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Relationship of poetry and music in Verklarte Nacht(1899) by Arnold Schoenberg - Essay Example

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Verklarte Nacht (1899) is known to be the earliest work of Schoenberg, which provided recognition to the composer and his composition. The poem, Verklarte Nacht, is a string sextet in one movement. This poem reflects the late romantic tradition of string sextet, composed in 1899. …
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Relationship of poetry and music in Verklarte Nacht(1899) by Arnold Schoenberg
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Download file to see previous pages A string sextet in classical music is a poem written for six string instruments. A group of six musicians play it on their instruments. Generally, string sextets require an assemblage of two violins, two violas, and two cellos. The tradition of composing for string sextet starts from Op. 23 of Luigi Boccherini, written in 1776. Other famous string sextets include the Op. 18 and Op. 36 of Johannes Brahms, the Op. 48 of Antonín Dvořák, the Souvenir de Florence Op. 70 of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, and the Fantasy for String Sextet Op.3 of John Caughman. (String Sextet The Wikipedia)
Schoenberg’s translation of Dehmel’s poem is very deft. It is a powerful presentation of a man and woman walking on the moonlit night in the dark forest, sharing a secret of her with her lover that she is pregnant by a stranger. The composition is in five sections. It starts with a feeling of sadness in the woman because of the confession, the man’s reflection on the guilty feeling in the woman, and his agreeing by forgiving the woman of the guilt: O sieh, wie klar das Weltall schimmert! Es ist ein Glanz um Alles her (see how brightly the universe gleams! There is a radiance on everything).
Coming back to Schoenberg’s poem, he was first a composer, anything afterwards. Music in the poem comes from the twelve tone technique. His Verklarte Nacht bears the impact of Johannes Brahms, Richard Wagner, and Gustav Mahler – the German Romanticists.It is evident from his use of chromaticism and separation of phrases from measure boundaries, a Brahms impact. Lyricism permeates throughout the composition, which is an indication of his atonal attempts in future compositions. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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