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Studies in Music with Text$
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David Lewin

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195182088

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195182088.001.0001

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Toward the Analysis of a Schoenberg Song (Op. 15, No. XI)

Toward the Analysis of a Schoenberg Song (Op. 15, No. XI)

(p.282) (p.283) Chapter Fifteen Toward the Analysis of a Schoenberg Song (Op. 15, No. XI)
Studies in Music with Text

David Lewin

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyzes Arnold Schoenberg's poem, Opus 15, No. IX, which has a clear two-part form as narrative supported by the end-rhyme scheme. The end of the poem does not resolve the problem or indicate the outcome of the action to our satisfaction. More questions remain unanswered than answered; we do not know, for instance, the answer to the question posed in the text, “warden uns erdachte seligkeiten?” without delving further into the poem itself. Yet, let us note some broad aspects of Schoenberg's setting, viewed in light of the poetic analysis so far. First, one notes that Schoenberg composed four vocal phrases, one to go with each of the narrative sections of the poem. The large gestures of the melody in the vocal line are intimately related to basic intervallic structures exposed in the piano introduction and developed throughout the piece in both the small and the large. The symbolic function of the piano, through the song, can be taken as being both external and internal to the singer, in an inseparable bind.

Keywords:   Arnold Schoenberg, poem, narrative, end-rhyme, text, vocal phrases, melody, piano, song

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