Into the Hanging Gardens - A Pianist's Exploration of Arnold Schönberg's Opus 15 (last edited: 2018)

Friederike Wildschütz

About this exposition

Reflections on the Project “The Voice of the Piano: Performing early 20th century Lieder with Arnold Schönberg's "Das Buch der hängenden Gärten" as central work” Arnold Schönberg’s “Das Buch der hängenden Gärten”, Op. 15 (1908/09) could be considered the most important song cycle of the 20th century, yet in comparison to German Lieder from the 19th century, it is rarely performed, and existing research does not focus on the pianist’s perspective. The artistic research project “The Voice of the Piano” centred on exploring the work from a pianist’s viewpoint and articulating performer’s knowledge related to it. Key concerns were if it is possible and appropriate to approach Opus 15 through the poetry and “play the words”, if there is a particular “performative feel” to this repertoire related to either the poet or the composer and if Schönberg’s musical language in this cycle that is often considered the starting point of his so-called atonal period requires new skills and competencies from the pianist. To develop a better understanding of the cycle, Opus 15 was contextualised in three different ways. It was performed together with other Lieder with texts by Stefan George, other Lieder by Arnold Schönberg and other Lieder that were composed in 1908 and 1909. The project resulted in a concert for each of the contextualisations, a final concert and the reflections “Into the Hanging Gardens: A Pianist's Exploration of Arnold Schönberg's Opus 15”. The reflections trace the artistic process and elaborate on the three contextualisations and on how the pianist’s understanding of and approach to the work and its performance changed throughout the project. They reveal insights developed through an in-depth study of the poem texts, the music, relevant literature and recordings and through the practice and performance of the cycle.
typeresearch exposition
keywordsArnold Schoenberg, Stefan George, Lied, Das Buch der hängenden Gärten, Collaboration
last modified05/03/2018
affiliationUniversity of Stavanger, Faculty of Performing Arts

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