Viennese : from sickness to spirituality in the New Aesthetic Theory 1909-1913

Emily Adamowicz Schulich School of Music McGill University, Montreal

Q February 2007

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Viennese Expressionism 1909-1913 encompasses parallel evolutions in the disciplines ofvisual arts and music. Ideas fromfin-de-siécle 's intellectual milieu inspired the awakening of the Modem artist, from Ur-schrei to the formation of a new aesthetic theory. In this thesis, l examine the origin of iconic Expressionist aesthetic values and their technical expression in works by , Egon Schiele,

Oskar Kokoschka, and . Topics covered are divided into two broad thematic categories whose central tenets originate in preoccupations with, on the one hand, an emerging understanding of the unconscious and psychic pathology; and on the other hand, the metaphysical components to art and the human experience: sickness and spirituality. While it is not possible to compare directly art and musical works, common ideas and princip les provide conceptual intersections that unify the disciplines in the realization of a collective artistic vision.

11 Abrégé

Le mouvement expressionniste viennois (1909-1913) recouvre des courants parallèles dans les disciplines picturales et musicales. Les idées provenant des milieux intellectuels du fin-de-siècle viennois ont inspiré le réveil de l'artiste moderne, depuis le

Ur-schrei jusqu'à la formulation d'une nouvelle théorie esthétique. Ce mémoire examine l'origine des valeurs esthétiques chères au mouvement expressionniste, ainsi que les techniques utilisées pour exprimer ces valeurs dans les oeuvres d'Arnold Schoenberg, d'Egon Schiele, d'Oskar Kokoschka, et de Wassily Kandinsky. Les thèmes abordés sont divisés en deux grandes catégories dont les fondements centraux émanent de préoccupations reliées, d'une part, à une compréhension croissante de l'inconscient et de la psychopathologie, et, d'autre part, aux aspects métaphysiques de l'art et de l'existence humaine: la maladie et la spiritualité. Bien qu'il ne soit pas possible de comparer directement des oeuvres picturales et musicales, l'existence de principes et de thèmes communs entraîne une confluence conceptuelle qui unifie ces disciplines dans la réalisation d'une vision artistique collective.

111 Acknowledgments

This thesis is tirst dedicated to my friend and mentor Carmen Sabourin whose encouragement and excitement for this work was invaluable when at times the project seemed daunting. Sharing a profound love of art and , Carmen has been a constant source of enthusiasm and a sounding board for ideas. Second, it is dedicated to my tireless supervisor

Don McLean who, since our tirst meeting, has been unconditionally supportive.

iv Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1.0 The Ur-schrei: the Scream of the Expressionist Artist 7

1.1 Objective Empathy: the Product of Artistic Alienation 10 1.2 The Scream and the Whimper: Aesthetic Violence and Intimacy 12 1.3 Artist as Martyr: Self-sacrifice as a Means to Intersect with the Metaphysical 15 1.4 The Metaphysical Aspect of the Ur-schrei 20 1.5 The Ur-schrei, the Dramatic Scream, and Sprechstimme 22

2.0 Psychic Pathology in Expressionism

2.1 Dreams and Mental Illness 27 2.2 Freud and 's Libretto 28 2.3 Rational Structure in the Music of Erwartung 32 2.4 The Shadow-Archetype of the 39 2.5 Archetypal Thinking in Lunaire 41 2.6 Portraiture as the Window into the Psyche 44 2.7 Kokoschka's Portraiture: Psychiatric and Physical Illness 46 2.8 Schiele's Portraiture: Exposing the Psyche of the Artist 48 2.9 Schoenberg's Portraiture: Channelling the Unconscious 54

3.0 Towards a New Aesthetic Theory 63

3.1 Kandinsky's 'Perception' and Schoenberg's 'Compulsion' 64 3.2 The Rejection ofOmament and Object 71 3.3 Re-Inventing the Compositional Process: Generating Structure in the Absence of Traditional 74 3.4 'Impressions of Totality': Generating Coherence in and Post-Tonal Music Compositions 78

Conclusion 93

Bibliography 95

v List of Plates

Plate 1. Edvard Munch. The Scream. 1893. 1 Plate 2. Egon Schiele. Self-Portrait (Screaming). 1910. 8 Plate 3. Egon Schiele. Grimacing Self-Portrait. 1910. 14 Plate 4. Oskar Kokoschka Self-Portrait for Der Sturm. 1911. 18 Plate 5. Egon Schiele. Self-Portrait as St. Sebastian. 1914. 19 Plate 6. Egon Schiele. Seated Male Nude. 1910. 50 Plate 7. Egon Schiele. Self-Portrait in Grey with Open Mouth. 1910. 52 Plate 8. Arnold Schoenberg. Red Gaze. 1910. 57 Plate 9. Arnold Schoenberg. Red Gaze. 1910. 59 Plate 10. Arnold Schoenberg. Self-Portrait. 1910. 61 Plate Il. Arnold Schoenberg. Self-Portrait (Vision). 1910. 62 Plate 12. Wassily Kandinsky. Sketch/or Impression III (Concert). 1911. 68 Plate 12. Wassily Kandinsky. Sketch/or Impression III (Concert). 1911. 69 Plate 13. Wassily Kandinsky. Impression III (Concert). 1911. 70 Plate 14. Wassily Kandinsky. Composition VII. 1913. 76

List of Musical Examples

Ex. 1. Arnold Schoenberg. Erwartung, Op. 17. m. 160-165. 34 Ex. 2. Arnold Schoenberg. Erwartung, Op. 17. m. 166-168. 35 Ex. 3. Arnold Schoenberg. Erwartung, Op. 17. m. 169-172. 36 Ex. 4. Arnold Schoenberg. Erwartung, Op. 17. m. 173. 36 Ex. 5. Arnold Schoenberg. Erwartung, Op. 17. m. 174-192. 38 Ex. 6. Arnold Schoenberg. , Op. 23. Theme 42 Ex. 7. Arnold Schoenberg. Das Buch Der Hangenden Garten, Op. 15, No. 8. m. 1-2. 85 Ex. 8. fundamental-set 86 Ex. 9. 'developing variations' graph 88 Ex. 10. 'developing variations' graph 90

vi Introduction

This paper explores the evolution of Vienne se Expressionism 1909-1913 from the awakening of Modem artist to the formation of a new aesthetic theory, and its documentation in new compositional techniques employed in art and musical works.

While it is not possible to compare directly art and musical works, nor compositional techniques used in different media, common ideas, principles, and aesthetic values provide conceptual intersections that unify the disciplines in a collective artistic vision.

Employing a two-part methodology, 1 explore 1) how theories from the German philosophical tradition and the emerging discipline of psychoanalysis influenced and

shaped Viennese Expressionism's iconic intellectual and aesthetic values; and 2) the

'technical realization' ofthese values as they evolved through a study of developments

in compositional theories and procedures in both musical and artworks by Arnold

Schoenberg (1874-1951), Egon Schiele (1890-1918), Oskar Kokoschka (1886-1980),

and Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944).

This study is contingent upon source readings from 's The

World as Will and Representation (1819),1 's The Archetypes and the

Collective Unconscious,2 's Interpretation ofDreams (1900),3 Wassily

Kandinsky's On the Spiritual in Art (1912),4 as well as the correspondence and various

other writings (aphorisms, etc.) Supplementing the source readings is an examination

1 Schopenhauer, Arther. The World as Will and Representation. trans. by E.J.J. Payne. Dover Publications: 1969. 2 Jung, Carl. "Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious." in Col/ected Works. trans. by R.F.C. Hull. Vol. 9. Part l, pars. 87-110. Princeton University Press: 1959. 3 Freud, Sigmund. Interpretation ofDreams, trans. Joyce Crick. Oxford University Press: 1999. 4 Kandinsky, Wassily. On the Spiritual in Art. Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation: 1946. 1 of secondary critiques and interpretations of Expressionist aesthetic theory and compositional techniques by scholars such as Philip Friedheim, Reinhold Brinkman,

Patrick Werkner, Claude Cernuschi, Magdelena Dabrowski, Klaus Kropfinger, and

Severine Neff. 1 will couple critiques ofthese interpretations with my own observations on and interpretations ofworks to be discussed.

Viennese Expressionism's aesthetic theory centres around two broad thematic categories whose fundamental tenets originate in outside conditions: 'sickness' and

'spirituality'. 'Sickness' refers to psychoanalysis' preoccupation with the recesses of the human psyche, and the correlation between physical and psychological illness.

Theories to be discussed inc1ude the Ur-schrei as the metaphysical scream and

awakening of the modem artist, Jung's shadow-archetype, Freud's theory of dreams and the unconscious, and the concept of artistic 'compulsion.' 'Spirituality' refers to the

preoccupation with the metaphysical component of art and the creative process,

continued from German metaphysical philosophy, and resulting in the formation of

broad new creative principles in efforts to re-establish spiritual expression in art, the

power of musical material, and coherence in the absence of traditional paradigms.

Shaping the aesthetic the ory are Schopenhauer's concept of metaphysical Will and

'essential nature', and Kandinsky's theory of'eternal truth'.

This paper is divided into three parts. In Part One, 1 present the Ur-schrei as

representing the condition of the modem artist. 1 present my own theory of 'objective

empathy', and explore the psychoanalytic and metaphysical interpretations of the role

of the artist drawing from the following theories: Jung's artist as 'supersensitive

2 individual,' Schopenhauer's artist as ',' and Reinhold Brinkman's ' as ' for the modem artist. 1 present my own theory of Expressionism's aesthetic spectrum spanning the scream representing the 'expulsion of art', to the whimper representing pathological intimacy. Finally, drawing on theories by Philip Friedheim, 1 explore the expansion of the dramatic scream in Schoenberg's 1911 work Pierrot

Lunaire in the vocal technique of Sprechstimme.

Part Two is a study of Freud's theories of dreams, mental illness, and the unconscious as they may relate to Schoenberg's 1909 work Erwartung, and an application of Jung's shadow-archetype to examples of archetypal thinking in Pierrot

Lunaire. Also to be discussed is the relationship between music-structural repetition and rationality in Erwartung and the Expressionist transformation of traditional musical materials in Pierrot Lunaire. 1 then explore physical representations of psychic pathology in self-portraits by Kokoschka, Schiele, and Schoenberg according to my own the ory of 'insides-out', and Jung and Freud's theories of pathology. 1 also

explore the metaphysical components of the artists' creative philosophy drawing on

Schopenhauer's belief that the 'essential nature' of things may be captured in art and that a correlation exists between metaphysical essence and its physical representation.

ln Part Three, 1 explore the shaping of Vienne se Expressionism's aesthetic theory

through an examination of Kandinsky and Schoenberg's theories ofvisual art and

music and their sympathetic artistic missions. Points of focus inc1ude 'perception' and

'compulsion' as creative motivations, the rejection of the object in painting and

omament in music, and the resulting re-establishment of the power of artistic and

3 musical material. 1 show how Kandinsky and Schoenberg's creative procedures are the technical realization of a preoccupation with the spiritual component to art and to the formation of art. Drawing on Klaus Kropfinger's primarily aesthetic the ory of

'structural crystallization,' Kandinsky's concept of 'hidden construction,' and

Schoenberg's 'developing variations' technique, 1 explore how compositional principles and procedures facilitate an 'impression oftotality' in Kandinsky's

Composition VII, 1913, and, as a complement to Kropfinger' s analysis of Composition

VII, 1 have used Severine Neffs 'developing variations' analytic approach to tonal music as a point of departure for analyzing Schoenberg's post-tonal work Das Büch der Hiingenden Giirten, Op. 15, No. 8, 1909.

Ultimately, 1 hope to present a coherent path from artistic disparity to the formation of a new aesthetic theory: from the Expressionist 'scream upon awakening' to the realization and expression of a new artistic vision: from sickness to spirituality.

4 Plate 1. Edvard MLIDCh. The Scream. Tempera and pastel on cardboard. Nasjonalgal1eriet, Oslo. 1893.

5 Art is despairing cry of those who experience the destiny of mankind as their OWll. Who not do acquiesce to it, but who stand out against it. Who do not stupidly work the machine's 'dark powers', but who throw themselves into the wheel[ s] in order to conceive the construction. Who do not avert their eyes in order to shield themselves against emotions; but who open them wide, in order to tackle what must be tackled. Who, however, often close their eyes in order to become aware ofwhat the senses cannot convey, in order to intuit what only delusively happens in the external worlds. And internally, within them is the motion of the world; only the repercussion reaches outward; the work of art. 5

5 Schoenberg (1909), quoted by Klaus Kropfinger in "Latent Structural Power versus the Dissolution of Artistie Material." in Schoenberg-Kandinsky: an historic encounter. ed. . Harwood Academie Publishers: 1997. p. 18. 6 Part One

1.0 the Ur-schrei: the Scream of the Expressionist Artist

"1 felt the scream through Nature" - Edward Munch

The above passage, scrawled by the Norwegian artist Edward Munch in the margin ofhis 1896 work, The Scream, belies its historical antecedence to the Viennese

Expressionist movement while encapsulating the germinal idea behind the Ur-schrei.

Munch's painting is a representation of an action, more specifically a vocal reaction, that can be heard neither by the viewer nor by the figures in the painting other than the

screamer who frantically tries to block out the offending sound by covering his ears.

As Munch betrays in his annotation, there are two screams taking place in the painting.

The first is the scream from Nature felt by the individual, the second scream is from the

individual reacting to Nature's cry. The painting represents a communication from

Nature to the individual - Nature screams, the individual screams, but in pure reaction,

and not in any particular direction. The blocking of the ears is not an act of defiance,

but of desperation. The individual' s scream is not part of a dialogue, but is the reaction

of an individual overwhelmed by what to others remains oblivious - to what even the

viewer is unable to hear or incapable ofhearing. By representing a sound in a painting,

Munch reveals not the 'scream through Nature' but his reaction to it. We, the viewer,

see only a representation of the reaction. The figure in the painting can not directly

express the thing to which he is reacting; neither can the viewer experience it. The

viewer can not directly experience the thing-itself, but can only bear witness to the

reaction through aesthetic contemplation of the artwork. Now consider Self-Portrait by

Egon Schiele (1910), following page. In this work, the viewer finds both a striking

7 Plate 2. Egon Schiele. Self-Portrait (Screaming). Black crayon, watercolour, and gouache. Private collection. 1910.

8 similarity to Munch's The Scream, and a marked innovation: Schiele's painting is clearly a portrait of the artist screaming. The viewer is directly bearing witness to the reaction of the artist.

