Aufnahmedatum: 23 February 1950
Beschreibung: Speech for radio broadcast with Winfried Zillig's Recording of Pelleas und Melisande op. 5
Record 165


This is Arnold Schönberg speaking. I am going to give you some informations about my symphonic poem Pelleas and Melisande, which you are going to hear next. It was performed and broadcast by the Hessische Rundfunk in Frankfurt am Main on the occasion of a festival of my music, honoring my 75th birthday. At this occasion, I had the pleasure to have it conducted by my brilliant pupil Winfried Zillig, who is also an extremely gifted composer.
It was around 1900, when Maurice Maeterlinck fascinated composers, stimulating them to create music to his dramatic poems. What attracted all, was his art of dramatizing eternal problems of humanity in the form of fairy tales, lending them timelessness without adhering to imitation of ancient styles.
I had at first planned to convert Pelleas and Melisande into an opera, but I gave up this plan, though I didn't know that Debussy was working on this opera at the same time.  I still regret that I did not carry out my initial intention. It would have differed from Debussy's. I might have missed the wonderful perfume of the poem; but I might have made my characters more singing.
On the other hand the symphonic poem helped me in that it taught me to express my characters in precisely formulated units, which technique, an opera would perhaps not have promoted so well.
Thus my fate evidently guided me with great foresight.
This is Arnold Schönberg speaking, and you will now hear the symphonic poem Pelleas and Melisande, conducted by Winfried Zillig.