Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Auner, Joseph H. "Schoenberg's Handel Concerto and the Ruins of Tradition." Journal of the American Musicological Society 49 (Summer 1996): 264-313.

In the early 1930s, Schoenberg transcribed and recomposed compositions of the Baroque era to reaffirm his position in the lineage of German composers during a time when Germany was under the government of the National Socialists. Schoenberg described his Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra as "freely transcribed" from Handel's Concerto Grosso, Op. 6, No. 7. Its reworking is different from that of Schoenberg's arrangements of Bach and Brahms, as it alters the original much more, using techniques such as reharmonization, the addition of contrapuntal parts, and compressing and expanding the material. Schoenberg reinterprets Handel's music most freely in the third movement. In so doing, he created a duality between the past and the present and contrasted Baroque tonality and compositional techniques with the chromatic/atonal traditions of the twentieth century. Schoenberg also transposed the third movement to a new key, changed the tempo from Andante to Allegro grazioso, and imposed a formal Sonata-Allegro plan onto the material. This work suggests Schoenberg's identity crisis as German and Jewish as well as the larger social and cultural world of the 1930s (specifically 1933), when the work was composed.

Works: Schoenberg: Cello Concerto (264, 285-86), Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra (265-69, 271, 287-313).

Sources: Georg Matthias Monn: Keyboard Concerto F. 41 (264); Handel: Concerto Grosso, Op. 6, No. 7 (265-66, 287-313).

Index Classifications: 1900s

Contributed by: Marc Geelhoed, Matthew Altizer

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