Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire is a bizarre piece. Because of this bizarreness, it’s actually quite hilarious to listen too. The sprechstimme technique that Schoenberg pioneered in this work adds to this quality. Most people who listen to the work for the first time (listeners who haven’t been around classical circles for long) contort their faces in the horror of the sounds being produced (wait until they hear Penderecki for the first time). This is exactly what Schoenberg was going for, and if you learn more about the text and the sound painting that is going on, the work turns into something more than the grotesque, that being funny.
Luna Nova Ensemble’s website with full video recordings, translations and other research.
Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire, Op. 21