Off to Baltimore this weekend for the first of three performances of Schoenberg's Ode to Napoleon Buonaparte for piano, string quartet and baritone reciter. Over the holidays, when I first listened to a recording of this 15-minute long piece (a thorny poem set to thorny music), my brain overloaded and stopped absorbing information about 5 minutes in. Now that I've spent some time getting to know the poem and the piece, I find it thrilling and very beautiful.
So that people hearing this piece in person for the first time next week might get more out of it than I did, here are links to:
1. the poem.
2. a programme note on the piece by Schoenberg.
3. a page where you can hear a recording (not me) of the piece.
It really is a fantastic piece. After the jump you can see a bit of the score, with its weirdly precise-yet-vague way of notating the reciter's part.