Cultured club

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THERE’S some high culture for those of that disposition at Glasgow’s City Halls.

The BBC’s Scottish Symphone Orchestra is putting on a one-off performance of Arnold Shoenberg’s Erwartung.

Composed as early as 1909, Shoenberg’s one-act opera didn’t receive its first performance until 1924 in Prague.

Written in a white-hot inspirational frenzy, it has been described by writer and music critic Malcolm MacDonald as “the most astonishing written-out improvisation in the history of music”.

It tells the story of a woman in a forest who is in an apprehensive state as she searches for her lover.

In the darkness, she stumbles across what she thinks at first is a body — only to find it is a tree trunk.

She is frightened and becomes more anxious as she cannot find her man.

Then she finds a dead body and sees it is her lover.

She calls out for assistance, but no one responds.

She tries to revive him — then addresses him as if he were will alive, angrily charging him with being unfaithful to her.

This work is lovingly resurrected by Stephen Johnson, with the help of soprano Jeanne-Michele Charbonnet and conductor Matthias Pintscher who combine to explore this remarkable piece.