In Munch and Schiele's works, Expressionist reactionism is presented in the form of the Ur-schrei: the scream expanded to become a sound, image, symbol, and metaphor. The Ur-schrei has been described as the artists' efforts to represent "the conflict between the material and the spiritual, between the rational and the irrational, between the ego and the world, subject and object, experienced as a tormented se arch for inner transcendence, as an instinctive impulse which then changes into an impellent rebellion of subjective consciousness against 'contingent' reality."6 Yet these binaries are Iimiting. It is fallacious to view Expressionist iconography in terms of dialecticaI pairs for which there is no possible synthesis. The reaction of the overwhelmed

individual, it is the product of conflict, not conflict' s representation. A sonic, spiritual,

and physical expulsion, the primaI cry transcends the limitations of available

expressive languages in art and music. It is the voice of expression for the universaI, prototypicaI 'essence ofbeing,' having been obscured by social mannerisms and

omamentation in the existing artistic traditions. The Ur-schrei ultimately represents

the reaction to an awakening in both human consciousness and in the arts. In the

following sections, l explore the Expressionist artist, their roIe in society and treatment

by it, and their experience of the tradition: aIl of which contributed to the formation of

the Ur-schrei as an icon representing the scream of the modem artist.

6 Rognoni, Luigi. The Second Viennese School: Expressionism and Dodecaphony. John Calder Ltd.: 1977.p.1. 9 1.1 Objective Empathy: the Product of Artistic Alienation

Expressionist works represent the condition of the modem artist as being separate from the condition ofhumanity. The isolation of the artist creates a divide between the individual and the masses: between the l (the artist) and the we (the world). Artists had awakened to the condition of humanity and stagnation in the artistic tradition and were burdened with reacting to and expressing their experience. Acute social awareness and the capacity for self-expression enabled their of things that, as in Munch's painting, remain imperceptible to the masses. The unshared awareness created distance between the masses and the modem artist who, though empathetic to the condition of the masses, was distanced from it by his artistic endeavour. This distance provided the artist with the objectivity necessary to truly report on the

condition of humanity - knowing it, but isolated from the collective experience of it.

Objective distance allowed the artist to comment upon the human subject, and to see through conflict in order to transfigure it into an aesthetic object. l have termed this

process 'objective empathy.'

Objective empathy manifests itselfin Expressionist aesthetic theory as the artists'

abilitya) to perce ive and represent the psychological state of others while not

necessarily invoking sympathy for it (in fact it is usually quite the opposite); and b) to

display knowledge of personal pathology as representative of collective pathology.

Though empathy requires the artist to participate in the psychological state of others, it

is more in the role of observer in the sense that though there is a certain level of

intimacy involved in the artists' revelation oftheir psychological condition, the manner

10 in which others are treated in Expressionist works is more scientific than sympathetic.

lndividuals portrayed in Expressionist works are treated much as the medical patients infin-de-siecle Vienna were, as raw material supplied for the practice of diagnosis. The nature in which Expressionists practiced their craft reflects a cultural fascination with both physical and psychiatric illness. In Carl Jung's psychoanalytic theory, the artist's acute awareness of the human condition causes him to suffer from it more profoundly than those around them: what Jung calls the 'supersensitive individual.l7 According to Jung, society's pathologies and compulsions become magnified in the artist whose experience of them is heightened. This point is articulated in Carl Mueller's Jungian approach to drama:

Outside oftherapeutic analysis the aim of a psychological approach to art should not be to read the mind of the artist, but to read the work of art as a societal dream; not as personal pathology, but as social pathology. Surely the most unique aspect of Jungian in its application to art in general is that it views the artist as the dreamer for the social collective of his time. The artist' s nature is a mystery but sorne partial definition of it is possible: the artist is a supersensitive individual who suffers the poverty ofhis culture more profoundly than any other member of it, and through his work he offers warning and/or compensation for that culture's poverty.8

Although the experience of cultural poverty is magnified in the artist's experience,

it is the same stuff of social pathology and thus cannot be disregarded as belonging to

artist alone. Magnification allows pathology to be betler understood, dissected, and

explored. The univers al nature of psychic pathology renders it an existential truth:

something that exists outside the bounds of time and historical context as a condition

7 Mueller, Carl R. "Jungian Analysis." The Drama Review, Vol. 22, No. 3, Analysis Issue. (Sep., 1978), p. 74. Il and property of human existence. The artists' representation of their condition in works of art and music transfigures this truth into an abstract creative principle. While critics focused on the 'degeneracy' of Expressionist works, this perception implies that something in them had been distorted from a state of previous wholeness or perfection.

However, with truth as one of Expressionism's central principles, the creative process can not be the distortion of existing material, but a choice of materials that best represents the artists' experience of the human condition.

A striking feature of Jung's concept of the 'supersensitive individual' is its

resemblance to Arthur Schopenhauer's philosophy of the 'artist as genius' as described

in The World as Will and Representation:

The artist lets us see the world through his eyes. That he has these eyes, that he knows the inner nature of things apart from all their relations, is the gift of genius, is inbom; but that he is able to lend us this gift, to let us see with his eyes, is acquired, and is the technical side of art. 9

In Schopenhauer's theory of the 'artist as genius,' artists are isolated from humanity

by their unique vision. The artists' gift of genius is also then a burden. It is not artists'

choice to reveal the inner nature of things in aesthetic form, but their compulsion.

1.2 The Scream and the Whimper: Aesthetic Violence and Intimacy

The Expressionist aesthetic spans from ruthless violence to sinister intimacy. The

violent aspect manifests itself in the transformation of the artistic process from the

creation of art to the expulsion of art. The creation of art becomes a means to satisfy

8 Ibid. p. 74 9 Schopenhauer,p.252. 12 the compulsion of the artist. The artist is compelled to react to that which is perceived and cannot be ignored. In this case, the work of art becomes the representation of a reaction - a type of metaphysical scream. It is not surprising that many Expressionist works were initially deemed aesthetically incomprehensible, misunderstood, or greeted with hostility. Audiences were either unwillingly or unknowingly being confronted with the expulsion of psychic disturbance. Expressionist works incorporate elements of grotesquerie and irony and capture the artists' striving to reconcile the artistic tradition with the human condition. With the Expressionist movement, the role of the

artists was redefined as 'alienated observer of society.' It is the expository nature of the works that most frequently expresses itself as aesthetic violence. Exemplary is the

blatant hostility of the artist's expression, toothless sneer, and blood-red flesh in

Schiele's Grimacing Self-Portrait (1910), shown on the following page:

13 Plate 3. Egon Schiele. Grimacing SelfPortrait. Gouache and black crayon on paper. Leopold Museum, Vienna. 1910.

14 At the other end of the Expressionist aesthetic is what l have termed the 'whimper.'

A murmur of spiritual and psychic disturbance, the whimper is the product of the

Expressionist artist absorbed in introspection and self-analysis. Works representing the artists' self-evaluation contribute the element of quiet and often uncomfortable intimacy in Expressionism. The whimper is the artists' metaphysicallament of the divide between themselves and the world. Rather than force-feed the viewers or listeners, works of this aesthetic instead draw them in to witness the pathological aspects of the psyche in a manner that transforms the ro1e of the viewer as an observer, comfortable from a distance, into a participant in a common pathology. The viewer is lent the eyes of the artist. In the same fashion that the artist observes humanity, the viewer may observe the artist' s condition as it relates to the human condition.

Referring back to the 1910 Self-portrait discussed in section 1.1, Schiele's scream is

somehow impotent and soundless. The artist appears mute. There is no scream in this

self-portrait. Emaciated, grotesque, and psychologically neutered, the artist's

metaphoric scream is barely audible.

1.3 Artist as Martyr: Self-sacrifice as a Means to Intersect with the Metaphysical

Added to the Expressionist artist's role as 'supersensitive individual' is that of the

martyr. It is by self-destruction through art that Expressionists began to identify with

religious martyrs. Expressionist martyrdom manifests itself in three broad types: 1)

artistic martyrdom; 2) the elevation and transformation of artistic martyrdom into

religious martyrdom; and 3) the use ofreligious iconography to establish a relationship

with the metaphysical. One of the most notorious self-representation of artistic

15 martyrdom can be found in Schoenberg's 1912 work monodrama Pierrot Lunaire.

While l will not explore the history and evolution of the stock characters from

Commedia dell' Arte, l am concerned with Schoenberg's transformation of the Pierrot archetype into the Expressionist incarnation of the modem artist.

Schoenberg sees Pierrot as a representational figure. He is the paradigmatic artist of the early 20th century - an alienated fellow, despised by society suffering from wounds of hostility and isolation, but proud of these wounds, because they attest and prove him that he lives and expresses the truth about world and society. At times when the price of grain means everything to his countrymen, the artist Pierrot, sentenced by society to a fool's existence, dares to live out of nothing but the strength of a moonbeam, the moonbeam's 'fantasy', his artistic imagination. Yes, he seems to be the fool, but - as in Shakespeare's dramas - it is the fool, the comic outsider, who sees through outer appearances and, in fact, conveys the truth, laughing at the world that condemned him to accept this role. 1O

In Pierrot Lunaire, assumes a more sinister quality. The viewer witnesses the torment and antagonism of the infantile and lunatic Pierrot. Pierrot exists in a

surrealist landscape where a figment of the imagination becomes experience,

impressions and suspicions actuate and materialize in dream-like reality. Pierrot's

intrigues become pathological and self-destructive infatuations. In Section l of the

drama, Pierrot succumbs to "the intoxication of the artistic fantasy through the moon,

the romantic symbol of inspiration. Then mind and creative fantasy grow more and

more disturbed and disordered and in no. 7, the moon is pronounced sick."11

Everything the Expressionist artist touches becomes poisoned. Passing fancy becomes

infatuation, and infatuation becomes pathological obsession.

la Brinkman, Reinhold. "The Fool as Paradigm: Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire and the Modem Artist." in Schoenberg & Kandinsky: an historie eneounter. ed. Konrad Boehmer. Harwood Academie Publishers: 1997. p. 146. 11 Ibid. p. 144. 16 As Pierrot becomes increasingly isolated with the moon in no. Il, and consequently more lunatic, "darkness descends; terror destruction and artistic martyrdom close in with the blasphemous Rote Messe, the numerically exact centre of the 21 melodramas, as the deepest point of self-sacrifice." 12 Intersecting with the

'deepest point of self-sacrifice' is a momentous communion with the other-worldly. In

Rote Messe, the host, the dripping heart of the artist, symbolizes a connection between the physical and metaphysical realms. In Roman Catholic iconography, the host is the physical vessel for the holy spirit suitable for consumption by the devout. It signifies the conscious intema1ization of the metaphysical spirit and imbues the individual with the presence of the divine. In Pierrot Lunaire, the relationship with the metaphysical is a double-edged blade. The dripping heart of the artist becomes the physical vessel for the metaphysical spirit. The presence of the spirit is synonymous with knowledge of the other-worldly: an epiphanical experience achieved through total self-sacrifice, the relinquishment of sanity, and ultimately, the achievement of martyrdom. It is from knowledge that the artist suffers. It is thus prophetically pointed that NO.13 is an

Enthauptung (Beheading).

Identification with martyrdom contributed a wealth of religious iconography to

Expressionist art. In Oskar Kokoschka's Self-Portrait for Der Sturm (1911), shown on

the following page, the artist presents himself with mouth agape, indicating the open

wound in his chest. His expression is garish, cartoonish, and grotesque. By inviting

the viewer to witness the Christ-like wound in his side, the artist invokes an intimate

aesthetic experience. The viewer witnesses both the violence done to the artist by

12 Ibid. p. 146. 17 Plate 4. Oskar Koksochka. Self-Portrait for Der Sturm. Poster. 1911. Reprinted with permission from the Szépmüvészeti, Budapest.

18 society and the artist's pathological pride in his injury. The artist appears to desire his wounds. Unlike religious martyrs, he does not merely accept his fate by relinquishing self-interest. Instead, Kokoschka indulges in and exhibits rus martyrdom and presents his injury for public acknowledgment.

Similar to Kokoschka's self-portrait is Egon Schiele's self-portrait as St. Sebastian

(1914), shown below and which, though created outside of the 1909-1913 window, continues in the spirit ofboth the Ur-schrei and artistic martyrdom.

Plate 5. Egon Schiele. Self-Portrait as St. Sebastian. Poster. 1914.

19 Aiso originally a poster, and more blatant than Kokoschka's display of Christ-like injury, is Schiele's presentation ofhimself as the 14th c. Roman martyr whose image as a naked youth tied to a tree is often interpreted as homoerotic. "In tum of the century art the dedication of the' outsider' Sebastian was associated with the physical beauty of the saint: the beautiful sufferer."13 St. Sebastian's nakedness, vulnerability, and physicallspiritual torment were clearly attractive to the young Schiele who often blurred the lines between sexuality, degradation, physical deformation, vulnerability,

submission, and spiritual awareness. In Schiele's St. Sebastian, the artist is not so much presenting himself as the point of intersection between metaphysical and physical realms, but exaggerating his artistic suffering to the level of martyred .

An interesting feature of this work, Schiele does not present himself naked, but instead

robes himself in a priest's vestments. Schiele has avoided indulging in the sexual

implications ofhis subject as might be exploited in the St. Sebastian-theme, and

instead, through the robing, elevates the artist's suffering to the spirituallevel.

1.4 The Metaphysical Aspect of the Ur-schrei

The metaphysical aspect of artistic martyrdom contributes an element of the other-

worldly to the Ur-schrei not often discussed in the literature. If, through martyrdom,

the artist is placed at the intersection between the phenomenal world and something

more innate, more of a psychic or spiritual essence, then the Expressionist Ur-schrei is

the voice of that thing: the thing-in-itself. 14 Expressionist artists are in a sense

13 The Naked Truth: Klimt, Schiele, Kokoschka and Other Scandais. ed. Tobias G. Natter and Max Hollein. Catalogue for the exhibition Nachte Warheit, 2005, at the Leopold Museum, Viennna. Prestel: 2005. 14 Reference to lmmanuel Kant's thing-in-itself. 20 speaking to the audience from the other side of the divide between phenomenal and metaphysical realms. The process of artistic creation becomes the process by which metaphysical experience is transfigured into aesthetic experience. In Schopenhauer's philosophy, music, above aIl other arts, is capable oftranslating metaphysics to aesthetics.

