After finishing the short score of Lulu and starting to orchestrate it in the spring of 1934, Berg began to realize that his opera might not be staged in Berlin, long planned as the site for the premiere. In late May he decided to make a concert arrangement that he referred to as ““a Propaganda selection,”” which became the Symphonische Stüücke aus ““Lulu.”” In contemporary usage the German word ““Propaganda”” typically denoted advertising or publicity. Acting on advice from his editor, Hans Heinsheimer, and supported by the efforts of his student Willi Reich, Berg sought to create a ““Propaganda”” work that could be performed even in Hitler's Germany and would drum up interest in performances of the entire opera elsewhere.
Letters and other sources, many unpublished, show Berg gradually coming to grips both with the reality of the political situation in Germany and with the offensiveness——even to some favorably disposed to modernist music——of the texts by Frank Wedekind on which he based his libretto. A comparison of his arrangement and the opera illuminates the different effects made by more or less the same music in the two works as well as what Berg valued in Lulu and was therefore reluctant to relinquish. Above all he resisted giving up the texts for the music that he arranged as the first and fifth movements, apparently wishing to preserve the striking textures that he had created by placing an operatic voice against a self-sufficient orchestral fabric. But mentored by Heinsheimer, he ended up distancing his arrangement from the opera that it was supposed to promote by removing most of the words; and assisted by Reich he wrote misleading program notes to fill in the resulting semantic gaps. Berg created an arrangement that could be enjoyed as, in his own words, ““pure music.”” Lulu became the platonic idea of Lulu.
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