Schoenberg: Pierrot Lunaire
Author(s): Jonathan Dunsby
Publication Date: 17/09/1992
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Pierrot Lunaire (1912) is one of the most important music theatre works ever written. This is the first guide in English to a work which continues to be performed, broadcast and recorded worldwide. The book describes the artistic environment around the turn of the century from which Pierrot emerged and discusses Schoenberg's working methods and intentions in its composition. The composer's artistic development up to 1912 is contemplated as a backdrop to this extraordinarily original creative act, and the significance of Pierrot in the unfolding of twentieth-century music is a recurrent topic of the text. In a clear and imaginative description of the work itself, the author takes each of the 21 melodramas in turn, considering both the music and the narrative. The text of all 21 poems is provided in German and in a new English translation by Andrew Porter.