The essential difference between music and these other arts lies in its absence of surface subject matter. Music goes directly to the heart ofthings cutting through the unessential surface reality to arrive at the core of true feeling below. The function of aIl art is to reveal "the es-sential nature of extemal things" that lies beneath the surface. The extemal surface can suppl y material for the literary or visual artists, who try to deal with this surface in such a way as to reveal its inner essence to us, the essence that Schopenhauer identifies with Will. The art of sound, on the other hand, deals specifically with the inner essence of aIl things, indeed is the direct expression ofthis Universal Will, and as such can always be understood in full by the listener. 15

Alas, the direct expression of the 'inner essence' of things is not always understood

by the listener. If artists and were able to present the essential nature of

things in a manner that was universally understood, the general reaction to Viennese

Expressionism would not have been characterized by bewilderment and outrage.

Second, the 'Univers al Will' to which Friedheim makes reference, is Schopenhauer's

metaphysical Wille, and is described by Carl Dahlhaus as the following:

As an object that is subject to the categories oftime and place [the Will] is phenomenon, and as an object having self-identity and aware-ness [the Will] is noumenon. AlI of man's activities, both bodily and inteIlectuaIly, are realizations of the will, which is beyond the bounds of his control and to which he is subject by his very being. Will, according to Schopenhauer, is not merely a private phenomenon; aIl occurrences in the world, with their

15 Friedheim, Philip. "Wagner and the Aesthetics of the Scream." in 19th-Century Music, Vol. 7, No. 1 (Summer, 1983), p. 67. 21 conflicts and contradictions, can be regarded as the products of timeless, self­ caused will. 16

According to Schopenhauer, "music is distinguished from aU other arts by the fact that it is not a copy of the phenomenon but is a direct copy of the will itself, and therefore exhibits itself as the metaphysical to everything physical in the world, and as the thing-in-itselfto every phenomenon."17 The noumenal aspect of the

Schopenhauer's Wille, continuing in the tradition of Kant's 'thing-in-itself,' "cannot be experienced, can be known to exist, but to which no properties can be intelligibly ascribed. "18 Schopenhauer believed that the driving spirit of the universe is experienced by the , translated into the aesthetic object, and in turn experienced by the listener. No other art form can more c1early communicate the inner nature of things.

1.5 The Ur-schrei, the Dramatic Scream, and Sprechstimme

If music, the art of sound, is an expression of the universal, metaphysical Wille,

then the dramatic scream is of special significance to the Wille's expression. The Ur-

schrei, the primaI cry, functions in the same fashion as the dramatic scream - as an

utterance that suffices to convey emotive content where fail and as a reaction

to an awakening. In drama, the scream is a more direct expression of the 's

inner Will than traditional vocal mannerisms, or even the basic act of singing itself,

16 Contemplating Music: Source Readings in the Aesthetics ofMusic. ed. with introductions by Ruth Katz and Carl Dahlhaus. Volume 1: Substance. Aesthetics in Music No. 5. Pendragon Press: 1987, p. 142. 17 Schopenhauer, p. 339-340. 18 Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary. G. & C. Merriam Company: 1975.

22 will allow. In the context of character development, the scream indicates a character's awakening to or realization ofher situation or predicament. Where language fails to express, the dramatic scream succeeds in expressing univers al human emotions: the essentials ofhuman experience in their most stripped-down form.

The stage drama represents the surface event, and the orchestral texture the direct contact for the listener-viewer with Schopenhauer's inner essence, or Will, of the scene itself...... we hear characters speaking words that clarify the narrative line for us. But often, at particularly intense moments, the words disappear, and the essence manifests itself directly in the form of the cry, the emotional Will behind the character' s feelings that need not first transform itself into words, but can communicate directly the bare emotion as it is lived out. Thus, through the scream we experience the essence of the moment without first experiencing the external manifestation of the emotion, as in the verbal or visual arts. 19

While the scream is a traditional technique of achieving direct emotive expression

in dramatic works, the Expressionist desire to find new expressive means caused it to

be used as a point of departure rather than a gestural framework. Composers, led by

Schoenberg, sought to expand upon the expressive capacity oftraditional music

techniques, and to create musical works in the reactive spirit of the Ur-schrei. The Ur-

schrei found its expression in Sprechstimme, most famously in Schoenberg's Pierrot

Lunaire (1912).

The text for Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire is Otto Erich Hartleben's German

of a work, by the same name, by the French poet . While

Giraud's poem is melodramatic, and highly romanticized, it is in the German translation

that Pierrot Lunaire assumes its sinister, Expressionist aesthetic. Schoenberg found

19 Friedheim, p. 67. 23 the perfect new technical vehicle for expressing the macabre grotesquerie of

Hartleben's Pierrot in Sprechstimme. "It can be argued that in Sprechstimme,

specificallyas used in Pierrot Lunaire, the scream has been broadly absorbed into the way in which one delivers all the lines of the vocal part. This results in a continually high degree of emotional intensity that can pass into the hysterical with effortless

ease."20 Schoenberg's performance indications for the work reveal his intentions for the aesthetic effect of Sprechstimme.

The performer must 'scrupulously' observe the difference between the sung note, with diminuendos and crescendos, leaves the original pitch as soon as it is touched. The performer must be extremely careful, however, not to lapse into a sort of 'sing song' speech. This is not the aim. A realistic, natural way of speaking is definitely not intended. On the contrary, the difference between normal speech and speech which operates within a musical form must be very clear. But nor must it bring to mind the ide a of singing. 21

Sprechstimme is Schoenberg's attempt at untempered expression - void of the

omamentation, traditional mannerisms, or melodic confinement ( though he does

provide 'contour' to which the singer must adhere, which partially defeats the purpose

of 'untempered' expression). The vocal aesthetic in Pierrot Lunaire does, however,

more closely resemble instinctual utterance than could be achieved through singing

alone. "The human voice breaks aH ties with traditional singing in order to express the

artist's inner feelings directly: the Ur-schrei, the 'primaI cry', is fulfilled in the form of

the keenest tension; words and notes are fused and directed inwards, creating a new

vehicle of expressive reality."22

20 Ibid. p. 68. 21 Rognoni, p. 43-44. 22 Ibid. p. 43. 24 With Sprechstimme, Schoenberg effectively negates traditionai singing through the absence of melodic pitch-structure and pitch-structural relationships between the voice and instruments. "With the voices of the soprano and the instruments almost never coinciding, it becomes "impossible for the mind to draw from the work's unfolding a

sense of generallaw or pattern being observed. "23 Schoenberg uses an existing technique, the dramatic scream, as a point of reference and departure against which the

significance ofhis technicai innovation may be in interpreted. In Pierrot Lunaire,

Schoenberg renders music-compositionai technique as a site for Expressionist


Within the context of the drama, Sprechstimme compeis the Iistener to focus on the

direct expression ofPierrot's psychologicai reality. Aesthetically, it transfigures the

violence inherent in the dramatic scream and the Expressionist artist's 'scream upon

awakening'. Within the context of the Expressionist movement, it functions as an

appeai to the audience, simultaneously drawing them in and forcing them to

acknowledge the new aesthetic theory and the new direction in the music tradition.

Through this disparate new expressive language, Schoenberg forces the audience to

bear witness to the Ur-schrei: the scream as well as the whimper, and the awakening of

the Expressionist artist.

23 Harrison, Thomas. 1910: The Emancipation ofDissonance. University of Califomia Press: 1996. p. 50. 25 Part Two

2.0 Psychic Pathology in Expressionism

[Vienna was] a city too entranced by surface delights to heed rumblings below."24

ln the same fashion that psychoanalysis reflects a cultural fascination with psychic pathology, Expressionist works reflect influential theories from the psychoanalytic

discipline. Because it was a small group of artists who pioneered new techniques in

art- and music-composition to better express the pathological aspects of the human psyche, sickness in Expressionist works was initially attributed to a few individuals

intent on destroying the social fabric infin-de-siecle Vienna. But while artists indeed

represented the pathology of their condition and experience in art, they drew

motivation from existing and forming theories of psychic pathologies, dreams, the

relationship between physical and mental illness, and a growing awareness of the

unconscious. In the following sections, 1 explore the relationship between influential

ideas from Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung's psychoanalytic theories in Schoenberg's

Erwartung (1909) and Pierrot Lunaire (1912), respectively. 1 then examine the

coupling of psychoanalytic theory and metaphysical philosophy in the creative

principles employed in self-portraits by Oskar Kokoschka, Egon Schiele, and Arnold


24 Johnston, William M. The Austrian Mind: An Intellectual and Social History. University of Califomia Press: 1972. p. 251. 26 2.1 Dreams and Mental Illness

ln 1900, Freud had written Interpretation ofDreams, 25 a section of which is entitled

"The Relations between Dreams and Mental Illness." It is from this section that the following is taken:

Kant says 'The lunatic is one who dreams while awake.' Krauss: 'Madness is a dream with waking senses.' Schopenhauer calls the dream a brief madness and madness a long dream. Hagen describes delirium as dream-life brought about not by sleep but by illness. Wundt says, in his Physiologische Psycologie: 'Indeed, in our dreams we are able to experience ourselves almost aIl the phenomena we encounter in lunatic asylums. '26

In Freudian the ory, dreams are the surfacing of contents of the unconscious.

Images and situations that appear in dreams have their origin in impulses, desires or

abuse (primarily sexual), memories, or wishes that have been repressed into the unconscious. Repression, the cause of mental illness, also causes often cryptic physical symptoms to manifest themselves. Because a patient's physical symptoms are

expressions of repressed traumatic experiences, coaxing a patient into recalling past

trauma, through interactive psychoanalytic therapy, allowed them to confront

unreconciled emotions and ultimately to alleviate their symptoms. Dream-

interpretation was a major part of Freud's therapeutic approach. Because dream

imagery is symbolic of contents of the unconscious, it could be used to interpolate the

psychological condition of the patient and the source oftheir pathology. Dreams blur

the divide between consciousness and the unconscious, rationality and irrationality, and

must be interpreted as metaphors in the context of the patient's experience. The

25 Freud. 26 Ibid. p. 75. 27 following section explores the relationships between Freud's theory and the construction of the libretto for Schoenberg's 1909 monodrama, Erwartung


2.2 Freud and Erwartung's Libretto

Negation is a way oftaking cognizance ofwhat is repressed. 27

Composed between August 27 and September 12 in 1909, Erwartung has been viewed as a work antithetical to a well-ordered psyche. The libretti st Marie

Pappenheim (1882-1966), a fresh medical school graduate, may have been familiar with Josef Breuer's famous hysteria patient 'Anna 0.' (whose real name was Bertha

Pappenheim, no kinship to Marie) concerning whom he co-authored a paper with

Freud. Anna O. underwent prototypical psychoanalytic therapy for the treatment of

paralysis, anorexia, hallucinations, loss of memory, and the inability to command

28 grammar and syntax : the typical roster for Freudian 'hysteria'. Anna O.'s condition

was likely used by Pappenheim as a 'condition model' for the nameless, generic, case-

like 'Woman' character in Erwartung. 29

The libretto has been interpreted as a Woman's hysterical episode brought on by

the repressed murder ofher lover. Pappenheim's text is characterized by "[the]

Woman's fragmented outbursts, her disjointed eruptions ofinner thoughts and

emotions, the theme of violence as symptom of psychic and social disintegration the

27 Freud, Sigmund. Aphorism, 1925. 28 Simms, Bryan R. The Atonal Music ofArnold Schoenberg 1908-1923. Oxford University Press: 2000. p. 93. 29 Ibid. p. 93 28 nightmarish atmosphere, treatment ofthe main character as a symbolic type devoid of proper name, and a pervasive sense of impending doom." 30 In Pappenheim's libretto, the nightmarish setting becomes a metaphor for the Woman's mental illness, and reinforces the relationship between dreams and psychosis. But while the work has been described as a venture into the unconscious, irrationality, and insanity, in the libretto, it is difficult to clearly distinguish between rationality and irrationality, dream­ state and reality, consciousness and unconscious.

To state that Erwartung's libretto is a 'venture in to the irrational part of the psyche' assumes that 1) the psyche is clearly divided into the rational and the irrational, and 2) it is possible to clearly identify the irrational part of psyche. It is more accurate to state that the Woman's reality is constructed in the unfamiliar extremities ofthe psyche and motivated by her unconscious. The unfamiliarity of her situation is reflected in the monodrama's setting in the forest. What the Woman discovers is not governed by the phenomenal world. Her narrative offers commentary on this unfamiliar terrain which

allows the audience to participate in real-time. If the audience knew the 'reality' of the

situation, whether or not the Woman's lover died at her own hand or not, it would be possible to de scribe Erwartung's libretto as an indulgence in irrationality. In

Pappenheim's original libretto, the Woman's suffering is clearly caused by the

repressed murder of her lover by her own hand. Images from the Woman's

unconscious frequently surface that allude to this reality. Schoenberg removed sections

that clarify the nature of her traumatic experience, and thereby denies the audience the

30 Ibid. p. 94.

29 'explanation' for the Woman's psychological state. What remains is "a study of

emotions in a heightened and momentary state of intensity, then slowed so as to be

observable in dramatic form. The individuality and psychology of the Woman were

secondary, even arbitrary matters."31 When Schoenberg removes from the libretto the parts that clarify the woman's murder ofher lover, the cause ofthat murder and the

identity of the murderer becomes ambiguous. The effect achieved by this ambiguity is

the inclusion of the audience into the woman's disorientation.

The frequent intrusion ofvisual mirages make reference to Freud's theory of dream-

interpretation where unconscious thoughts, impulses, or observations surface in image-

form and metaphor in dream. In Erwartung's libretto, the moon functions as a symbol

of the Woman's psychic disintegration, and plays a silent role in the her self-referential

narrative. The following are the Woman's 'moon-references' as they appear

chronologically in the work. They depict the transformation of the moon from

companion and provider of light to a malevolent entity, playing tricks with the

Woman's perception by deceiving her eyes. The final moon reference takes place

before the Woman discovers the identity of the 'thing': her lover.

