1. Wie Georg von Frundsberg von sich selber sang (aus »Des Knaben Wunderhorn«) >>> text | sources

2. Die Aufgeregten (Gottfried Keller ) >>> text | sources

3. Warnung (Richard Dehmel) >>> text | sources

4. Hochzeitslied (Jens Peter Jacobsen) >>> text | sources

5. Geübtes Herz (Gottfried Keller) >>> text | sources

6. Freihold (Hermann Lingg) >>> text | sources

DURATION: ca. 16 Min.

I. Fassung op. 3 Nr. 3, 5, 6: (1899/1903/1900)
II. Fassung op. 3 Nr. 3, 5, 6: (1903)

Universal Edition
Belmont Music Publishers (USA, Canada, Mexico)

In his essay "The Relationship to the Text" Schönberg confessed that "inspired by the sound of the first words of the text, I had composed many of my songs straight through to the end without troubling myself in the slightest about the continuation of the poetic events, without even grasping them in the ecstasy of composing, and that only days later I thought of looking back to see just what was the real poetic content of my song." Within the context of musical-historical development in the 19th century Schönberg’s progressive attitude towards the function of language confronts us with the problem that had distinguished the genre of song after Schubert and Schumann; namely: the strict formal obedience of the musical statement to the language model. This anti-romantic perspective is strictly bound to that process that Schönberg himself defined as the ‘emancipation of the dissonance,’ which in his own song production would first lead to a compositional crisis in the George cycle op. 15. In 1903 Schönberg began preparing his op. 3 for publication and in the process combined newer compositions, such as the two Keller settings "The Practiced Heart" ("Geübtes Herz") and "The Flustered" ("Die Aufgeregten"), with older ones: "Freehold" ("Freihold"), which had already been "completed" in November 1900 in answer to a commission from the building advisor Carl Redlich (according to a remark on the first autograph copy), "Wedding Song" ("Hochzeitslied") of 1901, and "The Warning" ("Warnung"), the first version of which is dated 7 May 1899. In the latter song after a text by Richard Dehmel one already notes a marked tendency towards increased declamatory accent in the vocal line, partly as an outgrowth of articulatory gestures in the piano. The exaggerated inflection of the version of 1899, with its formally and metrically weak passages, was improved by Schönberg before publication, for instance, by means of a more continuous vocal line.

Therese Muxeneder | © Arnold Schönberg Center