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After a short intermission, the audience returned to hear music by twentieth century composer Arnold Schoenberg. (The composer changed the spelling of his name from Schönberg to Schoenberg in 1941 when he became an American citizen.) He wrote Pierrot Lunaire in 1912 to Erich Hartleben's German translation of poems by Albert Giraud. The work was commissioned by actress Albertine Zehme, who often recited poems to music and wanted a piece to use in Berlin. Upon receiving the commission, Schoenberg wrote in his diary: 'A marvelous idea, quite right for me.' With Zehme in mind, he wrote it in an atonal style which requires the singer to use Sprechgesang, a style of speech-singing in which the indicated pitch is sounded but not held.

Marc Deaton. Photo © D Robillard
Marc Deaton. Photo © D Robillard

Deaton declaimed the text with dramatic fervor and he painted Giraud's word pictures with vivid emotional coloration while accompanist Fennelly deftly shaped the harmonies of the work.

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Copyright © 6 June 2006 Maria Nockin, Arizona USA


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