SCHOENBERG: Vol. III
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The little-known Second 'Chamber Symphony' ought to be the most popular of Schoenberg's later masterpieces. Neither \atonal" nor "twelve-tone", it contrasts a lush, melodious, dramatic first movement with a rapid and richly polyphonic second movement. 'Die gl??ckliche Hand' is a pantomime for two silent actors and one solo singer, "the Man". The music is very compressed, and its two middle scenes, apart from the lines by the Man, are purely orchestral. Realising that a work of 38 minutes in atonal idiom for five winds might be less audience-friendly than any of his music heretofore, Schoenberg imparted his 'Wind Quintet' with a display of instrumental virtuosity that surpassed anything even he had ever attempted."