|Die glückliche Hand|
|Opera by Arnold Schoenberg|
The composer in 1927
|Translation||The Hand of Fate|
|Premiere||24 October 1924|
Die glückliche Hand (The Hand of Fate), Op. 18, is a Drama mit Musik ("drama with music") by Arnold Schoenberg in four scenes. It was composed between 1910 and 1913. Like Erwartung , composed a year earlier, it was heavily influenced by Otto Weininger's book Sex and Character . Unlike Erwartung, Schoenberg wrote the libretto for Die glückliche Hand himself. The first performance took place in Vienna on 24 October 1924. The underlying message of the piece is the idea that man continues to repeatedly make the same mistakes, and the plot is developed from events in Schoenberg’s personal life.
In musical composition, the opus number is the "work number" that is assigned to a composition, or to a set of compositions, to indicate the chronological order of the composer's production. Opus numbers are used to distinguish among compositions with similar titles; the word is abbreviated as "Op." for a single work, or "Opp." when referring to more than one work.
Arnold Schoenberg or Schönberg was an Austrian, and later American, composer, music theorist, teacher, writer, and painter. He was associated with the expressionist movement in German poetry and art, and leader of the Second Viennese School. With the rise of the Nazi Party, Schoenberg's works were labeled degenerate music, because they were modernist and atonal. He immigrated to the United States in 1934.
Erwartung (Expectation), Op. 17, is a one-act monodrama in four scenes by Arnold Schoenberg to a libretto by Marie Pappenheim. Composed in 1909, it was not premiered until 6 June 1924 in Prague conducted by Alexander Zemlinsky with Marie Gutheil-Schoder as the soprano. The opera takes the unusual form of a monologue for solo soprano accompanied by a large orchestra. In performance, it lasts for about half an hour. It is sometimes paired with Béla Bartók's opera Bluebeard's Castle (1911), as the two works were roughly contemporary and share similar psychological themes. Schoenberg's succinct description of Erwartung was as follows:
In Erwartung the aim is to represent in slow motion everything that occurs during a single second of maximum spiritual excitement, stretching it out to half an hour.
The subject of the drama is influenced by personal circumstances in Schoenberg’s life. Schoenberg’s music was not as well received as it had been in previous years. Also, two years before the composition of the piece, Mathilde, Schoenberg’s wife, had an affair with the painter Richard Gerstl and although she returned to Schoenberg this had a lasting effect on their relationship.
Richard Gerstl was an Austrian painter and draughtsman known for his expressive psychologically insightful portraits, his lack of critical acclaim during his lifetime, and his affair with the wife of Arnold Schoenberg which led to his suicide.
A baritone is a type of classical male singing voice whose vocal range lies between the bass and the tenor voice types. Originally from the Greek βαρύτονος (barýtonos), meaning heavy sounding, music for this voice is typically written in the range from the second F below middle C to the F above middle C (i.e. F2–F4) in choral music, and from the second A below middle C to the A above middle C (A2 to A4) in operatic music, but can be extended at either end. The baritone voice type is generally divided into the baryton-Martin baritone (light baritone), lyric baritone, Kavalierbariton, Verdi baritone, dramatic baritone, baryton-noble baritone, and the bass-baritone.
The drama represents an inescapable cycle of man's plight as it starts and finishes with the male character struggling with the monster on his back. The male character sings about his love for a young woman (mime) but, despite this love, she leaves him for a well-dressed gentleman (mime). He senses that she has left him and eventually, when she returns, he forgives her and his happiness returns. Again the woman retreats. The woman is seen later with the gentleman, and the male soloist implores the women to stay with him but she escapes and kicks a rock at him. This rock turns into the monster that was originally seen on the man's back. Thus, the drama ends where it began.
The score calls for: piccolo, three flutes (3rd doubling on 2nd piccolo), three oboes, English horn, D clarinet, three clarinets (in B-flat and A), bass clarinet, three bassoons, contrabassoon, four horns, three trumpets, four trombones, bass tuba, timpani, cymbals, bass drum, snare drum, tamtam, high and low bells, triangle, xylophone, glockenspiel, metal tubes, tambourine, hammer, harp, celesta, and strings.
The piccolo is a half-size flute, and a member of the woodwind family of musical instruments. The modern piccolo has most of the same fingerings as its larger sibling, the standard transverse flute, but the sound it produces is an octave higher than written. This gave rise to the name ottavino, which the instrument is called in the scores of Italian composers. It is also called flauto piccolo or flautino.
The flute is a family of musical instruments in the woodwind group. Unlike woodwind instruments with reeds, a flute is an aerophone or reedless wind instrument that produces its sound from the flow of air across an opening. According to the instrument classification of Hornbostel–Sachs, flutes are categorized as edge-blown aerophones. A musician who plays the flute can be referred to as a flute player, flautist, flutist or, less commonly, fluter or flutenist.
Oboes belong to the classification of double reed woodwind instruments. Oboes are usually made of wood, but there are also oboes made of synthetic materials. The most common oboe plays in the treble or soprano range. A soprano oboe measures roughly 65 cm long, with metal keys, a conical bore and a flared bell. Sound is produced by blowing into the reed at a sufficient air pressure, causing it to vibrate with the air column. The distinctive tone is versatile and has been described as "bright". When the word oboe is used alone, it is generally taken to mean the treble instrument rather than other instruments of the family, such as the bass oboe, the cor anglais, or oboe d'amore
The Violin Concerto by Arnold Schoenberg dates from Schoenberg's time in the United States, where he had moved in 1933 to escape Nazi Germany. The piece was written in 1936, the same year as the String Quartet No. 4. At the time of its completion, Schoenberg was living in Brentwood, California, and had just accepted a teaching position at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Written in 1923, the English Folk Song Suite is one of English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams's most famous works for military band. It was published originally as simply Folk Song Suite. Its premiere was given at Kneller Hall on 4 July 1923, conducted by Lt Hector Adkins.
