Schönberg Pelleas und Melisande

Posted In: Repertoire

  • Participant
    Elizabeth Volpé Bligh on #201087

    The VSO is performing Schönberg’s Pelleas und Melisande this week. It’s a 41-minute piece from his early Romantic-style writing, before he started working with the 12-tone row. The harp part is full of impractical writing, including a B flat below the bottom note. (I just moved this note up an octave. If you tuned the lowest string down that far, I doubt that it would have much sound or pitch.) Luckily, the worst-written passages are buried in very thick orchestration, and it is possible to eliminate some of the craziness. I made use of enharmonics a lot. I wrote out those passages, so that I wouldn’t have to read lots of circled notes.

    It is actually a very good piece, other than that.

    Gretchen Cover on #201125

    Elizabeth, you are very kind and generous to share your many years of orchestral knowledge with harpists on HC. Thank you. I always appreciate what you have to say.

    Tacye on #201128

    I only remember the craziness, is there any of these parts that aren’t?  The one time I attempted this it came with the two harp parts and also – with the hire set – a version written out for four harps, which I have never encountered with any other piece.  We only had two harpists…


    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #206296

    This was performed when I was in school, thankfully, I didn’t have to play it. The harpists that did worked like crazy, and most of it was unnecessarily thick.

    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #206297

    I much prefer Faure’s or Sibelius’s scores.

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