Aylish Kerrigan, Arnold Schoenberg’s Opus 15 Das Buch der hängenden Gärten in Context: The Singer’s Perspective (PhD, Dundalk Institute of Technology, 2009)

These details defined Sun Sep 13 13:26:29 2009  edit
 Author:  Kerrigan, Aylish 
 Title:  Arnold Schoenberg’s Opus 15 Das Buch der hängenden Gärten in Context: The Singer’s Perspective 
 Degree, institution:  PhD, Dundalk Institute of Technology 
 Status, year:  accepted, 2009 (15 May 2009) 
 Volumes, pp., etc.:  1 (239 pp.), 57,437 words 
 Supervisor(s):  Dr. Eibhlis Farrell 
 Repository:  Dundalk Institute of Technology 
 General specialism:  Musicology: Performance Studies 
 Content, timeframe:  1900-1949 
 Content, key terms:  Concepts:
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Examination of Opus 15, Schoenberg’s essay ‘Relationship to the Text’ and Schoenberg’s view of performance practice from the singer’s perspective
Arnold Schoenberg
Vienna, Berlin, New York
Schoenberg Center Vienna
Voice and Piano
 Abstract: 

This dissertation explores in detail Arnold Schoenberg’s Opus 15, Das Buch der hängenden Gärten, from the perspective of the singer. The genesis of Opus 15 in 1908 and 1909 is revealed, a work Schoenberg wrote during severe personal and professional crises. After the limits of tonality were reached in his Opus 6 and Opus 14 Lieder and his first string quartet, he embarked on a new concept, relinquishing all ties to tonal harmony. Comments made by Schoenberg in his essay Relationship to the Text, fundamental to any scholarly work on Schoenberg, are examined in light of the extant sketches and drafts to Opus 15 in the Schoenberg Center in Vienna, fin de siècle performance practice, and Julius Bahle’s perceptive interview with the composer in 1931 regarding Schoenberg’s compositional process.

Schoenberg’s own view of the singer is presented by comparing hitherto untranscribed letters from Martha Winternitz-Dorda to Schoenberg together with entries in Schoenberg’s Berliner Tagebuch and his correspondence with Alban Berg between 1912 and 1914. The reviews of the first public performances in Germany and Vienna are also considered. Further correspondence with Rose Bampton, who gave the first public performance of Opus 15 in the USA is investigated in the context of Schoenberg’s evolving view of the singer. A pedagogical survey of the work is conducted in which the interpretive and technical challenges of each song are considered in detail. Five recordings of the work by major artists ranging from 1949 to 1992 have been selected for review and critical comparison.