natur banner e

Object #52 / Deepest darkness

Arnold Schönberg: Expectation (Scene 2)
Colored chalk, pastel and gouache on paper
ca. 1911
Catalogue raisonné 166

Belmont Music Publishers, Los Angeles

Monodrama in one act
Libretto: Marie Pappenheim

Deepest darkness, broad path, tall, dense trees. She gropes forward.

(Still off-stage:)
Is this still the way? …
(Stoops down, gropes with her hands:)
Here it is level … (crying out:) What? … Let go!
(Trembling, tries to catch sight of her hand:)
Held fast?  … No, something was crawling …
(Wild, clutches her face:)
Here, too … Who is touching me? … Away …
(Flails about with her hands:)
Away, push on … in the name of heaven …
(Continues on, her arms outstretched before her:)
At last the path is wide …
(Calmly, pensively:)
It was so quiet behind the garden walls … (very calm:) No more cutting … no more shouting and running about … And the city in luminous fog … with such yearning I gazed across the way … And the heavens so unfathomably deep above the path you always take to me … even more transparent and distant … the evening colors …
(Sadly:)
But you did not come.
(Coming to a halt:)
Who weeps there?
(Calling, quite anxious:)
Is someone there?
(Waits. Louder still:)
Is someone there?
(Again straining to hear:)
Nothing … But it was …
(Listens again:)
Now it is rustling up above … It moves from branch to branch …
(Terrified, fleeing to one side:)
It is coming towards me …
(Cry of a nightbird.)
(Raving:)
Not this way! Let me be … Lord God, help me …
(Stillness. Hastily:)
It was nothing … But quickly, quickly …
(Begins to run, falls down. Already off-stage:)
Oh, oh, what is that? … A body … No, only a tree trunk …

go to object overview