This, Berg's first opera, was composed between 1914 & 1922 and first performed in 1925. It is based on the drama "Woyzeck", which was left incomplete by the German playwright Georg Büchner at his death. Berg attended its first production in Vienna in 1914, and knew at once that he wanted to base an opera on it. From the fragments left by Büchner, Berg selected 15 to form a compact structure of 3 acts with 5 scenes in each. He adapted the libretto himself, retaining "the essential character of the play, with its many short scenes, its abrupt and sometimes brutal language, and its stark, if haunted, realism...". The plot depicts the everyday life of soldiers and the townspeople of a rural German-speaking town, and prominent themes of militarism, callousness, social exploitation, and casual sadism are brutally and uncompromisingly presented.
Alban Maria Johannes Berg (1885–1935) was an Austrian composer of the Second Viennese School. He had little formal music education before he became a student of Arnold Schoenberg in October 1904, and was educated in counterpoint, music theory, and harmony. "Lulu" was his second opera, the first, "Wozzeck", having been very well received in 1925. Berg is remembered as one of the most important composers of the 20th century and the most widely performed opera composer among the Second Viennese School. His style combined Romantic lyricism with twelve-tone technique, and he is said to have brought more "human values" to the twelve-tone system, his works seen as more "emotional" than Schoenberg's. Critically, he is viewed as having preserved the Viennese tradition in his music.
Our copy is in generally very good condition, the exterior showing few signs of wear, and just one palish stain on the front. Inside, the binding is firm, all pages clean and bright, and the additional glossary is present in its paper band attached inside the back cover, equally clean and bright.