The Classical mixtape #002

Notes on update #002 of The Classical mixtape.

Klangfarbenmelodie is a technique that is mostly associated with Arnold Schoenberg. You basically divide a melodic line between different instruments. E.g making a melody of different timbres. The most extreme example is the “point” music technique that Webern and later Stockhausen used.

The term comes from Arnold Schoenberg’s Harmonielehre book. The prime example is the third movement in his 5 Orchestral pieces op 16. Webern used it a lot. One, a bit odd ,example is in his orchestration of Bach Musical Offering.

I also associate this technique with the impressionistic orchestration of Debussy. Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune for instance. For me though, the most skilful example is by Mahler. The ninth symphony in particular. The melodic language is romantic but the orchestration is modernism.

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