Review by Willard Manus

Los Angeles Opera also had an unqualified triumph this month with its
concert staging of Arnold Schoenberg's MOSES AND ARON, which was
presented for the first time in Los Angeles. This unfinished but magnificent work was performed by the German Symphony Orchestra and Radio Chorus, and conducted by Kent Nagano.

Schoenberg wrote the first two acts (to his own libretto) in 1932, but
expatriation (from Germany to Los Angeles) and the war kept him from
completing the third act. Incomplete as it is, the work is packed with
profound ideas and compelling music. The theme is the immensity of the
religious experience. Truth and rationality (Moses) are pitted against faith and instinct (Aron) in a dialectical battle that goes to the very heart of existence.

Franz Mazura spokesung Moses, with impresssive resonance; Donald
Kaasch was the ever-eloquent, soaring Aron. The other parts of maidens,
virgins and youths were sung by various members of the chorus, every
member of which sang with finesse and spirit.

MOSES AND ARON was a landmark event for Los Angeles Opera, one that
will be long remembered by everyone who had the privilege of hearing it.

The company also honored Schoenberg at a pre-performance press
conference which announced a bi-annual prize in his name.

The Schoenberg Prize of Berlin's German Symphony Orchestra will be
awarded every two years to a composer "whose compositional repertoire
and creative personality display a significant artistic and creative talent and ability, and are broadly in line with the artistic approach of Arnold Schoenberg."

The first winner is British composer George Benjamin. At 41, Benjamin is the Henry Purcell professor of composition at King's College, London. Among his highly-regarded works are "Ringed by the Flat Horizon," "A Mind of Winter" and "Sudden Time."

The Schoenberg Prize carries an award of 25,000 DM, which sum Benjamin
has donated to a fund for commissioning young composers. The award
ceremony will be held in Berlin at the end of 2002.