Alban Berg Ensemble

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April 2021 Next

Alban Berg Ensemble Wien

Program and cast

17 November 2020


Alban Berg Ensemble Vienna


Camille Saint-Saëns

Tarantella for flute, clarinet and piano, op. 6

Hanns Eisler

Fourteen ways to describe rain.

Variations for flute, clarinet, violin, viola,

Violoncello and piano, op. 70

Francis Poulenc

Sonata for flute and piano

Claude Debussy

Première Rhapsodie for clarinet and piano

Arnold Schönberg

Verklärte Nacht, op. 4; version for string sextet

27 January 2021


Alban Berg Ensemble Vienna


Bohuslav Martinů

Variations on a Slovakian theme for violoncello and piano

Szymon Laks

Divertimento for flute, violin, violoncello and piano

Leoš Janáček

String quartet no. 2, "Intimate Letters

- Intermission -

Pavel Haas

Suite for piano, op. 13

Antonín Dvořák

Quartet for piano, violin, viola and violoncello No. 2 in E flat major, op. 87 (B 162)

28 April 2021


Alban Berg Ensemble Vienna


Franz Schubert

Trio for piano, violin and violoncello E flat major, D 897, "Notturno

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Quartet for flute, violin, viola and violoncello C major, KV 285b

Richard Dünser

der zeiten spindel III (world premiere - commissioned by the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna)

- Intermission -

Alexander Zemlinsky

Trio for piano, clarinet and violoncello in D minor, op. 3

07 June 2021


Alban Berg Ensemble Vienna


Archduke Rudolph of Austria

Septet for clarinet, bassoon, horn, violin, viola, violoncello and double bass

Johannes Maria Staud

Octet for clarinet, bassoon, horn, two violins, viola, violoncello and double bass (Austrian first performance)

- Intermission -

Franz Schubert

 Octet F major, D 803

Musikverein Brahms Hall

For many years, this hall was known only as the “Kleine Musikvereinssaal”, until in 1937, during the 125th anniversary year of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Wien, it was given a name that truly reflects its importance: the Brahms Saal. Johannes Brahms not only performed in person in this hall, he was also behind the very first concert to be performed here, by Clara Schumann on 19 January 1870. The standards set that day have been maintained ever since. The Brahms Saal remains one of the most prized locations for the greatest chamber music ensembles and lieder singers performing in the world today.


With just under of 600 seats, the hall is designed to showcase the intimate aspects of classical music. The hall acoustics are perfectly attuned to deliver this: the Brahms Saal – 32.50 metres long, 10.30 metres wide und 11 metres high – possesses a similar acoustic brilliance to the Große Musikvereinssaal.


When the Musiverein building was opened in 1870, the Kleine Musikvereinssaal was described as a “true little treasure chest”. It was even suggested that this hall might warrant greater praise and wonderment than the Große Musikvereinssaal: “One might even wish to award the prize to this hall for its peacefulness and simple grandeur.” It is abundantly clear that Theophil Hansen’s design for the Brahms Saal created an architectonic masterpiece of the Historicism period. His commitment to the “Greek Renaissance”, evident in the design’s allusions to classical Hellas, make this concert hall an authentic temple of chamber music.


In 1993 the Brahms Saal underwent a comprehensive restoration programme. The restoration project involved consulting the original designs held at the Print Room at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna.  This made it possible to reconstruct the original colour scheme created by Hansen as the Musikverein’s architect: green walls, red columns and the liberal use of gold.


When the Brahms Saal reopened to the public in its new form in 1993, a Vienna newspaper wrote: “Without wishing to raise expectations too high, this has been transformed into the most beautiful, magnificent and prestigious chamber music concert hall we are likely to find anywhere in the world.”

(c) Wolf Dietrer Grabner
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