AtonalMusic: Wozzeck and Lulu
Atonal Music: Wozzeckand Lulu
Wozzeck was the first opera byAlban Berg, an Australian composer. The opera was composed from 1914to 1922 and was performed for the first time in 1925. This is acontinuation of the drama by Georg Büchner after his death. On theother hand, Lulu was composed by Alban Berg between 1929 and1935. Lulu was Alban’s composure though he died beforecompleting the final act, which was completed in 1979.
Berg seems to rely more onstrict avant-garde methods of composition but his music is highlyexpressive. It appears radically modern but reminiscent of theromantic sounds of Richard Strauss. Though both operas, Wozzeckand Lulu are full of with depravity, unromantic sex andbloodshed and unromantic sex, I like the charming, sophisticated andaristocratic nature of Berg. His conservatism and romanticism areclassical of serial music.
The two operas are a purerepresentation of atonal piece as they lack the touch of tonal keyand do not necessarily rely on 12 tone system of composition. Forinstance, in the second act, Berg manages to use the C triad whenWozzeck is giving Marie his pitiful earnings. He uses patheticlittle chord that emerges from screaming crescendo where all 12pitches are sounded at once after which he uses the six dissonancesalongside the tried A-flat, B-flat, D-sharp, F-sharp, A, and B. Itis very interesting to listen to Marie stammering her thanks inconsonance. The C major chord has been objectively used to expressthe need for money. This is fascinating. On the other hand, for Lulu,Berg used the 12 tone techniques alongside other tone row on C,extraction of one note F from the trichord of the first row and soon, and this cycles through the basic rows thrice.
In overall, Wozzeckand Lulu appear to becrafted in an intellectual and calculated fashion that renders themdeeply affecting and passionate, yet so lyrical.