Scene 1 "the moon was so bright earlier on ..... " "the moon is aghast.. ... can it see in there?" Scene III "Oh, just the moon .... .lovely"

Scene IV "and that pallid moon" "The moonlight.. .. "

31 Ibid. p. 94-95 - Simms cites .

30 "The moon is deceitful because it is bloodless ... .it paints red blood"

As the W oman becomes more disoriented in the dark forest, she approaches the dramatic discovery ofher lover's corpse. As she approaches this revelation, the moon becomes increasingly hostile, while providing hints to the fate of the Woman's lover.

A parallel is drawn between the Woman's experience of the moon and her lover in the

final stanza of the text where she directly compares her lover's kiss to the light shed by

the moon in the dark forest: "your kiss, like a beacon in my darkness." While the

moon-images appear as interjections from the Woman's unconscious, illuminating the

recesses of her psyche, her memories of her lover depict a happier and less convoluted

past. Cruelly, it is the pale, white corpse ofher lover that literally sheds finallight on

his death in the darkness ofher psychosis. Up until her identification ofhis body,

images such as the moon merely surface as metaphors in a dream the Woman cannot


As the Womanjourneys deeper into the wildemess ofher psyche, she projects her

fears and infatuations onto her surroundings. How she perceives these things becomes

haw they exist ta her. Because seemingly irrational and inexplicable dream-images

have their root in the unconscious, when interpreted, they have the added element of

being more truthful than conscious mental processes and activities. In Freudian theory,

it is in dreams where one is made aware of the most profound and irrefutable impulses.

Thus the unconscious projections in Erwartung's libretto are perhaps more truthful to

the condition of the Woman than her conscious assessment of her situation. Moments

that have been interpreted as symptoms of irrationality and senility could then be

31 interpreted as moments when the Woman is closest to the truth.

2.3 Rational Structure in the Music of Erwartung

In Erwartung, it is commonly accepted that the traditional symbols of rationality in music (pitch-structural coherence, syntax, etc.) are abandoned in favour of symbols of irrationality: namely the absence of repetition, or 'athematicism.' While sorne music theorists have explored more subtle repetition-based pitch-relationships, there is little

direct repetition of thematic or formaI material in Erwartung. It is difficult to find traditional means of structural coherence where virtually every moment appears to be

unique, foreign, and non-derivative. But the matter is not so simple as assuming that

athematicism can be equated with irrationality. To the contrary, the structuring

principles of Erwartung indicate a new type of musical design: one where the

repetition and derivation of material do not translate as logical expectations. Yet the

absence of such processes does not indicate a break with compositional or musical


Structurally, the music is not a direct representation of the Woman's wandering

narrative. As Konrad Boehmer observes:

In 'Erwartung', the functional rationalism ofSchoenberg's composition aims at integrating the music into the dream-structure instead of deriving the former from the latter. The technical substratum of this functional rationalism is a highly sophisticated - the most rational compositional method imaginable.32

The notion of counterpoint between the music and the Woman's reality is of particular

32 Boehmer, p. 180. 32 importance. In Erwartung, the music is not a direct representation of the poetry, rather it interacts with, reflects, and motivates the text. The musical structure has more a dialogic than reflective or representational function. Because the dramatic action does not literally exist outside of the Woman's mind,33 because it is not derived, but created from the essence of the Woman's narrative, it need only be coherent within that framework. The expectation or anticipation oftraditional structuring principles such as repetition is misplaced.

An example of dialogism, or counterpoint, between the music and the narrative

occurs during the lead-up to the climactic moment of the work (m. 160-190): when the

Woman screams for help at the moment she realizes her lover is dead. In Scene IV,

from m. 160-190, the Woman has the following text:

The moonlight. .... no, there ..... that terrible head ...... that spectre If only it would disappear ... like the one in the fore st. .... The shadow of a tree .... an absurd branch The moon is deceitful... because it is bloodless .... it paints red blood .... Don't look at it.. ... take no notice .... It will vanish, for sure .... like that in the fore st.. .. l must go .. .! must find him. l'm sure it is late. It's gone ..... knew it would .. .. It's still there .... God above .. .. It's alive ... It has skin, eyes, hair ..... his eyes .... it has his mouth. y ou .... you ... .is it you ..... l've been searching for you such a long time ...

33 MeHers, Wilfrid. Singing in the Wilderness: Music and Ecology in the Twentieth Century. University of Illinois Press: 2001. p. 8. 33 in the forest and .... Can you hear me? Say something.. .look at me ... Lord, what is .... Help!

Beginning in m. 160, the first example of the music's independence is the G#-B shown in the piano reduction. This G#-B is reiterated in various rhythmic forms, followed most consistently by either E-G, or C-Eb, seen in Ex. 1 below.

langsam(miijlige ~= 60)11601 l CErhebt sich halb, BodaO ihr Gesjcht dtm Baumen z:ugewendet ist. Vef'W1rrt)

li Il 't '6~r7J ~ DH" Mund - neln dort.

("il::ht unvel""'Wandt run)

EIn Bawnschatten... eUI lü.-cher-li-cher Zweig ... Der Mond Ist tük.kJsch ...




Ex. 1. Arnold Schoenberg. Erwartung, Op. 17/ vocal score EU 5362 © copyright 1923 by Universal Edition A.G., Vienna. m. 160-165.

34 During this excerpt, the Woman is lamenting how the 'terrible head' on the 'thing' will not vanish into the shadows like the spectre did in the forest. The primary motion in the music is by thirds with metric and gestural landing points on three unrelated thirds - unrelated meaning that they do not share any pitches. The unrelated third movement could be interpreted as a musical metaphor for the disembodied head to which the Woman refers, which keeps 'popping up', refusing to vanish, yet refusing to integrate itselfinto a complete and coherent figure in front ofher. The thirds are liquidated with the glissandi at m. 168. after the Woman asserts that the head must vanish, see Ex. 2.

poco rit. etwas laIlllSamer (mit ausgestreèléten Fingern hlnweisend, f!üsternd) Fr.~~~~~~~ er blui-Ieer ist... mali er ro - es Blut... A-ber eSw1rdgleichzerflie Ben ...





u .. ~~.. r -,,- ~i~hi hln - s~hn . Nichidrau/;'h ~re~ ... Es zeJ"-gehL si - cher· ... - Vlb~ (Flag. gliuJ KI. ·if 1\ ",:l;b.. : t:r \fT------q:~ ~~ pppp Hrr. F L- Il l, UJbJb..! J &r r "q'g !lliu,Dt Ex. 2. Arnold Schoenberg. Erwartung, Op. 17/ vocal score EU 5362 © copyright 1923 by Universal Edition A.G., Vienna. m. 166-168

35 At m. 170, the music fashions itselfinto a march that accompanies the Woman's

resolve to walk boldly through the night to continue searching for her lover, Ex. 3. The

Woman's internaI resolve is mirrored in the music, whereas in the previous section the

music contained the subject of the Woman's fear and intimidation: the repeated

appearance of the 'terrible head'.

11701 (Sie wendt:t sich mit gezwungener 1 Rulle ab, gegen die Stra!Se ZU) langsam • - '0 fi • f.\ ". Fr. ,t.! wiedJ~Wald .. 1Ch will fort ... ichmuJlihn fifl.


~J41T~ ~~ ~j)~~J~f.\ --" : - pp p =-TJJ?Pr.., ~ 1 : q~b~.~~ ~ ~f-----~ Ex. 3. Arnold Schoenberg. En-vartung,----- OP. 17/ vocal score EU 5362 © copyright 1923 by Universal Edition A.G., Vienna. m. 169-172.

At m. 173, the music becomes the origin of emotive content, rather than its mirror.

As can be seen below in Ex. 4, the music begins a ppp arpeggiated figure that is very

much restless and antithetical to the preceding march-like music.

langsam ;. = U2 f":\ (Sie hat sich welte, gewendet, erbUckt pl0tZtlCh Wledtr den Gegenstand)

12 'f

ff B. Kl l

Hrf. 'frp------_._=====

Ex. 4. Arnold Schoenberg. Erwartung, Op. 17/ vocal score EU 5362 © copyright 1923 by Univers al Edition A.G., Vienna. m. 173

36 The character of the music changes before the Woman articulates the change in her

psychological state. Her vocalline is essentially usurped by the , whose

melodic contour mimics the Woman's voice. The music provides a sense ofunderlying

disturbance, a metaphor for the Woman's underlying psychic disturbance, and for the

continuing presence of her lover's corpse in the forest despite her resolve to ignore it.

The Woman's first utterance after the music's restless entry is "1t's still there ..... God

(Sie beugt sicb ga.nz ZlU" Sei te, als wollte sie ihm ins Gesicht sehen)

Ex. 5. Arnold Schoenberg. Erwartung, Op. 17/ vocal score EU 5362 © copyright 1923 by Universal Edition A.G., Vienna. m. 174-192· .

37 At the climax in m. 190, the music and text become aligned: neither is mirror nor initiator. The long note-durations in the vocalline are matched in the orchestration by tremulos that give the sense of stasis. The bold, octave figures carry through from m.

189 to further articulate the Woman's moment of realization. After a section of counterpoint leading up to m. 190, the music and text become aligned, an to

the brief moment of clarity upon realization.

A A A ~

ppp ï

etwas zurückhaltend J" 100 (Entsetzt. beugi: sich ganz) (atemlos) l''r.~~~------~~~~~~~ mich an. Hcrr Gatt, was

viel rascher J" 100

38 In the absence of repetitive structure, the contrapuntal relationship between the text and music implies a level of compositional rationality in the musical structure of

Erwartung. What has been perceived as a wandering Expressionist work of self- indulgence composed in a seventeen-day period of creative madness, belies in its underlying structural organization a design not simplistically a representation of irrationality, but motivated by non-traditional contrapuntal principles.

2.4 The Shadow-Archetype of the Collective Unconscious

A more or less superficiallayer of the unconscious is undoubtedly personal. l call it the personal unconscious. But this personal unconscious rests upon a deeper layer, which does not derive from personal experience and is not a personal acquisition but is inbom. l have chosen the term "collective" because this part of the unconscious is not individual but universal; in contrast to the personal psyche, it has contents and modes of behaviour that are more or less the same everywhere in all individuals. It is, in other words, identical in all men and thus constitutes a common psychic substrate of a suprapersonal nature which is present in every one of us. 34

In the psychoanalytic theories of Carl Jung, the universal, inherited aspects of the

human psyche manifest themselves in the form of archetypal images, situations, and

figures in dreams, mythology, and religion. These archetypes, symbols of psychic

commonality, are what Jung refers to as the "contents of the collective unconscious."35

In Jung's theory, "psychic existence can be recognized only by the presence of contents

that are capable of consciousness. "36 This statement implies that the contents of the

unconscious part of the psyche are not directly accessible. We can only come to know

them through their manifestation in our consciousness. The examination of symbols of

34 Jung, p.3 35 Ibid. p. 3-4. 36 Ibid. p. 4 39 the unconscious (archetypes) is ajoumey of introspection. The individual can both explore and make deductions about the nature of the self by interpreting archetypes. In this paper, the only archetype of the collective unconscious to be discussed is the

'shadow.' "In 1945 Jung gave a most direct and clear-cut definition of the shadow: 'the thing a pers on has no wish to be."37

In the simple st terms, the shadow is the repository, the bearer, of aU one's repressions. What in myselfI do not want, or am forced by society not to want to face and deal with, 1 repress into my personal unconscious. The shadow operates in two ways: it desires to be freed from its repressed state and therefore tries to lead me out of the se repressions by making me aware of them through dreams and it also, because it is made to suffer under my repressions, will fight against me, trying to undermine me for my actions against him.38

Influence from the psychoanalytic discipline culminates in the appearance of the

shadow in Expressionist works of art and music. The shadow gives these works their

raison d'efre. For Expressionist composers and artists, the shadow provides a

motivation for their creative processes, and a primary representationallocus in art. But

as the majority ofthe shadow's contents are repressed, it cornes to "[personify]

everything that the subject refuses to acknowledge about himself and yet is always

thrusting itselfupon him directly or indirectly - for instance inferior traits of character

and other incompatible tendencies. "39 It is also the repository of character traits and

tendencies deemed undesirable by social norms: what the individual is 'forced by

society not to want.' In Jungian psychology, "it is impossible to eradicate shadow;

hence, the term most frequently employed by analytical psychologists for confronting

37 Samuels, Andrew, Bani Shorter, and Fred Plaut. A Critical Dictionary ofJungian Analysis. Brunner-Routledge: 1986. p. 138 - quoted from Carl Jung's The Collected Works 16, para. 470. 38 Mueller, p. 76-77. 40 ,- the unconscious is 'coming to tenns with the shadow'."40

2.5 Archetypal Thinking in Pierrot Lunaire

Exploring the shadow alleviates the fear of its existence, but not its contents. The

role of the Expressionist artist is to traverse unknown psychological terrain: to explore

and present the shadow in art. One common manner of presenting this exploration is

through imagery of night and the moon. While the moon can function as a beacon,

gui ding the artist through the dark recesses of the unknown, it is also the object of

infatuation: a metaphor for artistic , as was discussed earlier in Pierrot

Lunaire. In Expressionist iconography, as was seen in Erwartung, the moon often

takes the fonn of an ever-present mirror of the pathological self. In Pierrot Lunaire,

the moon is a silent partner in a self-referential dialogue with Pierrot. Pierrot

anthropomorphizes the moon: projecting onto it emotional states that essentially

mimic his level psychiatric disturbance. The moon is interwoven with Pierrot's

surrealist adventure and functions as confidante, object of affection, stage-prop, and

psychic meter. The moon, Pierrot's companion, becomes companion to the shadow of

the modem artist.

Schoenberg's use of traditional fonns in Pierrot Lunaire is also indicative of

archetypal thinking. Many of the twenty-one pieces exploit existing compositional

paradigms. Recalling how it was through the Gennan translation of Giraud's Pierrot

Lunaire that the poetry gained its Expressionist aesthetic, Schoenberg's manipulation of

traditional fonns transforms them into vehicles for expressing the Expressionist

39 Jung, p. 284-285. 41 aesthetic. The following are examples oftraditional forms in Pierrot Lunaire,

helpfully compiled by Reinhold Brinkmann:

No. 2: Columbine: waltz No. 5: Valse de Chopin: slow waltz No. 8: Nacht: passacaglia No. 12 and 15: Galgenlied and Heimweh: developing variations No. 17: Parodie: polka No. 17 and 18: Parodie and Der Mondfleck: imitative counterpoint (canon and fugue) No. 19: Serenade: slow waltz but also a Dramolett: a miniature cello concerto with a veritable cadenza No. 20: Heimfahrt: barcarole 41

Brinkmann goes on to cite multiple examples of and references to traditional

forms throughout the work. The prevalence of historical forms in Pierrot Lunaire is

not in dispute. l believe, however, that there are further interpretations for the

surfacing of such forms in an avant-garde work, and by way of example, propose a

new interpretation for the eighth song, Nacht.

