Il pensiero della variazione nelle Variations on a Recitative for Organ op. 40 di Arnold Schönberg
Composed in 1941-42, the Variations op. 40 – the only work for organ ever published by Schönberg – belong to the period of his so called “return” to some tonally oriented organizations of musical structures. The piece expresses, indeed, a suspended tonality polarized on D (predominantly minor). The cycle is followed by a Cadenza and a fugal section; as the fabric of each variation is woven by the theme (Recitative), the whole could be named “Passacaglia and Fugue”. Peculiar to the work is an extremely intricate realization either of the “motives of variation” or of the developing strategies, even for Schönberg’s related standards of the years 1906-08. Nevertheless, their degree of objective evidence is remarkable. If looking at the harmonic facet, we could consider the piece as if it had been composed in those years, the same cannot be stated as far as the technique of developing va- riation is concerned. Although non dodecaphonic, in some ways the piece bears the hallmarks of serial procedures. As elsewhere in Schönberg’s oeuvre, the art of variation – here represented by a passacaglia – is a ground for further explorations.