The pandemic has permanently changed the way we experience culture. Online events have become a reliable, widely accepted alternative for concert halls. However, digital offerings cannot replace the live experience for audiences or performers.

Since restrictions in concert performance are also to be expected in the near future, we have compiled a list of chamber music instrumentations from the works of Arnold Schönberg that are equally suitable for small halls as well as for large houses with reduced stage utilization.

Schönberg’s œuvre encompasses a wide range of traditional genres and free compositions. As far as the dissemination of his music was concerned, the composer was a pragmatist: authorized arrangements of many of his works exist for various performance situations, which transfer the core of his musical creations into another sound world. These principles were also followed by the work of the Society for Private Musical Performances, where rarely heard works, because of their large instrumentation, were presented in chamber music arrangements. Some pieces are nevertheless more suitable for larger halls. Many of Schönberg’s choral works permit performance with few voices without losing their sonic power. Although the Chamber Symphony op. 9 comprises only 15 solo instruments, it unfolds an almost inexhaustible musical cosmos. In addition to classics, our list of chamber music instrumentations also includes lesser-known works, including discoveries from the composer’s youth as well as arrangements of older music, and many cheerfully entertaining gem.

Arnold Schönberg – List of works in small instrumentation (pdf)