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Malcolm MacDonald

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195172010

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195172010.001.0001

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Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra

Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra

(p.175) Chapter Eight Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra

Malcolm MacDonald

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes Schoenberg’s orchestra and chamber orchestra. Schoenberg’s earliest orchestral efforts were more tentative and uncertain than his youthful output of songs and chamber music. The earliest orchestral score by Schoenberg that survives is a short piece for strings and harp, with a solo violin, apparently entitled Notturno. By the time Schoenberg completed his first substantial orchestral composition, the very large symphonic poem Pelleas und Melisande, he had been engaged for some years on the chore of orchestrating operettas. The Chamber Symphony No. 1 in E major, Op. 9 stands in direct line of descent from Pelleas. Meanwhile, Chamber Symphony No. 2 is one of his finest achievements: a work of unusual beauty, compelling urgency, and great melodic distinction. His final orchestral work was Genesis Prelude.

Keywords:   Schoenberg, chamber orchestra, Notturno, Adagio, Pelleas, Melisande, Chamber Symphony, Genesis

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