The formaI design of Nacht is a passacaglia based upon an initiating trichordal and

chromatically descending bass and its various motivic reiterations, shown in Ex. 6


j Il

Ex. 6. Arnold Schoenberg. Pierrot Lunaire, Op. 23. Passacaglia Theme.

40 Samuels, p. 138. 41 Brinkman, p. 155. 42 In traditional music-composition, as was discussed in Erwartung, repetition is a tool for generating structural coherence and is associated with rational organizational paradigms. Repetition draws attention to material of structural significance, and

consequently allows the listener to mentally 'organize' the work hierarchically.

Material that is reiterated or evidently developed in sorne form is more structural than

surrounding or intervening material. Complementarily, the process of subordination

allows the listener to pro cess and prioritize a large amount of aesthetic information.

The repetition of material can provide a recognizable thread of continuity throughout a

musical work, or it can relate one musical moment with another - showing logical

derivation of material and overall coherence in a work.

The passacaglia from Pierrot Lunaire is a traditional form transmuted by the

Expressionist endeavour. It bears the mark of Schoenberg the Expressionist artist.

Schoenberg's use of repetition and ground bass builds the audiences expectations for

what is to come. By distorting reiterations ofthe ground bass, Schoenberg reveals

traditional form in an avant-garde context. Re-contextualizing a traditional form

provides the objective distance from tradition required for a creative commentary on

the new and a re-invented direction for the music-composition itself. By presenting

something readily familiar in a new light, the composer provides the audience with a

reference point for interpreting his process.

The surfacing of something traditional, something prototypical in Western art

music, in the middle of a musically and psychologically exploratory work such as

Pierrot Lunaire, signifies both the surfacing of a musical archetype and the surfacing

43 oftraditional influence in modem art, but skewed through the Modernist perspective.

In Pierrot Lunaire, the surfacing of tradition is not presented as an incorporation of traditional means of composition, but as the uncontrolled surfacing of something more universal to the artist. The passacaglia-form of Nacht is a traditional form deformed by the endeavour of the modem artist. As archetype, the specifies of its manifestation in

Pierrot Lunaire are determined by the historical context. As archetypes of the collective unconscious manifest themselves in different forms throughout history, the

ground-bass form in Pierrot Lunaire is an Expressionist-specific appearance of an

archetypal form from music-compositional tradition.

In Nacht, the passacaglia bass mimics the wandering steps of the Expressionist

artist through the nightmarish dreamscape ofhis shadow. The night imagery is married

with a metaphor for ajourney. The end-point of the ground bass re-initiates the same

pattern. Each iteration reinforce the nightmare, the wandering through the unknown,

and a point of no retum. Pierrot, the modem artist, and perhaps Schoenberg the man,

can not move forward yet cannot leave. The passacaglia is both a point of respite and

stasis in the work, a point of artistic stagnation within historical forms, and the

presentation of repetition as archetypal. In Nacht, Schoenberg pauses to 'come to terms

with his shadow', only to discover that the true shadow of the modem artist is the

history of Western music.

2.6 Portraiture as the Window into the Psyche

Together with diaries and journals, which figure prominently in Viennese literature at the time, self-portraits can be considered forms of expression that explore the construction of identity - a work of self-analysis not unlike that of 44 Freud's Interpretation of Dreams (1900). The mood is introspective, even solipsistic, the out-side world does not exist. Self-portraiture is both a confessional mode and a form offiction.42

Tantamount to the expression of the shadow in Expressionist art is a belief, fuelled by Freud, in the correlation between the physical condition of an individual and their psychological state - the former being a representation of the latter. This assumption profoundly affected the portraits of Kokoschka, Schiele, and Schoenberg. Surfacing in portraiture at this time is a type of aesthetic and technical approach l have termed

'insides out,' a term which refers to a collective desire on the part of the artists to present aspects of the psyche in physical form. Technically, the term refers to a trend

in painting to capture the psychological state of the individual by over-accentuating

certain physical features, distorting the human form, and skewing perspective of the

subject. 'Insides out' is also a metaphor for the external presentation of internaI

pathology. This outward presentation is a form of acknowledgment of pathology,

which relates back to Jung's 'coming to terms with the shadow.' Literally, the term

refers to the stripping away of c1othes, skin, and flesh to reveal further layers of matter,

nerves, skeletal structure, and ultimately by analogy, the content of the subject's


In self-portraits, the artist is able to explore his own identity and psychological

constitution. 'Insides out' becomes a manner of creating more than just physical

likeness, it becomes a manner of creating the the psychic self-portrait. In the following

42 da Costa Meyer, Esther. "Schoenberg's Echo: The Composer as Painter." In Schoenberg, Kandinsky, and the Blue Rider, ed. by Esther da Costa Meyer and Fred Wasserman. Scala Publisher Ltd.: 2003. p. 48. 45 sections, l will explore how, in self-portraits by Kokoschka, Schiele, and Schoenberg, respectively, art-compositional techniques act as metaphors for psychic pathology, the unconscious, and the spiritual endeavour of the artist.

2.7 Kokoschka's Portraiture: Psychiatrie and Physical Illness

"Physiognomy becomes a window on the process at work within the psyche. "43

When Oskar Kokoschka paints his sitters with a network of nerves exposed on their

skin, he exposes what he refers to as the 'sensations experienced beneath the skin.'44

Kokoschka demonstrates "[the rejection of] surface appearances in favour of psychological introspection. "45 He exposes what Schopenhauer refers to as the inner,

essential nature of the individual. In his work titled Re/casting Kokoschka, Claude

Cernuschi explores the influences of Schopenhauer's philosophy and Freud's

psychoanalysis on Kokoschka's work. The theories of Schopenhauer and Freud find a

true intersection in the portraits of Kokoschka. In Schopenhauer's philosophy,

everything metaphysical has its physical representation.

The very possibility of expressing one state (psychological) in function of the other (physical) hinges on the postulate articulated by Schopenhauer - that the two are not only related, but somehow interchangeable. "Knowledge of metaphysics," the philosopher writes, "is not only outer experience, but also inner.46

By engaging in an artistic process that has been likened both to anatomical

43 Ibid. p.81. 44 Cernuschi, Claude. Re/Casting Kokoschka: Ethics and Aesthetics, Epistemology and Politics in Fin-de-Siecle Vienna. Associated University Presses: 2002. p. 42. 45 Ibid. p. 109. 46 dissection and vivisection (dissection performed upon a living patient),

Kokoschka has been called a "man who slits open souls." 47 While Freud purports, through psychoanalysis, to "[clear] away the pathogenic psychical materiallayer by layer,"48 Kokoschka, through his depictions ofboth mannerisms and physical features, chooses to portray the pathology of the psyche in an unflinching, objective fashion.

Assuming a position similar to Freud's, Kokoschka's procedures derive from the

goveming principle that, in the case of all individuals, physical aberrations arise from psychic disturbance. Whereas Freud's therapeutic approaches lead from the symptom to the psychic cause, Kokoschka's approach is to represent psychic disturbance through

the addition of physical symptoms to his sitter's portraits. Where Freud dedicates

himself to the alleviation of symptoms, Kokoschka explores the relationship between

psychic disturbance and physical symptom. IdeologicalIy, his portraits are more

related to Jung's theory. As has been discussed earlier, Jung denies the possibility of

exorcising one's 'shadow.' AlI the individual can do is 'come to terms with it' by

exploring and acknowledging its contents. Kokoschka's approach to portraiture is

essentially 'coming to terms with the shadow' in the sense that the artist does not

alleviate suffering, nor attempt to purge himself or his sitters of any psychic pathology.

Rather, he often ironically portrays individuals in a type of psychoanalytic nihilism.

While Kokoschka is aware of the inner essence of individuals, he observes them with

the compassion of an uncommitted doctor both fascinated and delighted in his power to

diagnose and expose pathology, but offering little else.

46 Ibid. p. 43. 47 Werkner, Patrick. Austrian Expressionism: The Formative Years. translated by Nicholas T. Parsons. The Society for the Promotion of Science and Scholarship: 1993. p. 83 Werkner is quoting Albert Ehrenstein's 1925 work, Menschen unter Affen. 47 Kokoschka's practice ofbringing to the surface and exposing ofhis sitter's nervous system is also applied to his self-portraits. The practice assumes greater psychoanalytic significance when the artist turns this 'soul slitting' upon himself. By not sparing himself from the scalpel, we can infer the artist's participation in a collective psychological disturbance. While the process is somewhat brutal, the act is ultimately one of empathetic identification with a common condition ofhumanity.

There is also the metaphor inherent in wearing one's nervous system on the outside. In

such a physiological state, the artist could experience nothing less than continuous trauma from the phenomenal world. By removing superficial protection, the artist

becomes the quintessential embodiment of Jung's 'supersensitive individual': bound to

continuously endure heightened physical and emotional stimuli. As was noted in

earlier discussion of the artist's SelfPortrait for Der Sturm (1910), Kokoschka presents

himselffor macabre inspection by the audience. For public purposes, the artist

presents his martyrdom in caricature. He exposes himselfto injury, then delights in

displaying the wounds.

2.9 Schiele's Portraiture: Exposing the Psyche of the Artist

What Kokoschka, in his portraiture, reveals of the individual through exposed

nerves, Egon Schiele accomplishes with exposed flesh. Schiele's interest resided in the

"pathological expression in portraiture. "49 While nudity is a literaI aspect of 'insides

out,' the manner in which Schiele presents his own naked form indicates a more

profound intent. Schiele effects a type of skinlessness both for his models and for

48 Cernuschi, p. 105. 49 Werkner, p. 127. Werkner is quoting Max Leibermann. 48 himself. The following self-portrait, Seated Male Nude shown on the following page,

is from 1910. The manner in which the segments of the body are partitioned, coupled

with the over-definition of muscular and skeletal structures has an overall effect similar

to that of a plucked chicken: defenceless and grotesque. The artist is effectively

stripped raw. Schiele's tendency to visually amputate his own limbs becomes a

metaphor for physical impotence and is in opposition to his tendency to overemphasize

the genital area. The artist presents himself in a state of suffering, consumed by sexual

sensitivity yet physically deformed.

49 Plate 6. Egon Schiele.. Seated Male Nude. Oil and gouache on canvas. Leopold Museum, Vienna. 1910.

50 In Seated Male Nude, Schiele's reservation of the colour red for the eyes, nipples, navel, and genitals unifies them as focal points. The absence of detail in the artist's eye

gives the effect of red light emanating from the socket, and from points of sexual

sensitivity. Schiele represents himself as both matter and energy. The quality of that

internaI energy is libidinous and hostile. In contrast, the following self-portrait, Nude

Self-Portrait in Gray with Open Mouth, also from 1910, presents the artist as an ashen

spectre. Limbless and emaciated, Schiele appears more corpse-like, with an obvious

absence of internaI energy. The portrait is the artist's gasp for air. Suffocated, his body

has become grey and lifeless.

51 Plate 7. Egon Schiele. Self-Portrait in Gray with Open Mouth. Gouache and black crayon on paper. Leopold Museum. 1910.

52 Schiele endeavoured, in his portraiture, to transcend the physical to the noumenal aspect of the human condition and condition of the artist. When he proclaimed to

"paint the light that emanates from aU bodies,"50 he touched upon the essential nature of

Schopenhauer's metaphysical Wille. As was presented in the first part ofthis paper, the

Wille is comprised of the metaphysical es-sence (noumenon) and its physical and worldly representations (phenomenon). By striving to capture the spirit emanating from the individual, Schiele represents the metaphysical and psychological components to the individual. By presenting his own form as emaciated, raw and super-sensitive,

libidinous, hostile, impotent, grotesque, and suffocating, the artist figuratively

represents analogous aspects of his spiritual and psychological conditions.

Schiele "regarded his work as being produced by an inner compulsion and at the

same time without any input from himself. "51 This description portrays the artist as

believing in his own use as a vessel for sorne driving force greater than his individual

will, a beliefthat invokes what Schopenhauer caUs the Wille's 'uncontroUable striving'

that determines the course, direction, and nature of existence. Schiele's own belief in

his ability to channel metaphysical Wille corroborates the transcendental aspect ofhis

work. Conflict arises when the desire for transcendence is set against the artist's

devotion to exposing the pathological nature of the psyche. Schiele's vision of his

work and of himself exposes a disjunction between theory and technique. While he

believed himselfto be "the agent of a superior power, a vehicle for spiritual

communication that was only realized through his art, "52 by endeavouring to paint 'the

50 Ibid p. 144. Werkner is quoting Egon Schiele. 51 Ibid. p. 149. 52 Ibid. p. 149. 53 light that emanates from all bodies', Schiele exercises his individual will in shaping the works themselves.

2.9 Schoenberg's Portraiture: Channeling the Unconscious

Art belongs to the unconscious [Unbewusst]! One must express one-self! Express oneself directly! Not one's taste, or one's upbringing, or one's intelligence, knowledge or skill. Not all these acquired characteristics, but that which is inborn, instinctive [angeboren, triebhaft]. 53

In Schoenberg's description of the artistic process as the expression of that which is

inborn, instinctive, and distinctly unaffected by one's social molding, the artist makes

clear reference to the unconscious, which he thought could be directly expressed

through art. Schoenberg believed that artists "close their eyes, in order to perceive

things incommunicable by the senses, to envi sion within themselves the process that

only seems to be in the world outside. The world revolves within them: what bursts

out is merely the echo - the work of art! 54 The artist perce ives himself as isolated from

the world, recalling the divide between the l (self) and the We (world). But while

Schoenberg seems to be influenced by the work of psychoanalytic theory, there is an

important difference between Freud and Jung's understanding ofthe unconscious and

Schoenberg's. Whereas Schoenberg believes it possible to directly access the

unconscious, Jung posits that the conscious mind may only be made aware ofthe

unconscious through archetypes, and Freud through dream imagery and .

