Hanns Eisler's Palmstrom, Op. 5 No. 1
Marfil, Marie Jocelyn U
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Hanns Eisler, one of Schoenberg's disciples in the 1920s, was successful both in art music and music for films. Because modernist aesthetics violated his political beliefs and philosophy, he later abandoned the twelve-tone method. This eventually led to a rupture in Eisler's relationship with Schoenberg. Eisler used the twelve-tone method in Palmstrom Op. 5 , a song cycle composed of five songs with an ensemble of flute, clarinet, violin, cello, and spoken voice (Sprechtimme). In this paper I analyzed the first song, Venus Palmstrom , and explore how Eisler applies different techniques in structuring twelve-tone melody and harmony, and how he uses serialism to musically portray and interpret Morgernstern's text. Two analytical approaches have been applied to Palmstrom : first, the analysis of pitch structure, and second, the analysis of text setting. In the analysis of pitch structure, four different techniques for harmonically integrating the vocal line with the accompaniment are illustrated. In the analysis of text setting, Eisler seems to use seven techniques for constructing a melodic line that expresses the structure and meaning of the text.