Arnold Schoenberg – Chamber Symphony No. 1 (1906)


The Chamber Symphony No. 1 in E major, Op. 9 (also known by its title in German Kammersymphonie, für 15 soloinstrumente, or simply as Kammersymphonie) is a composition by Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg.

It was finished in 1906 and premiered on February 8, 1907 in Vienna by the Rosé Quartet together with a wind ensemble from the Vienna Philharmonic, under the composer’s baton. Schoenberg again conducted the piece, as part of the famed Skandalkonzert in 1913, in which the heterodox tonalities of Schoenberg’s Symphony and, more so, of his student Alban Berg’s works incited the attendees to riot in protest and prematurely end the concert.[citation needed]

The first British performance was on 6 May 1921 (or possibly on 16 April) at the Aeolian Hall, London, conducted by Edward Clark, Schoenberg’s champion and former student. The players included Charles Woodhouse (violin), John Barbirolli (cello), Léon Goossens (oboe), Aubrey Brain and Alfred Brain (horns).

The piece is a well-known example of the use of quartal harmony.


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