Schoenberg’s early works exemplify post-Wagnerian Romanticism; they still used key sig- natures and remained within the boundaries of tonality. In Schoenberg’s second period, the atonal-Expressionist abolished the distinction between consonance and dissonance and any sense of a home key. We will hear these traits, along with extreme chromaticism, in Pierrot lunaire . In Schoenberg’s third style period, he exploited the twelve-tone method, and in the last part of his career—the American phase—he carried the twelve-tone technique to further stages of refinement. Several of the late works present the twelve-tone style in a manner markedly more accessible than earlier pieces, often with tonal implications, as in his cantata A Survivor from Warsaw. Major Works: Orchestral music, including Five Pieces for Orchestra, Variations for Orchestra, and 2 concertos (violin, piano) • Operas • Choral music, including the cantata A Survivor from Warsaw (1947) • Chamber music, including 4 string quartets and string sextet Verklärte Nacht ( Transfigured Night , 1899) • Piano music. In His Own Words Whether one calls oneself conservative or revolutionary, whether one composes in a conventional or progres- sive manner, whether one tries to imitate old styles or is destined to express new ideas . . . one must be convinced of the infallibility of one’s own fantasy and one must believe in one’s own inspiration. LISTENING GUIDE 42 Schoenberg: Pierrot lunaire , No. 18 0:51 DATE: 1912 GENRE: Song cycle (21 songs in 3 parts) B A | DVD | CD 7 (14–17) | CD 4 (6–7) Part I Pierrot, a sad clown figure, is obsessed with the moon, having drunk moonwine; his loves, fantasies, and frenzies are exposed. 1. Moondrunk 2. Columbine 3. The Dandy 4. Pale Washerwoman 5. Valse de Chopin 6. Madonna 7. The Sick Moon Part II: Pierrot becomes ridden with guilt and wants to make atonement. 8. Night 9. Prayer to Pierrot 10. Theft 11. Red Mass 12. Gallows Ditty 13. Beheading 14. The Crosses Part III: Pierrot climbs from the depths of depression to a more play- ful mood, but with fleeting thoughts of guilt; then he becomes sober. 15. Homesickness 16. Vulgar Horseplay 17. Parody 18. The Moonfleck 19. Serenade 20. Homeward Journey 21. O Scent of Fabled Yesteryear Continued on following page
PART 6 | Impressionism and the Early Twentieth Century 308 18. The Moonfleck ( Der Mondfleck ) WHAT TO LISTEN FOR: Melody Disjunct line, quasi-speechlike (Sprechstimme) Rhythm/ Meter Very fast, sounds free-flowing Harmony Harshly dissonant Texture Complex counterpoint with canonic (strict imitative) treatment Form Rondeau text with poetic/musical refrain Timbre Pointillistic, flickering instrumental effects Performing Forces Voice with 5 instruments (piccolo, clarinet, violin, cello, piano) Text 21 poems from Albert Giraud’s Pierrot lunaire , all in rondeau form TEXT TRANSLATION 6 0:00 Einen weissen Fleck des hellen Mondes With a fleck of white—from Auf dem Rücken seines schwarzen Rockes. the bright moon—on the back of his black jacket.
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