Arnold Schönberg: Pierrot lunaire

  • for speaker and 5 instrumentalists
  • 1 0 1 0 - 0 0 0 0 - vln, vc, pno
  • Duration: 40’
  • Soloists:
    sprechgesang
  • Instrumentation details:
    flute
    clarinet in A
    piano
    violin
    violoncello
  • Composer: Arnold Schönberg
  • Preface: Arnold Schönberg
  • Piano reduction: Erwin Stein
  • Text author: Albert Giraud
  • Translator: Otto Erich HartlebenAndrew Porter
  • Table of contents:
    Mondestrunken
    Columbine
    Der Dandy
    Eine blasse Wäscherin
    Valse de Chopin
    Madonna
    Der kranke Mond
    Nacht
    Gebet an Pierrot
    Raub
    Rote Messe
    Galgenlied
    Enthauptung
    Die Kreuze
    Heimweh
    Gemeinheit
    Parodie
    Der Mondfleck
    Serenade
    Heimfahrt (Barcarole)
    O alter Duft
  • Dedication: Der ersten Interpretin Frau Albertine Zehme in herzlicher Freundschaft

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Work introduction

“Read the preface, looked at the poems, am delighted. Brilliant idea, just my kind of thing,” noted Arnold Schönberg in his diary, after hearing of the actress Albertine Zehme’s plans to set Dreimal sieben Gedichte aus Albert Girauds Pierrot lunaire to music. Originally, Zehme had been thinking of a work for a spoken voice with a piano accompaniment, but Schönberg did not want his composer’s imagination to be limited by this. Zehme, who commissioned the piece, agreed, and each of the 21 miniatures was given its own sound colour by the instruments employed: flute, clarinet, piano, violin and cello. The world première in 1912 apparently required 25 rehearsals.

Audiosamples

Pierrot lunaire
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World première

Location:
Choralion-Saal, Berlin (DE)
Date:
16.10.1912
Main soloists:
Albertine Zehme, Rezitation; Eduard Steuermann, Klavier; Jakob Masiniak, Violine und Bratsche; Hans Kindler, Violoncello; H. W. de Vries, Flöte und Pikkolo; Karl Eßberger, Klarinette und Baßklarinette

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