Schoenberg's view on the nature of art does, however, hold cornmon ground with

53 da Costa Meyer, p. 23. 54 Ibid. p. 58.

54 both Jung's 'coming to terms with the shadow' and Schopenhauer's Wille. In terms of the shadow, Schoenberg denies the possibility of reconciling oneself with the nature of

mankind, and instead offers only the potential to resign oneselfto the condition of

being. The beliefthat resignation is the only possibility for those enlightened to the

condition ofhumanity is a central tenet ofSchopenhauer's philosophy, where, even

when the essential nature of the human condition and of the Wille are known, one may

do nothing or little to alter one's condition. Profoundly pessimistic, Schopenhauer's

only suggestion is to resign oneself to one's nature and to the Wille. This philosophy

closely mimics Jung's beliefthat the shadowy aspects ofthe human psyche can be

neither denied nor pacified. The shadow wants to exist.55 The best option offered by

Jung is to cornes to terms with it, and that knowing oneself at least alleviates the fear of

finding out. This solution denies enlightened individuals the possibility of existing in a

state of ignorance. It also denies them the bliss of ignorance. In Jung and

Schopenhauer's theories, awareness is a double-edged blade. While the artist is

stricken with the need to express things that are 'incommunicable by the senses,' the

perception of human nature is a burden. It is the quintessential curse of the prophet.

The artist is a supersensitive individual who can do nothing to alleviate the

uncontrollable striving that drives human suffering and pathology.

While there has been much written on the 'exorcism offear by pictorial means'56 in

Schoenberg's painting, there is little in Schoenberg's self-professed beliefs about art

that support his having found it to result in the type of catharsis associated with

psychological purging. It would appear that in place of spiritual and emotional

55 Mueller, p. 73-86. 55 catharsis, Schoenberg found the alleviation of the fear of the shadow itself.

A genuine sense of feeling is never afraid to clamber down ever and again into the dark realm of the subconscious in order to retrieve from there the unit y of content with form. 57

The shadow is a living part of the personality and therefore wants to live with it in sorne form. It cannot be argued out of existence or rationalized into harmlessness. The shadow is a tight passage, a narrow do or, whose painful constriction no one is spared who goes down to the deep weIl. But one must learn to know oneself in order to know who one is. For what cornes after the door is, surprisingly enough, a boundless expanse full ofunprecedented uncertainty.58

In the first quotation, Schoenberg defies fear of the shadow's exploration. It is fitting that the joumey into the recesses of the shadow is likened to a descent into a weIl - one that can prove to be both a blind and terrifying descent into darkness and unfamiliarity and an unending source for insight into the nature ofhumanity. In the second quotation, Jung asserts that the archetypes of the collective unconscious, such as the shadow, are the symbols of psychic constitution. Interpreting the symbols reveals truths about the human condition. It is fitting that the shadow-archetype would prove to be a 'weIl' of material for artists.

In Schoenberg's portraiture, the artist isolates, distorts, and accentuates aspects of his physical form to represent analogous aspects of his psychological condition. In perhaps his most famous portrait entitled Red Gaze (1910), shown on the following page, Schoenberg depicts what is believed to be his own psychological state after discovering his wife's affair with the painter Richard Gerstl which resulted in her

56 Werkner, p. 166. 57 Ibid. p. 168-169. Werkner is quoting Schoenberg in an essay on Franz Liszt. 58 Jung, p. 21-22. 56 Plate 8. Arnold Schoenberg. Red Gaze. Oil on cardboard. Arnold Schoenberg Centre, Vienna. 1910. Reprinted with permission from Belmont Music Publishers.

57 temporary abandonment of the marriage. In Red Gaze, "aIl anecdotal aspects have been stripped away, leaving only exaggerated features of frightening intensity and psychological pain like a modern-day écorché, or vivisection, carried out without aesthetic. "59 The comparison of Schoenberg's self-portrait to vivisection is reminiscent of Kokoschka's portraiture. Schoenberg's self-portraits, such as Red Gaze, become an intimate experience for the viewer. Schoenberg draws the viewer in to bear witness to his psychological reality. The works become representations of the artist's condition and reaction to the uncontrollable and often devastating aspects of human experience.

This portrait is reminiscent of Munch's The Scream in that the artist's lips are parted, perhaps uttering a soundless whimper, and the face is framed by broad brush-strokes that mimic Munch's screamer's hands.

In a self-portrait of the same name, also from 1910, shown following page,

Schoenberg's red gaze is stripped down to a single eye, which becomes a synecdochal

representation of internaI suffering.

59 da Costa Meyer, p. 51. 58 Plate 9. Arnold Schoenberg. Red Gaze. Oil on cardboard. Arnold Schoenberg Centre, Vienna. 1910. Reprinted with permission from Belmont ~'1usic Publishers.

59 In the following two Self-Portrait's, both 1910, the artist presents himselfin astate of dissolution. Produced during the turbulent time after his wife's affair, both

Schoenberg the artist, and Schoenberg the man are literally falling apart. In the first

self-portrait, the artist's eyes and upper face are still intact, disintegration creeping in

from below. In the second, the artist is reduced to a faint, immaterial red spectre: a remnant of a person. Showing striking similarity to Schiele's Seated Male Nude 1910,

with the glowing red eyes, Schoenberg's self-portrait represents the blood-red light that

emanates from his disembodied visage. In Schoenberg's self-portraits, "the eyes have

severed their links with anatomy and float adrift in the uncontoured features of the

face. The very way in which he presented a single eye - or two unconnected ones -

calls attention to its incorporeal, nonmimetic nature. "60 In Schoenberg's paintings, the

isolated eyes, the windows into the soul, become the perfect vehicle for psychic self­


60 Ibid. p. 53.

60 Plate 10. Arnold Schoenberg. Self-Portrait. Oil on wood. Arnold Schoenberg Centre, Vienna. 1910. Reprinted with pennission from Belmont Music Publishers.

61 Plate 11. Arnold Schoenberg. Self-Portrait (Vision). Oil on cam/as. Music Division, Library ofCongress, Washington D.C. 1910.

62 Part Three

3.0 Towards a New Aesthetic Theory

While the Ur-schrei illuminated disparities between the artistic tradition and

conflicts inherent to the Expressionist artist andjin-de-siecle Vienna, it became a point

of departure for the evolution of a new aesthetic theory. Spearheading the paradigm

shift in the music discipline was Arnold Schoenberg who found strong affinity in the

creative philosophy and artistic mission of the Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky, a

central figure in the German Expressionist movement . Underpinning

the new aesthetic theory was a spiritual understanding of art and a desire to re-establish

the power of artistic material emasculated by traditional paradigms. Conceptual and

practical challenges emerged in the parallel experiments of Schoenberg and Kandinsky

such as how to generate structure and partition musical and visual space in the post­

tonal and post-pictorial domains respectively, and how to present the work as a

coherent whole in the absence of traditional paradigms. In the following sections, l

explore subtle differences between Schoenberg and Kandinsky's aesthetic theories,

parallels between their compositional procedures, and ultimately, the transformation of

a spiritual understanding of art to the technical realization of an 'impression of totality'

in post-tonal and abstract works.

63 3.1 Kandinsky's 'Perception' and Schoenberg's 'Compulsion'

In his 1912 treatise titled On the Spiritual in Art, Kandinsky makes reference to

Goethe's belief that "there should be a thorough-bass of painting. ,,61 This statement reveals the artist's desire to formulate a coherent theory for painting inspired by

theories ofharmony in the music tradition. Motivating Kandinsky's theory of art is his

belief that both form and colour have 'spiritual designations' that correlate with and

inspire human emotions. Rooted in Schopenhauer's philosophy, Kandinsky believed

that artistic material is the phenomenal representation of an abstract and spiritual

essence: a vibration of the soul that can be heard psychologically. On form and colour

respectively, Kandinsky states the following:

Form stands alone as a representative ofrealistic or unrealistic object, or as an abstract limitation of space or surface. Form, in the narrower sense, is nothing but the separating line between surfaces. That is its outer meaning. As everything external also contains an inner meaning every form also has its inner substance. Form, therefore, is the outward expression of its inner meaning. This is its spiritual designation. 62

Red, which one does not see materially, but imagines in the abstract, awakens on the other hand a certain precise, and yet imprecise, representation [Vorstellung] having a purely internaI, psychological sound. 63

In Kandinsky's theory, the role of the artist is based in perception: the capacity to

understanding the relationship between artistic material and the human soul. His

creative motivation was to further art's expression of the spiritual through theoretical

contemplation and technical experimentation. Profoundly concerned with elevation of

61 Wassily Kandinsky: Complete Writings, ed. Kenneth Lindsay and Peter Vergo, Vol. 1. G.K. Hall & Co.: 1982. p. 162. 62 Ibid. p. 165. 63 Ibid. p. 162. 64 art to its most pure and powerfullevel, Kandinsky's artist is a conduit from spiritual essence to its visual expression. Guiding the artist's manipulation of material and governing the formation of the work is what Kandinsky refers to as the 'principle of internaI necessity.,64 While the primary motivation of 'internaI necessity' is to

"purposefully touching the human SOUI,,,65 Kandinsky proposes that it arises from three mystical sources or necessities. ,,66

1. Every artist, as creator, must express what is peculiar to himself (element ofpersonality).

2. Every artist, as child of his time, must express what is peculiar to his own time (element of style, in its inner value, compounded of the language of the time and the language of the race, as long as the race exists as such).

3. Every artist, as servant of art, must express what is peculiar to art in general (element of the pure and eternall y artistic, which pervades every individual, every people, every age, and which is to be seen in the works of every artist, of every nation, and of every period, and which, being the principal element of art, knows neither time nor space). 67

There are two striking features of Kandinsky's 'mystical sources.' The first is that while

the first two necessities are artist-oriented, the third renders the artist a servant to the

element of art that 'knows neither time nor space.' Recalling Schopenhauer's

metaphysical Wille that exists outside the bounds oftime and space, Kandinsky's

theory applies similar qualities to artistic material. As Schopenhauer believed art to be

the Wille's representation, Kandinsky believed that inherent in art is something

immutable; a capacity to vibrate sympathetically with the human sou!. Aiso

64 Wassily Kandinsky: Complete Writings, ed. Kenneth Lindsay and Peter Vergo, Vol. 1. G.K. Hall & Co.: 1982. p. 207. 65 Ibid. p. 160. 66 Ibid. p. 173. 67 Ibid. p. 173. 65 reminiscent of Schopenhauer's philosophy, this capacity requires the relinquishment of

self-interest on the part of the artist for the sake of a purely artistic endeavour.

In comparison, Schoenberg's belief that art belongs to the unconscious, that it is the

product of instinct, impulse, and 'inner necessity,'68 suggests that his the ory is more

rooted in artistic 'compulsion,' rather than perception. Whereas Kandinsky creative

motivation lies in the spiritual aspect ofhis subject, Schoenberg's is to channel the

unconscious, the product of which becomes the work of art. This belief contributes a

more psychological quality to both his music and artworks. For Schoenberg, art

embodies the "the innermost impulse of artistic expression and articulation. 1169

"Intemally, within [the artist] is the motion of the world; only the repercussion reaches

outward: the work of art. 1170

Despite differences between perception and compulsion as creative motivations,

both Kandinsky and Schoenberg understood the relationship between art and music

afforded by a metaphysical approach to aesthetic theory. Spiritual or metaphysical

essence transmutes between art and music despite their differing representational

capacities. Kandinsky believed that while music has the most direct access to the soul,

colour may also both induce and represent emotions and abstract ideas.

This principle is best exemplified in Kandinsky's Impression III, produced as a

response to Schoenberg's January 2, 1911 concert at the Jahreszeitensaal in Munich, the

urban centre of the German Expressionist group Der Blaue Reiter. Two preliminary

68 Kropfinger, p.18. 69 Ibid. p. 18. 70 Ibid. p. 18. Kropfinger is quoting Schoenberg, 1909. 66 sketches for the painting are shown on the following pages, after which appears the painting itself. While not yet completely abstract, the artist has cleady departed from pictorial tradition in efforts to relaya more significance emotional impression of his concert experience.

Impression III is exemplary of Kandinsky's efforts to capture the essential nature of

Schoenberg's music in colour and form. While Kandinsky acknowledged that music

and the visual arts can not be compared at the level of technique, both can express the

same essence, or inner content. For Kandinsky, a shared ability to capture

metaphysical essence is where different artistic disciplines could spiritually me et. As a

type of spiritual and aesthetic truth, essence remains unchanged despite its expression

in different media.

67 ')

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While music was already free from such mimetic constraints, Schoenberg believed that traditional music-structural organizational paradigms had imposed a constraint that had removed the power of musical material. Broad structuring techniques such as tonal centricity, syntax, and the distinction between harmony and embellishment rendered large quantities of musical material subordinate to other, more structural material. The desire to break with tradition led Kandinsky and Schoenberg to embark on parallel endeavours to re-establish the power of artistic and musical material itself.

3.2 The Rejection ofOmament and Object

In his article, Schoenberg 's Pursuit ofMusical Truth: Truth as a Central

Category ofExpressionism, 71 Job Ijzerman states that "Schoenberg pursued an

economy of composition, in which there is no place for superfluities."72 Schoenberg's

resistance to the idea of superfluous material (omament) reflects the composer' s

commitment to the inherent value of musical material. By abandoning conventional

methods of organizing musical material, Schoenberg believed he had re-established the power of musical material. By rejecting the fundamental concepts of consonance and

dissonance, and consequently harmonic and non-harmonic tones, as weIl as tonal

centricity and syntax, the composer negated the division between 'structural' and

'omamental' musical material. In the absence of embellishing or omamental tones, aIl

tones are weighted equally: what Schoenberg termed the 'emancipated dissonance'.

71 Ijzennan, Job. "Schoenberg's Pursuit of Musical Truth: Truth as a Central Category in Expressionism." in Schoenberg-Kandinsky: an historic encounter. ed. Komad Boehmer. Harwood Academic Publishers: 1997. p. 183-197. 72 Ibid. p. 184. 71 By refusing to distinguish between structural or ornamental material, Schoenberg removed designations of value and, consequently, established all elements of a musical work as necessary components to the who le.

