Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder - a sixty second guide

Based on a medieval legend, Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder (Songs of Gurre) tells a tale of love, murder, and the redemptive power of nature, in lush, late-Romantic music. The piece calls for an orchestra of around 150 players, a 200-strong chorus, five soloists and a narrator, and lasts over two hours.

Offering a somewhat shorter synopsis of the story of Gurrelieder, this one-minute animation, produced by Philharmonia Orchestra, enables you to gallop through the story with King Waldemar’s ghostly knights.

Schoenberg's Gurrelieder - a sixty minute guide


Written by the Austrian composer at the turn of the Century, it was not until 1913 that Gurrelieder received its premiere in Vienna, earning an ovation that lasted a quarter of an hour and culminated with Schoenberg's being presented with a laurel crown.


Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts the Philharmonia Orchestra in Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder in Royal Festival Hall on Thursday 28 June.

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