Berg Lyric Suite decrypted – Audi, Amsterdam Sinfonietta Barbican

19 Mar 2011

Written by: Anne Ozorio

Published in: Classical Iconoclast

This wasn’t just another concert. It was Liebestod, a truly unique exploration of Berg’s Lyric Suite. Berg’s piece is a compelling work, whose mysteries were only revealed about twenty years ago when the composer’s letters to his lover Hanna Fuchs-Robettin were released …

Again, it’s the Lyric Suite but not quite as we’re used to. This time, instead of four instruments, it’s arranged for larger forces (partly by Berg himself in 1928, the rest by Theo Verbey in 2005). This balances the intensity of the spoken passages and emphasizes the extreme “madness” Berg speaks of. Words and music intertwine, too, though the music isn’t as abstract as might seem.