As Schoenberg removed the concept of 'ornament' from music, Kandinsky endeavoured to remove from art the form as 'pictured in nature':

But when the artist reaches the point at which he desires only the expression of inner events and inner scenes in his rhythms and tones, then the 'object in painting' has ceased to exist for the reproducing eye.73

Inspired by the capacity of music to represent abstract emotions and the spiritual aspects ofhuman experience, Kandinsky sought an "equally abstract means of expression which could free the viewer's imagination and elicit emotional and spiritual responses.,,74

[Kandinsky] felt that to imbue art with new and spiritual meaning, any innovative aesthetic language should reflect both the internaI and external elements - emotions or "vibrations" of the soul, as well as an unprecedented visual form. The visual form of the work of art was to strike the proper chord in the viewer, who would be transported into a spiritual realm by means ofthe work's expressive qualities. This process could only be achieved through a visuallanguage independent of the forms ofreality.75

Similar to Schoenberg's 'emancipated dissonance' is Kandinsky's beliefthat

73 Arnold Schoenberg's comment on Kandinsky's abstraction. Arnold Schoenberg -Wassily Kandinsky: Letters, Pictures and Documents. ed. by Jelena Hahl-Koch. trans. John C. Crawford. Faber and Faber: 1984. p. 23-24. 74 Dabrowski, Magdelena. "Abstraction as a Visual Metaphor for the Emancipated Dissonance." in Re/Casting Kokoschka: Ethics and Aesthetics, Epistemology and Politics in Fin-de-Siecle Vienna. ed. Claude Cernushi. Rosemont Publishing & Printing Corp.: 2002. p. 80-81. 75 Ibid. p. 79-80. 72 geometric forms "are citizens of equal status in the realm of abstraction." 76

Independent of reality, forms 'on their own' have an inherent spiritual meaning that is capable of expression in the abstract domain.

Form itself, even if completely abstract, resembling geometrical form, has its own inner sound, is a spiritual being possessing qualities that are identical with that form. 77

At the level of material, abstraction effectively re-established the spiritual power of visual forms. At the theoreticallevel, abstraction as a creative principle has multiple

meanings. First, 'abstraction' in art refers to the expression of the non-material qualities

of a painting's subject. Second, it refers to a summary or condensation of the essence

of the subject, whether it be an object, emotion, or idea. Third, the term refers to the

isolation of an object, emotion, or idea for contemplation in and of itself. Isolated in

the work of art, the viewer may contemplate the spiritual side of the subject, be it the

colour yellow, an impression of a concert, or the work of art as an abstract composition


As Kandinsky sought to endow art with greater spiritual expression, Schoenberg

expanded the expressive power of musical material itself.

Schoenberg, seeking the constraint of a musicallogic which was unable to develop any further within the convention of musical language, was forced to resort to a subjectivity which was the necessary point of departure for making musical decisions.78

76 Wassily Kandinsky: Complete Writings, ed. Kenneth Lindsay and Peter Vergo, Vol. 1. G.K. Hall & Co.: 1982. p.166. 77 Ibid. p. 163. 78 Boehmer, p. 172. 73 As Schoenberg embraced his own subjectivity as me ans for making creative decisions, he effectively "stripped the sound of its object-like character and conceived of it as a process. "79 This means that, rather than conceptualizing sounds as finite elements, as objects to be assembled or composed according to traditional methods of music-organization, Schoenberg considered the musical work to be the product of process. The process of composition itselfbecame the means to the end. The problem remained as to how to formulate a process by which material becomes the musical work: the challenge of formation.

3.3 Re-Inventing the Compositional Process: Generating Structure in the Absence of Traditional Paradigms

In the absence oftraditional organizational paradigms, no aspects of art- or music- composition could be taken care of by traditional means. The result of having to control every aspect of a composition was the micro-management of musical and artistic material.

This is first apparent in his handling of the material, a compositional act down to the tiniest detail. The intent to compose even the most sublime details of the musical proeess, presupposes a degree of rational control over the musical material that was unpreeedented prior to Schoenberg. What people calI "subjectivity" is simply the loneliness in which the necessary compositional decisions had to be taken. By no means whatsoever may this loneliness be equated with musical anarchy, it is rather the priee to be paid for a cogent musicallogic. The nature ofthis logic - and hence of - is that it jettisons all heterogony, working only with the material contexts which it has produeed itself. 80

In Schoenberg's methodology, the composer operates within the context ofhis own

79 Ibid. p. 174.

74 process. Any music-structuring principles one may expect to find based upon traditional paradigms are essentiaUy defunct in his post-tonal compositions. In the

absence of over-arching structural rules, the works must be evaluated in terms of the

structuring process taking place within that work alone. It has been said that

Schoenberg conceived of sound itself as "a vehicle for aU musical processuality. "SI

This statement reveals the composer's belief in compositional process as a means unto

itself. The manner in which the works are executed, the processes employed, reveals

the composer's aesthetic principles.

As was discussed earlier, Schoenberg's removing of 'omament' in music re-

established the power of aU musical material. His beHef in the inherent value of aU the

elements in musical work shifted focus away from hierarchical structural organization

where omamental material is subordinated to other, more structural material. In Klaus

Kropfinger's primarily aesthetic theory of Schoenberg's music and Kandinsky's

painting, both the composer and painter accessed the 'latent structural power of musical

material.' According to Kropfinger, structure in atonal music and abstract art was not

achieved through large-scale formaI organization, but through 'local points of structural

crystallization,'S2 coherence, or coalescence. This new type of structure relied upon a

manifold of focal points acting as a unified structural for the work. The

foUowing observation refers to Kandinsky's 1913 work, Composition VII, shown on

the following page.

SO Ibid. p. 172. SI Ibid. p. 175. S2 Kropfinger, p. 9-60. 75 , l

-.J 0'1

Plate 15. Wassily Kandinsky. Composition VII. Oil on canvas. State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow. 1913. In Kandinsky's abstract paintings, this new type of structurality can be observed in the multitude of interacting and interdependent forms and col ours seen in. Composition VII. The work itselfbecomes the sum of the composite elements and structuring processes. With regards to colour and form, " [Kandinsky] distributed these elements equally throughout the pictorial field, without hierarchical structure, to achieve a maximum of visual and emotional resonance. ,,83

With regards to Schoenberg's post-tonal works, Kropfinger's theory posits that "the latent structural power of small groups of tones subliminally organize the elements of

[Schoenberg's] so-called athematic compositions. ,,84 These small groups of tones create moments of structural 'clarity' or coherence: 'structural crystallization.' Schoenberg's method places the smallest particles of the musical structure in a direct relationship to one another,85 thus securing their necessity in the work as a whole. We have seen one example of the latent power of tones to create moments of structural crystallization in

Erwartung. The disembodied thirds are not motivic in the sense that they are derived from existing material nor developed by traditional means. Rather, these small groups of tones organize otherwise athematic material by creating moments of structural

'clarity.' Their function is to represent musically the spectre of the 'terrible head' upon which the Woman comments. This material is necessary within the context of the entire work as demonstrative of counterpoint between text and music, but is not born of any over-arching motivic design nor large-scale structural plan.

In addition to the technical realization of 'structural crystallization,' as visual focal points in Composition VII and tone groupings in Erwartung, there is a broader

83 Dabrowski, p. 82. 84 Ibid. p. 39. 85 Boehmer, p. 175. 77 implication that pertains to both Schoenberg and Kandinsky's metaphysical understanding of art. 'Structural crystallization' becomes a broad technique for establishing an overall impression of coherence in a work of art or music among seemingly disparate or unrelated elements. In his essay '' from the collection Style and Idea, Schoenberg states that "our finest ability [is] the ability to receive an impression of totality. "86 Schoenberg and Kandinsky's ability to achieve a sense of totality and coherence in works not unified by a tonality or pictorial focus reveals the artists' ability not only to perceive and impression oftotality, but also to generate it. In the absence of traditional me ans for determining a work's organization, aH material must be generated and organized according to the subjectivity of the artist and composer. But tone groupings alone do not unify the post-tonal musical work, and a collection of forms do not unify the work of abstract art. How can disparate musical ideas create an 'impression of totality' without an over-arching structural schema, and how are visual focal points organized into a coherent presentation? Essentially, how do compositional processes facilitate an 'impression of totality'?

3.4 'Impressions of Totality': Generating Coherence in Abstract Art and Post-Tonal Music Compositions

In his On the Spiritual in Art, Kandinsky makes reference to what he calls 'hidden construction': a manner for establishing structural coherence in abstract art.

This hidden construction can consist of forms apparently scattered at random upon the canvas, which - again, apparently - have no relationship one to

86 Neff, Severine. "Goethe and Schoenberg: Organicism and Analysis" in Music Theory and the Exploration ofthe Past, ed. Christopher Hatch and David Bernstein. University of Chicago Press: 1993. p. 414. Neffis quoting Schoenberg from "Gustav Mahler," in his Style and Idea, ed. , trans. Leo Black. 1975. p.449. 78 another the external absence of any such relationship here constitutes its internaI presence. What externaUy has been loosened has internaUy been fused into a single unity. And this remains for both elements - i.e., for both Iinear and painterly form. Precisely here lies the future theory ofharmony for painting [Harmonielehre der Malerei].8~

Kandinsky was insistent that the composite forms in a painting have a fundamental and precise relationship to one another88 governed by over-arching principles for the formation of art: a 'theory ofharmony for painting.' Kandinsky's harmony ensured the presentation of a picture as a coherent whole despite its seemingly independent components.

Composition on the basis ofthis harmony is the juxtaposition of coloristic and Iinear forms that have an independent existence as such derived from internaI necessity, which create within the common life arising from this source a whole that is caUed a picture.89

Another striking feature of Kandinsky's theory ofharmony is his beliefthat seeming disparity among a picture's composite parts is actuaUy necessary.

Our harmony is based mainly upon the principle of contrast, the most important principle in art at aU times. Our contrast, however is one of internaI opposition, which stands alone and excludes the possibility of aU help from any other harmonizing principles.9o

In On the Spiritual in Art, Kandinsky states: "opposites and contradictions - this is our harmony. ,,91 Kandinsky is concerned with the relationship between dissimilar, seemingly independent parts and the presentation of the whole as being coherent. The

87 Wassily Kandinsky: Complete Writings, ed. Kenneth Lindsay and Peter Vergo, Vol. 1. G.K. Hall & Co.: 1982. p.209. 88 Ibid. p. 209 89 Ibid. p. 193 90 Ibid. p. 194.

79 technical realization ofthis aesthetic principle was the primary challenge in the post- pictorial domain, and one that necessitated the artist's formulation of 'hidden construction' as a means for generating structural coherence.

ln his deconstructional analyses of Kandinsky's compositional principles and procedures, Kropfinger explores the principle of 'hidden construction' in a selection of

Kandinsky's over thirty 'preparatory and analytic drawings' for Composition VII, each

of whom is "a highly individual, structurally condensed, and intensified compositional

configuration ofits own."92 These sketches and drawings give evidence ofthe painter's

careful experimentation with prototypical structural schema through various partitionings of space, the establishment of primary focal points and diagonal s, and

experimentation with colour. Kropfinger's discussion of the relationships between

elements in the sketches and the final painting centres around what the author refers to

as the increasing 'crystallization' ofhidden structure (background structural schema) as

the sketches document the painter's progress from simple line-drawings to full-scale

colour attempts at Composition VII. Kropfinger's analysis is exhaustive and, because it

is not possible to regurgitate his detailed observations here, 1 encourage the reader to

further investigate his study. My primary interest in Kropfinger's work is his beliefthat

"Kandinsky's sketches testify to his highly developed sense for the equiponderant

control of structural and formaI elements" and the painter' s "sensitivity to structural

interconnections." 93 Supporting this daim is Kandinsky's statement that 'forms

apparently scattered at random' which 'have no relationship one to another,' are in

91 Ibid. p. 193. 92 Kropfinger, p. 28. 93 Ibid. p. 38. 80 actuality composite elements of a single, coherent entity. 'Hidden construction' thus equals the 'configuration which forms the whole. '94

The concept ofunderlying structural interconnectivity in Kandinsky's abstract paintings belies the artist' s preoccupation with achieving coherence among the composite forms in painting. Like Kandinsky, Schoenberg was concemed with presenting an 'impression oftotality' in the absence oftraditional structuring means in post-tonal music-composition. Present in Schoenberg's compositional theories is a preoccupation with 'configuration,' a concept continued from Johann Wolfgang von

Goethe's combination botanicallphilosophical studies. 'Configuration' can be taken to mean 'form as determined by its parts or elements.' While this term has considered the equivalent of the German concept of Gestalt, its more suitable translation is the term

Bildung, argued by Goethe for the following reasons:

The German language has the word "Gestalt" to designate the complex of life in an actual organism. In this expression the element of mutability is left out of consideration: it is assumed that whatever forms a composite whole is made fast, is cut off, and is fixed in its character. However, when we study forms, the organic ones in particular, nowhere do we find permanence, repose, or termin­ ation. We find rather that everything is in ceaseless flux. This is why our lan­ guage makes such frequent use of the term "Bildung" to designate what has been brought forth and likewise what is in the process of being brought forth. 95

While Gestalt is translated into English as 'form', Bildung is translated as

'formation', implying an aspect ofprocessuality, and is hende a concept more suited to

94 Ibid. p. 38. 95 Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von. "Formation and Transformation." in Goethe's Botanical Writings. trans. Bertha Mueller. University of Hawaii Press: 1952. p. 23., originally published injoumal form from 1817-1824. "Formation and Transformation" is translated from a section entitled "Formation and Transformation ofOrganic Natures." 1807, from Natural Science in General; Morphology in Particular. 81 Schoenberg's aesthetic theory. Goethe's concepts of 'process' and transformation in the formation of an organism96 are continued by Schoenberg in compositional techniques for establishing relationships between the parts of a musical work and the work as a whole. For Schoenberg, it was necessary to establish a work's formational process in the absence of traditional organizational paradigms. Without large-scale tonal structural schema, the relationships between a work's individual elements are reliant upon much smaller-scale motivic and pitch-based associations. Essentially, post-tonal musical structure, like 'hidden construction' in painting, is achieved through the interconnectedness of seemingly unrelated or relatively superficial elements. In

Goethe's theory of plant morphology, an organism's formation is govemed by over­ arching law-like principles of nature that ensure interconnectivity among seemingly dissimilar parts. Continuing this principle, Schoenberg's 'developing variations' technique is a method for establishing structural interconnectivity that, while based upon variations and disparities, presents a coherent impression of the who le. While this principle is closely related to Kandinsky's 'hidden construction' in that total coherence is ensured among seemingly independent and dissimilar parts, Kandinsky's theory lacks the focus on process necessitated by music's temporal element. For this aspect,

Schoenberg relies more heavily upon Goethe.

