• Act 2 (wedding ball) Schnellpolka, played on instruments Harlequin has “broken” in his rage, from the pantomime Pierrette’s Veil by Arthur Schnitzler, music by Ernő Dohnányi (1910). Recording copyright © Jia-Yee Tang

The Schnellpolka in Pierrette’s Veil

From The Director's Prism: E. T. A. Hoffmann and the Russian Theatrical Avant-Garde by Dassia N. Posner

  • Harlequin has just broken the instruments of the wedding ball musicians in his rage. The Dance Master insists that the festivities continue, and the musicians begin a fast polka on their broken instruments. Pierrette mollifies Harlequin, and he draws her into the dance. The music is dissonant, peppered with wrong notes. Suddenly, Pierrette—and Pierrette alone—sees the ghost of the dead Pierrot. The music continues unabated, quickening its tempo as she grows more frantic with terror. Harlequin, suspicious, notices Pierrette’s missing wedding veil. The music abruptly halts.

    Recording made from the pantomime’s piano score. See Dohnányi, Ernő, Der Schleier Der Pierrette: Pantomime in Drei Bildern (Leipzig: Ludwig Doblinger, 1910), 59-63.

    See book: p. 45, 48, 101, 102

Creator Role
  • Performing Arts
  • Libretto/score published: 1910
  • Recording: 2016
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