Lunaire Eclipse with Steven Mackey

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On The New Canon this week, we celebrate the centennial of Schoenberg's revolutionary Pierrot Lunaire with composer Steven Mackey, asking him on the eve of his own Pierrot homage: How much did one work rock the classical world?

Even if the world doesn't end, 2012 is set to be a pretty banner year with a number of benchmarks to celebrate—including the 100th year of Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire, a landmark that our parent station WQXR deemed one of the year's top five special anniversaries. There's a lot being done to fête the forever-young work by everyone from Pierre Boulez to eighth blackbird.

Getting a head-start on the work's October birthday is Philly-based Dolce Suono Ensemble, which makes its New York debut with newly-commissioned works celebrating Schoenberg (and Mahler!). With so much still owed to one work, we talk with one of these commissioned composers—Steven Mackey—about how the face of music was changed in the scope of 40 minutes. We'll also hear from Mackey's own Grammy-nominated work against sections from Pierrot as we explore this lasting legacy.

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