Verklärte Nacht is Schönbergs symphonic poem on the basis of a poem of the same name by Richard Dehmel. Schönberg wrote it in 1899, but the version on this recording is from later: a version for string orchestra.
In the poem a man and a woman walk together. It is a clear winter night. They are in love, but the woman confesses she is pregnant by another man. She wants to keep the child, as she always wanted to be a mother. He tells her she has nothing to worry, he will accept the child as his own. Their love is strong enough to make them and their unborn child a perfect unity.
The two works on this record both concern strong love between a man and a woman, and the fulfilment of that love through a child. Wagners piece is a very personal one. He wrote it as a birthday present for Cosima Wagners 33rd birthday. For seven years it was kept private, but when the family needed money it was sold to publisher Schott.
Two beautiful pieces that I really liked from the beginning. I bought it for Verklärte Nacht, which I knew by reputation. And then I fell in love with both pieces.