|About the Book|
After 50 years of analysis we are only beginning to understand the quality and complexity of Alban Bergs most important twelve-tone work, the opera Lulu. Patricia Halls new book represents a primary contribution to that understanding—the first detailed analysis of the sketches for the opera as well as other related autograph material and previously inaccessible correspondence to Berg.In 1959, Bergs widow deposited the first of Bergs autograph manuscripts in the Austrian National Library. The complete collection of autographs for Lulu was made accessible to scholars in 1981, and a promising new phase in Lulu scholarship unfolded. Hall begins her study by examining the format and chronology of the sketches, and she demonstrates their unique potential to clarify aspects of Bergs compositional language. In each chapter Hall uses Bergs sketches to resolve a significant problem or controversy that has emerged in the study of Lulu. For example, Hall discusses the dramatic symbolism behind Bergs use of multiple roles and how these roles contribute to the large-scale structure of the opera. She also revises the commonly held view that Berg frequently invoked a free twelve-tone style.Halls innovative work suggests important techniques for understanding not only the sketches and manuscripts of Berg but also those of other twentieth-century composers.