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Title: Towards the performance of Schoenberg's songs for voice and piano : interpretation and vocal coaching
Author: Ariel, Ido
Awarding Body: Royal College of Music
Current Institution: Royal College of Music
Date of Award: 2013
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Schoenberg's Lied-aesthetic reflected his response to arguments characteristic of the fin-de-siècle word-tone debate. His attitude towards the desired relationship between language and music changed as his musical language developed, moving from tonality to atonality and later to dodecaphony. This thesis offers a methodology for the practical interpretation of Schoenberg's songs for voice and piano, taking this aesthetic shift into consideration. Vocal coaching of Schoenberg's songs raises problems in three related fields: Schoenberg's general Lied-aesthetic; the technical demands of individual songs; and the interpreter's role. A consideration of these topics leads to the formulation of a model of coaching which is used while preparing the songs for performance. The discussion thus examines the underexplored practice of vocal coaching. Three representative songs are analyzed – Erwartung, Op. 2/1, Da meine lippen reglos sind und brennen1, Op. 15/4, and Tot, Op. 48/2. These analyses demonstrate that while the earlier, tonal song creates a consistent web of correspondences between the words and the music, in the later, non-tonal songs such correspondences are more problematic. It is argued that as Schoenberg's thought moved in the direction of absolute music, some procedures in his later songs were considered in "purely musical" terms. When preparing these songs for performance, a dialogue is maintained between the performers and Schoenberg's music and thought. The songs presuppose interpretative norms required for their successful materialization. However, the interpreters necessarily bring their own agendas to the performance. It is argued that inserting analytic insights into the process of interpretation balances between the songs and their performers. This balance is reflected in the process of coaching which sets both goals of accuracy and expressivity as necessary for a satisfying performance. The combination of aesthetical, analytical and practical considerations, thus, enables me to offer a methodological tool for the interpretation of Schoenberg's songs.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available