahu Inbal & Andreas Homoki (director) Frank Philipp Schlössmann (décor)

2008 production from Teatre la Fenice

Dynamic DVD 33638

This DVD world première of Schoenberg’s one hour one act comedy opera is probably more successful seen at home than in its theatre double-bill; I Pagliacci, which followed, will have been a relief to the Venice audience after bravely enduring its twelve-tone score 80 years on...

It is a comedy of marital illusions and cross-purposes which, with the text complete on sub-titles, I found genuinely funny.

The archetypical marital couple She & He fantasise about more seductive possibilities who, in turn, soon invade their home and white leather sofa, until the status quo is resumed more or less as before. They are interrupted by their small boy who asks, to finish the proceedings, "What are up-to-date people?"

The music is harsh and angular at first, and not conventionally 'singable'; gradually the strict 12-tone music,sung with confidence, becomes more comfortable. By the end I found myself pleased with Eliahu Inbal's presentation of the score and ready to hear it all again tomorrow - with greater enjoyment second time round.

Recommmended to open-eared opera collectors.

Peter Grahame Woolf