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Title:Schoenberg, Dualism, And "moses Und Aron"
Author(s):Fleisher, Robert Jay
Department / Program:Music
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:Schoenberg's work has been extensively analyzed from the standpoint of dodecaphonic structure. The present study attempts to elaborate an understanding of Schoenberg's work by examining primary influential social and historical factors in their relation to his musical thought. Establishing a foundation for an analysis of Schoenberg's monumental opera Moses und Aron, the first three chapters focus upon those important areas of the composer's life and work in which the roots of his aesthetic can be seen: his conception of art, his European social environment, and his experience in the conflicts of religious faith.
In Schoenberg's organic conception of art and in his view of all art as self-portraiture lie the foundations of his aesthetic of contrast and his general tendency to view reality in terms of oppositions. Thus in a composition--such as Moses und Aron--whose design embodies an integrated network of formal and textural juxtapositions, one may see the compositional consequences of Schoenberg's preoccupation with the polarity of human experience. Environmental and religious conflicts in Schoenberg's life were seen to have special significance for an analysis of Moses und Aron. The contrast between Vienna and Berlin, Schoenberg's formative social environments, appears to be one probable source of his compositional duality which is rooted in a conflict between forces of tradition and innovation. Closely related is the paradoxical struggle toward a union of divine and earthly realms--a primary theme of Schoenberg's personal and creative life--which forms the central duality of Schoenberg's opera expressed as a conflict between Moses' thought and Aron's word.
Schoenberg's predisposition to perceive reality in terms of polarity and conflict reveals a personality which suffered and battled internal divisions in life, religion and art. In chapter IV, the opera is analyzed in relation to the dualism which was rooted in Schoenberg's social and environmental influences, and was central to his life thought. Moses und Aron is analyzed from the standpoint of Schoenberg's dualistic aesthetic in an attempt to illuminate the opera's essential meaning and design. To the extent that this analysis is found useful, it may also suggest directions for other investigations of Schoenberg's work.
Issue Date:1980
Description:151 p.
Thesis (D.M.A.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1980.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8108502
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-14
Date Deposited:1980

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