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Object #51 / A Woman

Arnold Schönberg: Expectation
Watercolor and opaque white, pen and Chinese ink on paper
ca. 1911
Catalogue raisonné 167

Belmont Music Publishers, Los Angeles

Monodrama in one act
Libretto: Marie Pappenheim

The edge of a wood. Moonlit roads and fields; the wood tall and dark. Only the first trunks and the beginning of the broad path still illuminated.
(A woman approaches; delicate, clothed in white. Upon her dress red roses, their leaves partly fallen. Jewelry.)

(Hesitatingly:)
Enter here? … One cannot see the way … How silvery the trunks glisten … like birches (gazing upon the ground, lost in thought:) Oh! Our garden … The flowers for him are surely withered … The night is so warm.
(Suddenly anxious:)
I am afraid …
(Hearkens towards the wood, uneasy:)
What a heavy odor it expels … like a storm, suspended …
(Wrings her hands, glances back:)
So dreadfully still and empty … At least here it is light …
(Gazes upward:)
Earlier the moon was so bright …
(Cowers, strains to hear, stares ahead:)
Oh! As always, the cricket with its love song … Do not speak … it is so sweet beside you … The moon is fading …
(Rising. Turns towards the wood, hesitates once more, then vehemently:)
A coward you are … do you not want to look for him? Then just die here …
(Quietly:)
How menacing the silence …
(Looks about timidly:)
The moon is frightful … can it see within?
(Anxiously:)
I alone … in the gloomy shadow …
(Mustering courage, rushes into the wood:)
I shall sing, then he will hear me …

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