The Difficult Music Listening Hour
The Difficult Music Listening Hour

Playlist for 03.30.02 - 2 Tone Poems by Arnold Schoenberg

The Difficult Music Listening Hour
"Pierrot Lunaire" (21 poems in 3 parts by Albert Girard)
PART ONE:
Moondrunk
Columbine
The Dandy
An Ethereal Washerwoman
A Chopin Waltz
Madonna
The Sick Moon

PART TWO:
Night
Prayer to Pierrot
Theft
Red Mass
Gallow's Song
Beheading
The Crosses

PART THREE:
Homesickness
Vulgarity
Parody
The Moonspot
Serenade
Homeward Bound (Barcarolle)
O Fragrance Old

about this piece... It's scored for voice and "5 musicians playing 8 instruments" with each piece using a different combination.

The poems themselves are from a set of 50, and Schoenberg referred to them as "melodramas" after the almost-forgotten genre from the 19th century in which a speaker declaims poetry over a musical accompaniment. These differ, however, in that the composer specified precise speech-rythms and indicated in musical notation the approximate pitch at which the reciter should speak each syllable.

"VERKLARTE NACHT" (Transifigured Night)
Grave
Molto rallentando
A tempo
Adagio
Adagio (molto tranquillo)

about this piece... The music is inspired by a poem by Richard Dehmel in which a man and a woman are walking thru the woods on a winter night, when the woman confess to the man that the baby she is carrying was conceived by a different man prior to meeting her current lover. Though the music begins very dark and dramatic, it ends on a happier tone as the man accepts this news and welcomes the unborn child.

The Difficult Music Listening Hour

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