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Arnold Schoenberg (9/13/1874 - 7/13/1951)

Arnold Schoenberg exercised very considerable influence over the course of music in the 20th century. This was particularly through his development and promulgation of compositional theories in which unity in a work is provided by the use of a determined series, usually consisting of the 12 possible different semitones, their order also inverted or taken in retrograde form and in transposed versions. Schoenberg’s earlier compositions are post-Romantic in character, written before the period in which he developed his theories of atonality (music without a key or tonal centre). Born in Vienna in 1874, he spent his early career in Berlin, until the rise to power of Hitler made it necessary to leave Germany and find safety in America, where he died in 1951. With his pupils Anton Webern and Alban Berg, both of whom he outlived, he represents a group of composers known as the Second Viennese School.

Stage Works

Schoenberg’s most important opera is Moses und Aron, of which he completed only two of the three acts. Other stage works include Erwartung (‘Expectation’), a one-act melodrama, the drama with music Die glückliche Hand (‘The Fortunate Hand’) and the one-act Von heute auf morgen (‘From Today to Tomorrow’).

Choral and Vocal Music



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