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Schoenberg: Peripetie from ‘Five Orchestral Pieces’ Opus 16 (1909) Analysis section by section.

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Presentation on theme: "Schoenberg: Peripetie from ‘Five Orchestral Pieces’ Opus 16 (1909) Analysis section by section."— Presentation transcript:

1 Schoenberg: Peripetie from ‘Five Orchestral Pieces’ Opus 16 (1909) Analysis section by section

2 Score reading task Find 4 examples of hexachords on your scores (you should have notes on this). Annotate them to tell me whether they use verticalisatoin or melodic treatment You only have 3 minutes to do this

3 Expressionism so far How did WW1 impact the way artists, composers, poets etc created their work? Composers started to use lots of chromatics in their pieces. What are chromatics? What does atonal mean? What are the dynamics like in an expressionist piece of music? How do expressionist composers explore pitch and timbre? What is a hexachord? What is the compliment?

4 ‘Peripetie’ was written for a large orchestra to produce contrasts with texture, dynamics & timbre. It is written for quadruple woodwind (4 per section) 3 flutes & piccolo 3 clarinets & bass clarinet 3 bassoons & contrabassoon 3 oboes & cor anglais A large brass section, with and without mutes. A large percussion section – cymbals, timpani, xylophone & of course strings Flute Piccolo clarinet Bass clarinet bassoon contrabassoon Oboe Cor anglais

5 Important features The parts are very challenging to play A lot of wide leaps, use of the lowest to the highest register of all the instruments. There is no conventional structure – although it is like a ‘free’ Rondo with contrasting textures & tempo. Use of melodic fragments (very short melodic ideas) Use of complicated fragmented rhythms Atonal Use of hexachords and compliments The melody is passed around different instruments. It is made up of 5 sections Peripetie is Greek for Sudden Changes

6 Section A: Bars 1-18 Begins with a bang! Clarinets and flutes begin with 2 hexachords - Bar 1 Clarinets - Bar 3 Flutes Leads to a fortissimo (ff) horn motif marked principal line Variations of the hexachords appear throughout the piece as they are a basis for most of the melodic and harmonic content Most of the ideas to be used in this piece are stated one after the other

7 Section A: Bars 1-18 Tempo/Rhythm Tempo marking: sehr rasch- Very quick Opening contains mostly short triplet and sextuplet bursts Tempo feels a little like its slowing after the burst - etwas ruhiger: slightly calmer - Quiet horn passage

8 Section A: 1-18 Instrumentation/Texture The full orchestra get a short appearance Brass dominate the texture till bar 8 when the woodwind take over with low bassoon/ bass clarinet and silky clarinet line Instrumental combinations drop in and out in homophonic bursts Texture thins towards the end of the section leaving a solo clarinet

9 Section A: Bars 1-18 Pitch/Melody Atonal (no sense of key) Built on hexachords Opening bars show the full pitch range of the instruments Bar 10: Clarinet melody is expressive and gentle, but still has harsh interval leaps used to create tension (Minor 9 th / Major 7 th )

10 Section A: Bars 1-18 Dynamics: Starts loudly, becoming louder with sudden bursts from instrumental groups Bar 5 reaches fff before dying away to p Trumpets and trombones use a mute Mutes usually mellow the tone, but Schoenberg uses it for sound quality He uses extremes of dynamics that the mute wasn’t designed to reach!

11 Section B: Second section is marked by the cello taking the principal voice The high, intense cello line gives way to a frantic section Tempo/rhythm Tempo returns to original marking Short durations give the impression that the tempo has increased more than it has

12 Section B: Instrumentation/texture Full orchestra used, but not all at once, except for climatic points (e.g ) Wind and percussion: very busy and loud dynamics Violins and Cellos: Soft line, mostly inaudible but add to the effect and texture Shows Schoenberg's attention to detail Polyphonic and complex texture throughout

13 Section B: Pitch/Melody Principal voice snakes through much of the orchestra Bars 24-28: Bounces rapidly from one brass instrument to another (Klangfarbernmelodie) Klangfarbernmelodie: Tone, colour melody. Describes how timbre contributes to the melody as well as pitch and rhythm Bar 28 and 29: Secondary voice makes its only appearance in the piece

14 Section B: Dynamics Begins quite quietly Immediate crescendo Dynamics are varied from instrument to instrument Principal and secondary voices always f-fff Other parts ranging from quiet to very loud Dynamics change dramatically in a restless way

15 Section A1: This section is marked by string section taking principal voice Horn flourish follows Return to the pp horn hexachord of bar 8 Menacing mood, gives the impression more fireworks are to come!

16 Section C: Section is marked by the bassoon taking the principal voice, passing it onto solo cello Tempo/Rhythm: Alternates between ruhiger (calmer) and heftig (passionate) Instrumentation/texture: Sparse, Schoenberg concentrates on overlapping solo instruments Bar 53: Full orchestra Dynamics: range from pp (bars 44/45) to fff (bars 53-55)

17 Section A2: Section is introduced by speeding up to the original tempo and a triplet figure in clarinets and second violin Tempo/Rhythm: Rhythmic motifs from Section A return Trumpets bars 61-63= bar 5/6 repeated in quick succession Clarinets bars 59-61= bar 1 Flutes bars 62-63= bar 3

18 Section A2: Instrumentation/Texture: Starting with clarinets and strings, instruments are introduced one by one in quick succession (layering) Bar 64: Full orchestra comes together for final climatic chord

19 Section A2: Pitch/Melody Material from the opening is used and developed No voice is marked as more important than any other Bar 64: Climatic hexachord (C D Eb F# G G#) Bar 64: Double basses play an unrelated tremolo chord, very high in their register, which sustains once the climatic chord dies away Dynamics: Crescendos quickly from pp at bar 59 to fff in bar 64 Immediately dies away to nothing with the tremolo double basses

20 Listening and appraising questions 1. Describe the dynamics of the first section of the piece 2. Name the type of ensemble performing Peripetie 3. Describe the tonality of the piece 4. Peripetie was written in the 20 th century. List 6 musical features you can hear in the piece that demonstrate this 5. What is the name given to the group of notes Schoenberg used as a basic for his melodic and harmonic material? 6. How might Schoenberg have used this group of notes when he composed the piece?

21 Listening and appraising questions 7. The horns play a sustained chord in bar 8. In which section later on can the horns be heard playing the same chord? What is the dynamic marking for this chord? 8. What is the term given to Schoenberg's technique of moving the melodic parts rapidly through the instruments? 9. What playing technique can be heard in the strings in the last 2 bars of the piece?

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23 Exam Question Describe the use of rhythm in this expressionist piece (3 marks). Basic answers: - Rhythms are broken up and do not flow - Rhythms are complicated - Rhythms are varied and keep on changing Excellent answers: - Rhythms are fragmented and erratic with no regular pulse - Complex patterns features including sextuplets, duplets, constant syncopation etc - There is little repetition of rhythmic ideas in the music, creating a sense of unrest, chaos and lack of order


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