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Fall09_Week13-summary - Before and After the Great War MUS...

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Before and After the Great War MUS 302L Week 13 Summary
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Timeline 2009 1400 1600 1720 1800 1900 800 Middle Ages Baroque Renaissance 2009 1900 1914-1918 Schoenberg: Erwartung, Pierrot Lunaire [Mahler, Strauss] Ives early Jazz Classical Debussy Stravinsky Nijinsky Schoenberg, Webern: Serial works Berg: Wozzeck 1945
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“Emancipating Dissonance” What do we mean by “dissonance”? What is its opposite? What criteria do we use to establish this opposition?
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Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951) Early training and activity in Vienna First works are in the tradition of Wagner and especially Mahler (who champions him): lush, long, big orchestra, typically Romantic Example: Gurrelieder (Songs of Gurre), a massive song-cycle based on figures from Danish mythology for four soloists, multi-part choirs, expansive orchestra (400+ musicians...) By the time of the premiere of Gurrelieder , which is quite successful, Schoenberg is beginning to reject this “early style”...
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In his early 20s Schoenberg is drawn to expressionist artistic circles and to the psychoanalytical theories of Sigmund Freud “Taking Romantic fervor to its ultimate conclusion”, he becomes increasingly interested in psychological breakdown and insanity Work from 1908 that exemplifies his “new direction”: Erwartung (expectation), a dramatic monologue depicting a woman tripping over the corpse of her lover, whom -- it turns out -- she may (?) have killed... or is it all in her imagination? Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951)
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Schoenberg, Erwartung (1908)
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For his expressionist experiments, Schoenberg breaks down long-standing rules of harmony, resulting in what he liked to call the “emancipation of dissonance” (“freeing” dissonance from having to give way to consonance) Others call the result of Schoenberg’s experiments atonality : a system in which there is no harmonic “home base”, and any note can follow any other note as long as it fits the composer’s expressive purpose... (Schoenberg accepted this definition, but preferred the term pantonality ) Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951)
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Song-cycle (series of 21 connected songs) on texts by a Symbolist poet, having to do with Pierrot (a traditional sad-clown figure) obsessed with the moon (= “Moonstruck/Lunatic Pierrot”); texts are dreamlike and “dotted with Freudian imagery” Scored for soprano and 8 instruments, played by 5 performers (some of whom switch instruments for some of the songs); each song in the cycle uses a different combination of instruments Schoenberg directs his singer to use a novel technique - what does he call it, and how might you describe it? How do the instrumentation, timbre, “sound-world” of these three Schoenberg songs differ? How do the instruments relate to / contrast with the voice in each song? Song 1: “Night” (#8) Song 2: “The Moonfleck” (#18) Song 3: “O ancient scent...” (#21) Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951) Pierrot Lunaire (1912)
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Schoenberg’s pantonal / expressionistic technique aims for wordpainting and intensity of effect through tone color and
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