Here is the recording of Ormandy conducting work of the second Vienna School that I promised would be the follow-up to the tribute on the 25th anniversary of his death. The two Webern works on this record were discovered only in the 1960s and received their first performances by Ormandy and his orchestra. Rather than unnecessarily re-write a lot of text, I have photographed the back of the album, which has the pertinent information. I would only add that the Sommerwind is more Post-romantic than what we normally expect from Webern and the the 3 pieces are performed with a delicacy that does justice to a composer whose music is more apt to be thought of in terms of harmonic violence rather than the astonishing refinement of its polyphony.
The Lulu Suite presented here sounds to me less repulsed by Lulu's amorality than saddened by the destruction of her humanity. A kind of Lulu as tragic heroine, if you like. And if you don't --well -- I won't insist on it!The Schoenberg Theme and Variations, first conceived as a piece for band, gives us a triumphantly tonal work late in Schoenberg's career. Whatever dodecophonic ideologues may have said during the musical culture wars of the middle and late twentieth century, the head honcho of the whole movement stated unequivocally that there was still plenty of good music to be written in C major. Though without Schoenberg's authority, I would still add that there is undoubtedly still plenty of good music to be written using serial techniques and charts of tone rows.