Lollapalooza is a short piece composed by American minimalist composer John Adams in 1995. The piece is based on the rhythm of the word 'Lollapalooza'. It was composed as a fortieth birthday present to the British conductor Simon Rattle, with whom Adams has worked in the past.
Der Zwerg, Op. 17, is an opera in one act by Austrian composer Alexander von Zemlinsky to a libretto by Georg Klaren, freely adapted from the short story "The Birthday of the Infanta" by Oscar Wilde.
Pelleas und Melisande, Op. 5, is a symphonic poem written by Arnold Schoenberg and completed in February 1903. It was premiered on 25 January 1905 at the Musikverein in Vienna under the composer's direction in a concert that also included the first performance of Alexander von Zemlinsky's Die Seejungfrau. The work is based on Maurice Maeterlinck's play Pelléas and Mélisande, a subject suggested by Richard Strauss. When he began composing the work in 1902, Schoenberg was unaware that Claude Debussy's opera, also based on Maeterlinck's play, was about to premiere in Paris.
The Miraculous Mandarin Op. 19, Sz. 73, is a one act pantomime ballet composed by Béla Bartók between 1918–1924, and based on the story by Melchior Lengyel. Premiered November 27, 1926 in Cologne, Germany, it caused a scandal and was subsequently banned on moral grounds. Although more successful at its Prague premiere, it was generally performed during the rest of Bartók's life in the form of a concert suite, which preserves about two-thirds of the original pantomime's music.
Music for Prague 1968 is a programmatic work written by Czech-born composer Karel Husa for symphonic band and later transcribed for full orchestra, written shortly after the Soviet Union crushed the Prague Spring reform movement in Czechoslovakia in 1968. Karel Husa was sitting on the dock at his cottage in America at the time, listening to the BBC broadcast of the events on the radio. He was deeply moved, and wrote Music for Prague 1968 to memorialize the events. This piece is a standard among wind ensemble repertoire.
Flourish, Mighty Land, Op. 114, is a cantata written by Sergei Prokofiev in 1947, to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the October Revolution, along with his Thirty Years.
Sergei Prokofiev's Symphonic Song, Op. 57, was written in 1933.
Dmitri Shostakovich’s five-minute Festive Overture in A major, Op. 96, was written in 1947 to mark the 30th anniversary of the October Revolution. It was not performed however until the 37th anniversary, when Alexander Melik-Pashayev conducted it during a Nov. 6, 1954, concert in Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre.
Hans Werner Henze composed the nine Sacred Concertos that comprise his Requiem over the course of three years from 1991 to 1993 on commissions from the London Sinfonietta, Suntory Corporation for the NHK Philharmonic, and Westdeutscher Rundfunk, Cologne. The first movement, Introitus: Requiem Aeternam was commissioned by the London Sinfonietta as part of a memorial concert for Artistic Director Michael Vyner who died on 20 October 1989. In addition to Henze, the London Sinfonietta also commissioned seven other prominent composers to write works in Vyner's memory to make up the program which was performed on the 6 May 1990.
Medea's Dance of Vengeance is a composition by the American composer Samuel Barber derived from his earlier ballet suite Medea. Barber first created a seven-movement concert suite from this ballet, and five years later reduced this concert suite down to a single-movement concert piece using what he felt to be the strongest portions of the work. He originally titled it Medea's Meditation and Dance of Vengeance, but shortly before his death, he changed the title to simply Medea's Dance of Vengeance.
Novorossiysk Chimes, Op. 111b, was written by Dmitri Shostakovich in 1960 for the war memorial in the city of Novorossiysk. The piece consists, mainly, of material Shostakovich had originally written in 1943 as an entry in a contest to compose a new national anthem for the U.S.S.R..
Chôros is the title of a series of compositions by the Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos, composed between 1920 and 1929.
Intégrales is a work for wind, brass, and percussion by Edgard Varèse, written in 1923 and published in New York in 1925.
Ghost Ranch is a three-movement orchestral composition by the American composer Michael Daugherty. Inspired by the life and work of artist Georgia O'Keeffe, the title is derived from the name of O'Keeffe's New Mexico summer home, Ghost Ranch. The piece was commissioned by BBC Radio 3, completed in 2005, and premiered February 8, 2006 in Poole, United Kingdom, with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra led by conductor Marin Alsop.
Letter from Home is a 1944 orchestral composition by Aaron Copland.The piece was commissioned as a patriotic work by Paul Whiteman for his Radio Hall of Fame Orchestra, and suggests the emotions of a soldier reading a letter from home. The music has been described as Copland's "most sentimental" and reflects his own homesickness in Mexico.
It Remains to Be Seen is a single-movement composition for orchestra by the American composer Nico Muhly. The work was commissioned by the Boston University Tanglewood Institute for their 40th Anniversary Gala Concert. It was premiered in July 2006 by the BUTI orchestra under the conductor James Gaffigan.