Alban Berg: Lulu (Boulez, Paris Opera)
Classical | EAC (APE & CUE) | 687 MB
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In composing Lulu
, Alban Berg made a fascinating attempt to reconcile chaos and order under one operatic roof, setting a harrowing tale of moral anarchy to a 12-tone score that is rigorously organized down to the smallest staging detail. On one level Lulu is a “number opera" consisting of a sequence of arias, ensembles, cavatinas, ballades and other forms traditionally associated with vocal music (all of which are clearly identified by Berg in the score). At the same time, each of the three acts has within it a single large-scale form, the different sections of which are scattered throughout the act, which mirrors the main dramatic development. Act I, for example, is dominated by a sonata form, associated with Dr Schön’s attempts to break free of Lulu, the exposition and the first reprise of which appear when Schön and Lulu argue in scene 2 while the development and recapitulation appear when the argument continues in scene 3. In Act II the largescale form is a rondo (continually interrupted in scene 1 but heard in its entirety as a continuous piece in scene 2 associated with Alwa’s declarations of love for Lulu, while in Act III a set of variations, based on a cabaritoneet song by Wedekind himself, charts Lulu’s descent into prostitution.