- It is the fourth of Schoenberg's Five Orchestral Pieces.
- Peripetie is from the 'Five Orchestral Pieces' and was written in 1922 (the early twentieth century).
- It was completed in 1909. The first performance took place in London in 1912
- He founded the Second Viennese School - a group of composers (including Berg and Webern who were
- taught by Schoenberg in Vienna) who wrote Expressionist music.
- He was an Austrian composer.
- Peripetie means 'A sudden reversal'.
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Texture and Dynamics
- Largely contrapuntal, occasional monophonic and homophonic moments
- Textures built up by using imitation, diminution and inversion.
- The final climax of the piece is created from three different canons that are heard at the same time.
- There are frequent sudden changes of dynamics, leading to extreme contrasts between ppp and fff.
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- Requires a large, full orchestra.
- Strings, woodwind, brass and percussion.
- Changes rapidly throughout, creating many contrasts in timbre.
- Cymbals are played, unusually, with a mallet.
- Instruments are played to the extreme of their range either very low or very high.
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Rhythm, Metre and Tempo
- Tempo is sehr rasch - very quick.
- Metre changes between 3/4, 2/4 and 4/4.
- Rhythms are complex, and varied, and change quickly in parts of the work.
- A number of different rhythmic patterns on top of each other to create complex contrapuntal textures.
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- The piece is free rondo form, with five sections A B A C A.
- The piece is called free rondo because it is very different to the traditional type of rondo heard in the Classical period, when different sections were clearly contrasted
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- Made up of short, fragmented motifs.
- Rhythmic augmentation - the notes become twice as long.
- Motifs are varied through the use of inversion and rhythmic augmentation.
- Inversion - melody is turned upside down.
- Octave displacement is used - unexpectedly moving individual notes of the main melody into a
- different octave.
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Tonality and Harmony
- Atonal - has no key or mode.
- Dissonant harmony chords and melodies, often built in hexachords (set of six notes).
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