'Developing variations,' as its name implies, is based on the development or

generation ofnew material from existing material. For Goethe, "form is something

mobile, something becoming, something passing.,,97 The element of 'becoming' lends a transformational quality to the process of formation, a quality reflected in Schoenberg's

96 Neff, p. 410. 82 focus on the 'realization' of a musical work through transformational processes. In

Goethe's theory, "the doctrine of formation is the doctrine of transformation. ,,98 In

Schoenberg's 'developing variations' technique, the musical work consists of the realization of potentialities in a germinal musical idea. The musical idea contains the works' fundamental harmonic and melodic motives or ideas, or Grundgestalten. It refers both to an initial condensation of germinal musical elements, and the realization or 'coming to independence' ofthese elements as the formational process that govems the musical work. 'Developing variations' also allows for an economy of musical material in a free-atonal environment, where there are no restrictions as to what compositional decisions the composer may make. In the following analysis, 1 have used

Severine Neffs analytical approach to 'developing variations' in tonal music as a point of departure for analyzing one of Schoenberg' s post-tonal works, the eighth song from the 1909 cycle Das Büch der Hdngenden Gdrten, Op. 15. The following analysis is designed to complement Kropfinger' s study of Schoenberg and Kandinsky where the author's analyses focus primarily on Kandinsky's abstract works rather than

Schoenberg's post-tonal music. Although Kropfinger discusses Schoenberg's post­ tonal style, there are no specific pitch-structural analyses that balance the

deconstructional analyses of Kandinsky's works.

While 1 have employed what resembles Schenkerian notation in the following

examples, 1 have been cautious to base my partitionings upon the melodic, harmonic,

and rhythmie groupings, and gestural focal points as they are presented in the work. 1

am not suggesting that traditional harmonie/non-harmonie material can be distinguished

97 Goethe, p. 13. 83 in Schoenberg's post-tonal music. 1 am only suggesting that sorne pitches, and sorne sonorities are more structural than others by means of their gestural, melodic, or rhythmic prominence, or the frequency of their occurrence.

The eighth song from Das Büch der Hangenden Garten, Op. 15, was written on the following text by :

Ifl do not touch your body today, The thread of my soul will break Like an overstretched bowstring. Let love tokens be mourning crepes For me, who suffers, since 1 belong to you. Consider whether 1 de serve such torture, Spray cooling drops on me, the fever-ridden, Who, shaking, leans outside your door.

The text is a clear embodiment of Expressionist longing: the essence of Romantic

poetry transformed into obsession and physical illness. Tying bodily illness and frailty

to the torment of the soul, George presents a feverish physical representation of spiritual

sickness. The love-sick individual, riddled by fever or fever-induced nightmares is a

staple of Expressionist lieder. While the speaker expresses profound mourning,

suffering, and torture, the text is poetic, aesthetically coherent, and consequently, so is

Schoenberg's musical setting. While the poetry depicts emotions from the hysterical

end of the Ur-schrei' s aesthetic spectrum, the musical structure exhibits new

compositional procedures that belie the composer's evolving aesthetic theory.

Organized by the principle of 'developing variations,' the musical idea is presented

in the voice from m. 1-2, accompanying the first line of the poem, Ex. 7.

98 Ibid. p. 13. 84 Js J) Js I$ë t ~J1 J) ~p 1 ~. g~ r- QP .Jl i~ ic:h heut nicht dei - nen Leib be - rüh re, wird der

Ex. 7. Das Büch der Hiingenden Giirten, Op. 15, No. 8. m. 1-2, voice.

What emerges in the vocalline is a group of pitches that contain the harmonie and

melodic vocabulary for the work, labelled in Ex. 8 as the f-set, or fundamental pitch-

c1ass set [01248]. The designation [01248] arises from Allen Forte's pitch-c1ass set

theory which was devised as a response to the Second Vienne se School's post-tonal

musical works. In this theory, aIl twelve pitches in the are assigned a

number from 0-11, where O=C-natural, I=C#, etc. The term 'pitch-c1ass' implies

octave equivalence, meaning that any C-natural=O. Pitch-c1ass sets are arranged

numerically with the smallest interval to the left. Pitch-class sets can be transposed up

or down, inverted, and/or re-ordered. For example, the pitch-class set [016] can be C-

natural, C#, F#, or F#, G, C, or A, D, Eb. The transposition, inversion, and re-ordering

of pitch-class sets allows the composer to re-present a particular motive or harmony in

various forms. These functions pro vide developmental options in post-tonal music.

While pitch-class set theory evolved as a theoretical response to post-tonal music, it

provides a way of discussing the partitioning of space in the post-tonal domain. 'Pitch-

class set' is a theoretical term for a specific partitioning of musical space. While the

pitches involved do not remain fixed, the intervallic properties of a set remain intact.

85 Schoenberg's partitioning of musical space by sets of pitch-classes relates back to

Kandinsky's understanding of 'form' in painting. As form is "in the narrower sense, nothing but the separating line between surfaces," pitch-sets are nothing but the delineation of musical space in post-tonal language.

In this song, the f-set [01248] contains the works harmonie and melodic vocabulary in a condensed form: as potential for realization. The f-set contains the essential intervallic or spatial units employed in the song's pitch-structure. These units, or sub-sets, are partitioned from the f-set as the foUowing:

Ex. 8. f-set d 1 c ffi.I-2 1 a 1 ~. ~

;J'" 'l'---_:---I-'_--ll 1 b 1 1 h e


[048] a: augmented triad, possesses whole-tone properties* [016] b: semi-tone/tritone [037] c: minor triad [014] d: - minor third [026] e: whole-tone [012] g: chromatic *Whole-Tone 0 collection begins on C-natural [02468 etc] [015] h: semitone-fourth *Whole-Tone 1 collection begins on C# [13579 etc]

86 Tracing the sub-sets through the work's formation, shown in the reductive 'motive graph' shown in Ex. 9, documents Schoenberg's partitioning of vertical (harmonic) linear (melodic) pitch-space. As the work progresses, the fundamental structuring procedure emerges: the composite trichordal sub-sets are extracted from the f-set and become independent harmonic and melodic motives. Goveming the work's realization is a process by which integrated elements from the musical idea become disentangled, isolated, and developed. Independently, they function as local points of structural coalescence throughout the work. As Kropfinger might present it, the germinal elements from the musical idea, the sub-sets, become crystallized as structural elements in the course of the work's realization. Example 9, following page, is my presentation of both the 'hidden structure' generated by the interconnections between the musical idea and structural points throughout the work, and 'structural crystallization.'

87 Ex. 9. [0123] f-set g~ d 1 1 4 5 loi " loi: ...... Voice (fl ..,; ;1 .... -

b [0268] two interlockin g [026] fl CILL.! ... ~ •

~ a vi .... d IIS q- :s:a 1 " . ~... d :

. ... 11- ~ '1- ~t~ ______~ a f-set

d e e 7 8 9 10 r~ 1...... " a...... Voice .~ h d C • fl c.h ..~ b L.! ~~. d ,.!!-, ,,11. ifls •: b!

~ ~ ~.,. SII# S h 1. .h. b...... 1 :

q.... ~i. 1 q... l1· 1 1 f-set '1·~1 a 1 1 ~ a c f-set

f-set 12 13 14 15 )Ifl ~ Voiee- 1 - .~ Il .... f-set ,Ji. ~S ,J,. lfIs ,J,. ~qS 0- :

~ ~q- ~.{ WTO WTI WTO

~ .... Il; ..~ ~ ... ---~-*q... q ... '" ~y'1"" LI______~ Il f-set f-set

88 , g - 1 17 18 e ~6fl ~ ~ ~- Voice 1 :-iJ g f-sel 1 fl 1 1 ~. ~t ~J~

~ lr.... 1 1 f-set a CcL. ,a WTI WTO Ilt!.~, .. h

2Q b 21 22 )9fl~ 1 1 Voice 1 :-iJ c

fi i' ~ '- tjL~ ~spq~i~~t -~~ ~~ ~~ bl +t .. ~. 01]

~ [0148] ~ Jl.Lbqi #... j.~.... t.tf..r-q.... _If.~"" LIf.~"" j.~.... :


In addition to the isolation and development of sub-sets, there are additive

processes at work as well. Ex. 10 shows the f-set, with the embedded sub-set h, aligned

with an independent presentation of sub-set h in the piano. While the f-set is presented

in isolation as the bass-line in the piano in m. 4-5, Ex. Il, it exhibits the potential for

extension, continuation, and development by appearing interlocked with its own

transposition in m. 8, Ex. 12, and in Ex. 13 with an interlocking h sub-set.

89 Ex. 10 f-set ,- m 1-2 -­ (j 1 1 Voice ~ ~ ....1 1 1 h (j

~ " ~i 1 .. Piano b :

Ex. Il (j m.4-5.


#.... LI ______~ f-set

Ex. 12

f-set ~ ...--- 1\

f-set extended

Ex. 13

fi. m. 18-19


90 Such continuational processes evidence the generative, transformational aspect of

'developing variations'. A composite element of the f-set, the h sub-set, is extracted in m. 2 and gains independence as a structural motive. Throughout the piece, both the f­ set and the h sub-set are developed independently from one another in various transpositions and vertical (harmonic) and linear (melodic) forms. In the final measures of the piece, the two elements are attached as discrete objects. The pro cess of each sub­ set being extracted and developed creates the effect of 'surface structure' as sub-sets function as local points of structural crystallization.

Structural interconnectedness manifests itself in every aspect of the work: from the condensed musical idea, to the deconstruction, variation, and development of its composite elements and their composite elements, to the impression of the work's total form as a unified and coherent whole. In the same fashion that Kandinsky' s 'hidden construction' reveals the painter's method for achieving structural coherence among seemingly disparate elements, 'developing variations' reveals Schoenberg's technical realization of an 'impression of totality.'

For both Kandinsky and Schoenberg, art and music are joined in their capacity to express a spiritual/metaphysical essence or abstract idea despite their differing representational capacities. Schoenberg believed that different material could similarly

"[express] sorne basic fact concealed behind the whole."99 This 'basic fact' transmutes from one expressive medium to another. How the painter or composer chooses to express it is subjective, yet somehow, the 'thing-in-itself,' remains unchanged

99 Kropfinger, p. 40. 91 regardless of its phenomenal or extemal representation. Kandinsky and Schoenberg's

shared belief in the spiritual side of art fuelled their preoccupation with both the

spiritual and technical formation of art and musical works.

Confronted with the challenge of generating both structure and coherence in the new artistic arena, the formulation of new procedures like 'hidden construction' and

'developing variations' are the fall-out of a new aesthetic theory. Illustrating the

importance of theory in Expressionist thought, Kandinsky stated that:

One cannot crystallize in material form what does not yet exist in material form. The spirit that willlead us into the realms of tomorrow can only be recognized through feeling. Theory is the lantem that illuminates the crystallized forms ofyesterday and before. 100

For Schoenberg, Kandinsky, and their followers, the formation oftheory aids the

formation of art. In On the Spiritual in Art, Kandinsky states that his primary

concems were 1) where the path that leads to painting lies [theory] and 2) how as a

general principle this path is to be followed [technique]lOl - concems also evidenced

in Schoenberg's focus on generating a new the ory for music and its technical


100 Wassily Kandinsky: Complete Writings, ed. Kenneth Lindsay and Peter Vergo, Vol. 1. G.K. Hall &Co.: 1982.p.141. 101 Ibid, p. 207. 92 Conclusion

The goal of this paper has been to establish how Expressionist aesthetic values and principles are expressed in art- and music-compositional techniques. The process of tracing ide a to technique has been modelled on the evolution of the movement itself from a collection of germinal ideas to the formulation of a coherent new theory for art: from idea to practice. Where the Ur-schrei implied chaos and upheaval in the artistic

disciplines, the aesthetic theory of Kandinsky and Schoenberg reveals a focused and

collective artistic endeavour to change the future of art. Whether based in perception or

compulsion, their attempts to re-establish the power of artistic material, find new

methods for establishing relationships between a work's composite elements, and present an 'impression oftotality' in post-tonal and abstract works both crystallized a

'new art' and initiated one of the most profound paradigm shifts in the history of

Western art.

The formulation of a new aesthetic theory was the end-product of an evolution from

initial disparities between the existing tradition, the condition of modem artist, and the

intellectual millieu infin-de-siecle Vienna. As the Ur-schrei expressed the awakening

of the Modem artist to their condition, it initiated intense scrutiny of art and the role of

the artist in society. Expressionism witnessed the artist's daunting self-exploration

spurred on by an emerging awareness of the unconscious and ofpsychic pathology, the

fruits of the artist's perception afforded by 'objective empathy', and the manifestation of

an underpinning belief in the spiritual si de of art inherited from German metaphysical

philosophy. Evolving beyond the psychoanalytic preoccupations of Egon Schiele and

93 Oskar Kokoschka, Arnold Schoenberg, and Wassily Kandinsky spearheaded the fonnation of a new aesthetic theory that emerged from the ashes of existing constraints placed on the artist by tradition. Just as the Ur-schrei signifies the divide between the artist and the world, the new aesthetic theory signifies the transcendence of this divide.

Though Expressionist works are artistic expressions of internaI sickness, the product of artistic 'compulsion' and the tuming of 'insides out,' they are also the phenomenal representations of metaphysical and spiritual essence, of Wille, and corollaries to

'vibrations of the soul.' After the self-contemplation and purging seen in works such as

Pierrot Lunaire and Schiele, Kokoschka, and Schoenberg's self-portraits, cornes the

spiritual and aesthetic contemplation found in Schoenberg and Kandinsky' s new techniques for generating an 'impression oftotality' in the absence oftraditional

paradigms. With Kandinsky and Schoenberg, Expressionism cornes full circle: from

the expulsion of art to the fonnation of a new aesthetic theory, the artist's awakening to

the realization and expression of a new aesthetic theory; Expressionism evolved, not

from the scream to the whimper, but from awakening to rebirth and, ultimately, from

sickness to spirituality.

94 Bibliography

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