SOUND, LIGHT, AND MOTION: THE ABSTRACTION AND REPRESENTATION OF INNER OCCURRENCES IN SCHOENBERG'S DIE GLÜCKLICHE HAND
In January 1911, Arnold Schoenberg and Wassily Kandinsky initiated a correspondence which revealed extraordinary parallels in expressing the spiritual in art. Schoenberg emphasized an "art of the representation of inner occurrences" and Kandinsky repeatedly discussed an "inner spirit of art," the mantra of his book, Concerning the Spiritual in Art. Between 1910 and 1914, Schoenberg worked on one piece which spanned the duration of his correspondence with Kandinsky: Die glückliche Hand. Seeking to put Schoenberg's intentions in their original context, I employ the dynamic color theory outlined in Concerning the Spiritual in Art to trace spiritual motion throughout the monodrama, Die glückliche Hand. For every scene, Schoenberg indicates specific transitions of colored light which correspond to the protagonist's internal state. How does Schoenberg mirror the transformation of colored light musically in order to reflect the inner spirit of this protagonist? My analysis not only demonstrates how Schoenberg composed the monodrama with Kandinsky's theory of color in mind, but also illuminates the aural and visual possibilities of abstracting and representing human spirituality. According to Kandinsky, a work of art is defined as a "complex of vibrations;" these vibrations are the "definite activity of the soul." My analysis demonstrates how Die glückliche Hand may be considered a dynamic creation infused with vibrations of sound and light, a reflection of the artistic environment in Western Europe during the beginning of the twentieth century and its portrayal of human spirituality.
Advisor:Don O. Franklin; Mathew Rosenblum; Anna Nisnevich
School:University of Pittsburgh
School Location:USA - Pennsylvania
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication:06/04/2008