"Der Wein" (The Wine) is a concert aria for soprano and orchestra, composed in 1929 by Alban Berg. The lyrics are from Stefan George's translation of three poems from Charles Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du mal, as is the secret text of Berg's Lyric Suite. The aria was dedicated to its first performer, Ružena Herlinger.
The piece includes a parody of a tango (bars 39, 181) and includes an alto saxophone. The tone row contains a complete ascending D harmonic minor scale and the remaining five notes are ordered so that in the inverted form they arpeggiate a jazzy added sixth chord with blue third (G, F, D♭, D, B♭). The central sonority of the work, as characteristic of Berg's later music, comprises triads separated by half an octave: F and B♮ (in German: H) superimposed over a low D♭. These two letter names, H and F, are presumably a reference to Hanna Fuchs-Robettin, and the title may be a reference to her husband's wine cellar.
The music of the central section of a ternary ABA structure "is a palindrome within itself," with the outer sections being through-composed. Measures 112–140 are then heard in retrograde as measures 140–170.
- Pople, Anthony (1991). Berg: Violin Concerto, p. 21. ISBN 0-521-39976-9.
- Pople (1991), pp. 17–18.
- Palmer, John. Der Wein at Allmusic. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
- "Der Wein" on YouTube – Annelies Kupper, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Hermann Scherchen (1957) (Scherchen also conducted the premiere)
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