Performance Practices In Schönberg's Influence

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Perhaps one of the most fascinating performance features with regard to Schönberg is his tempo. Elliot points out that finding the right tempo was imperative to Schönberg, yet his writings on the topic are contradictory. In his essay About Metronome Markings from 1926 he complained about conductors being too free in their tempo choices. Nevertheless, he acknowledged that performance practices, including tempo, change over time. In his essay Mechanical Musical Instruments from the same year, for example, he wrote: “[…] there is hardly any tempo in which a talented player cannot make music rightly, or an untalented one wrongly. […] So, insofar as the mechanization of music […] states as its main aim the establishment, by composers, of a definitive interpretation, I should see no advantage in it, but rather a loss, since the composer’s…show more content…
Despite my new sense of flexibility, I do not play without a sense of pulse now, but my perception of it has changed, and I play more out of an awareness of the moment. I realised I had to judge each beat and each bar line anew. While the feeling of “bar” remained important for the phrasing in certain parts of the cycle, for example in the very rhythmical third song but also in the fourth song, which has no time signature yet a clear emphasis of the first beat in many bars, at other places gestures transcend bar lines, like in bars 12 and 13 of the first song. If one thinks too much of accentuated groups of four notes, the figure, which to me is both a continuation, a transition and a gesture in itself, becomes heavy and laboured instead of

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