Anton Webern

Concerto for 9 instruments, Op. 24

    Description by James Leonard

    In the early 1930s, while the world economy was disintegrating and German politics were descending into barbarism, Anton Webern retreated into his world of strictly organized sounds. Webern first sketched the work that would become his Konzert, Op. 24, on January, 16, 1931; it began life as a single-movement orchestral piece inspired by his visit to his parents' graves, and based on a twelve-tone row so tightly organized that the standard 48 permutations were reduced to only 12. As the work grew into three movements, Webern continued distilling its essence and concentrating its form. In the final version, Webern reduced the number of instruments to nine -- flute, oboe, and clarinet; horn, trumpet, and trombone; violin, viola, and piano. The Konzert was completed on September 13, 1934, and dedicated to Webern's teacher and friend Arnold Schoenberg.

    The opening movement (in duple time, marked Etwas lebhaft), is in three parts with an introduction and postlude; each section is clearly articulated by tempo markings. Each section is more intensely worked out then the one before it, culminating in a fortissimo stringendo climax at the end of the third section. The central movement is a brief, gentle waltz for muted instruments in two sections; the closing movement is a quick dance for winds, strings, and muted brass above the piano, rushing headlong toward a climactic chord in the winds, brass, and piano in the final bars.

    Parts/Movements

    1. Etwas lebhaft
    2. Sehr langsam
    3. Sehr rasch

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2015 DG Deutsche Grammophon 002894794261
    2010 Apex
    2010 Apex / Warner Classics 256468399
    2007 Scandinavian Classics 220571
    2007 Elatus
    2005 DG Deutsche Grammophon
    2005 Naxos 8557530
    2001 Classico 312
    2000 DG Deutsche Grammophon 457637
    1999 Teldec 22902
    1996 Koch 7337
    1995 DG Deutsche Grammophon 437786
    1991 Sony Music Distribution 45845
    1991 Chandos 6534
    Vivace 334
    Denon Records 78977