By Alban Berg
According to Elias Canetti, “with Wozzeck, Büchner achieved the most complete revolution in the whole of literature”. The same can be said of Berg’s opera, as revolutionary in the history of music. Mark DeVoto and Theo Hirsrunner discuss why this complex score suits the chaotic nature of the play. In his famous essay about the opera, Theodor Adorno shows how what seems fragmentary in the text is actually complete. Kenneth Segar offers a new interpretation of the play in the light of the most recent Büchner research. The play as Berg knew it is set out with a translation, and this unique source material is complemented by a series of critical reactions to the first London production in 1952.
Contents: ‘Wozzeck’ in Context, Mark DeVoto; Georg Büchner’s ‘Woyzeck’: an Interpretation, Kenneth; The Musico-Dramatic Structure of ‘Wozzeck’; Musical Form and Dramatic Expression in ‘Wozzeck’, Theo Hirsbrunner; On the Characteristics of ‘Wozzeck’, Theodor W. Adorno; ‘Wozzeck’ at Covent Garden, 1952, John Amis, Eric Walter White, Arthur Jacobs, William Mann, Joan Chissell, Geoffrey Bush, Deryck Cooke, Robert L. Jacobs; Wozzeck: Libretto by Georg Büchner, edited by Franzos and Landau, 1909; Wozzeck: Performing translation by Vida Harford and Eric Blackall; Additional material fiom Büchner translated by Stewart Spencer
All these will provide the new opera-goer with food for thought.
Brilliantly produced and superb value.
Wholehearted recommendation of this valuable new series.
Alban Maria Johannes Berg (1885–1935) was an Austrian composer. He is best known for his opera Wozzeck, which is seen as one of the century’s most important works.