Alban Berg: Lulu-Suite

Alban Berg Lulu-Suite
Lulu-Suite

Alban Berg: Lulu-Suite

Year of composition:
1934
Subtitle:
Symphonic pieces from the opera ‘Lulu’
Scored for:
for coloratura soprano and orchestra
Composer:
Alban Berg
Librettist:
Alban Berg
Writer of pre-existing text:
Frank Wedekind
Soloists:
coloratura soprano
Instrumentation:
3 3 4 3 - 4 3 3 1 - timp, perc, vib ad lib., hp, pno, alto sax, xtr
Instrumentation details:
1st flute (+picc)
2nd flute
3rd flute
1st oboe
2nd oboe
3rd oboe (+c.a)
alto saxophone in Eb
1st clarinet in Bb
2nd clarinet in Bb (+cl(Eb))
3rd clarinet in Bb (+cl(Eb))
bass clarinet
1st bassoon
2nd bassoon
contrabassoon (+3rd bsn)
1st horn in F
2nd horn in F
3rd horn in F
4th horn in F
1st trumpet in F
2nd trumpet in F
3rd trumpet in F
1st trombone
2nd trombone
3rd trombone
contrabass tuba
timpani
percussion
vibraphone
piano
harp
violin I
violin II
viola
violoncello
contrabass
Table of contents:
Rondo
Ostinato
Lied der Lulu
Variationen
Adagio
Duration:
35’
Dedication:
Arnold Schönberg zum 60. Geburtstag
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Audiosamples

Lulu-Suite
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The complete perusal score (PDF-preview)

Work introduction

The term “symphony” might sound somewhat peculiar here, since even the score calls it “Symphonic pieces from the opera Lulu.” Nevertheless, that appellation seems the only correct one to me, both in formal and objective terms. That is, whereas Berg musically-architectonically shaped Büchner’s loose series of scenes in Wozzeck largely by giving each scene its own, idiosyncratic musical form, his procedure when composing Lulu was to assign a specific form to each of the personalities in the opera which permeate the entire work, only resulting in the overall musical characteristic of the gestalts in their subsumption. […]

Since the music of Lulu is completely integrative in terms of its inner structure, it was impossible to extract individual sections in the manner of the Wozzeck fragments. Nevertheless, in order to give the anxiously waiting music world a sample of his new creation as quickly as possible, Berg chose to subsume some of the symphonic developments in the opera into a multi-movement construct. […] the large introductory rondo, the ostinato acting as a scherzo, the coloratura soprano’s song, the peculiar set of variations (where the theme is not revealed until the end) and the adagio finale constitute a veritable symphony in their fascinating overall construction, and are grasped that way as well. When listening, one forgets entirely that the individual movements are interludes and sections from an opera, perceiving Berg’s sounds as pure, absolute music which is uninterruptedly gripping in its artistic beauty, dispensing with any interpretation derived from the words.

(Willi Reich, in Musikblätter des Anbruch, 1934)

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Lulu-Suite

Alban Berg: Lulu-Suite

full score
for coloratura soprano and orchestra , 35’
Instr.: 3 3 4 3 - 4 3 3 1 - timp, perc, vib ad lib., hp, pno, alto sax, xtr

Next performances

05 Dec

Lulu-Suite

Grand Auditorium, Luxembourg

07 Dec

Lulu-Suite

Wiener Konzerthaus, Großer Saal, Wien (AT)

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