The Scene I Of Act IIi

2554 Words11 Pages
Throughout the evolution of a theme and seven variations as well as a two-part fugue, Berg explores the possibilities of various numeric significances and an ever evolving harmonic and melodic vocabulary. By presenting the audience with a familiar formal structure Berg is then free to more openly manipulate and change other variables such as using non-functional harmonies and unresolved melodic passages. He combines both dramatic and musical foreshadowing to create a visual and aural experience for the listener that is while always being conscious with what would be too overwhelming to the audience. Berg creates an opera ripe with symbolism and significance. The introspective Scene I of Act III is no exception. The scene opens with Marie in her continued struggle through life, attempting to find solace in her bible. The audience is presented with her frantic behavior in this scene and further observes how the plot will finally unfold, a sad and unfortunate end. Musically, Berg paints this surrealism wonderfully, and through his recurring methods and musical vocabulary, ties the scene together. Following two bars of silence, the scene opens with a descending fourth figure that gradually evolves into an ascending third figure in m.6. The four opening notes of the scene, G-D-F-Eb, form a 0146, which is an all interval tetrachord. On top of this linear tetrachord a solo cello oscillates between the notes G and D. These pitches are the tonic and dominant of the initial key area
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