Event Title

Schoenberg’s Moses und Aron and Modernism’s Bilderverbot

Presenter Information

Andrew Groble, Oberlin College

Location

Science Center, A155

Start Date

4-24-2015 4:00 PM

End Date

4-24-2015 5:30 PM

Abstract

In Moses und Aron, Arnold Schoenberg re-imagined the Exodus story as a fundamental struggle between the idea of God and its subsequent representation, as personified respectively in the characters of Moses and Aron. My research explores the opera’s basis in Schoenberg’s propaganda play Der biblische Weg and the composer’s grand attempts to save world Jewry in the years before World War II. In addition, I focus on his relationship to the modernists Ludwig Wittgenstein and Karl Kraus. I contend that their philosophies influenced Schoenberg’s strict negative monotheism, which, above all else, stressed the ban on images.

Notes

Session 3, Panel 16 - Making Modernism: Music/Text/Image
Moderator: Jared Hartt, Associate Professor of Music Theory

Major

German Studies; Voice Performance

Advisor(s)

Timothy Lefebvre, Voice
Elizabeth Hamilton, German

Project Mentor(s)

Elizabeth Hamilton, German

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Apr 24th, 4:00 PM Apr 24th, 5:30 PM

Schoenberg’s Moses und Aron and Modernism’s Bilderverbot

Science Center, A155

In Moses und Aron, Arnold Schoenberg re-imagined the Exodus story as a fundamental struggle between the idea of God and its subsequent representation, as personified respectively in the characters of Moses and Aron. My research explores the opera’s basis in Schoenberg’s propaganda play Der biblische Weg and the composer’s grand attempts to save world Jewry in the years before World War II. In addition, I focus on his relationship to the modernists Ludwig Wittgenstein and Karl Kraus. I contend that their philosophies influenced Schoenberg’s strict negative monotheism, which, above all else, stressed the ban on images.