By Christopher Hailey

Alban Berg and His international is a set of essays and resource fabric that repositions Berg because the pivotal determine of Viennese musical modernism. His allegiance to the austere rigor of Arnold Schoenberg's musical revolution was once balanced by means of a lifelong devotion to the nice and cozy sensuousness of Viennese musical culture and a love of lyric utterance, the emotional depth of opera, and the expressive nuance of late-Romantic tonal practice.

The essays during this assortment discover the explicit features of Berg's model of musical modernism, and current newly translated letters and files that light up his dating to the politics and tradition of his period. Of specific importance are the 1st translations of Berg's newly chanced on level paintings evening (Nocturne), Hermann Watznauer's intimate account of Berg's early years, and the well-known memorial factor of the tune periodical 23. members examine Berg's fascination with palindromes and replicate photos and their courting to notions of time and id; the Viennese roots of his targeted orchestral variety; his hyperlinks to such Viennese contemporaries as Alexander Zemlinsky, Franz Schreker, and Erich Wolfgang Korngold; and his makes an attempt to move in the course of the perilous shoals of gender, race, and fascist politics.

The participants are Antony Beaumont, Leon Botstein, Regina Busch, Nicholas Chadwick, Mark DeVoto, Douglas Jarman, Sherry Lee, and Margaret Notley.

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Sample text

Although I still have a year left in my contract and my Intendant tells me he’ll stand up for me, he fears, as he himself told me today, that my contract will be of no use. You can imagine what that means; if it comes to that all of Germany is closed for me. ” 25. Soma Morgenstern, Alban Berg und seine Idole: Erinnerungen und Briefe, ed. Ingolf Schulte (Lüneburg: Dietrich zu Klampen Verlag, 1995), 378. Translated (modified) by Mark DeVoto. 26. Correspondence concerning Wymetal’s article, “Wiener Musikdämmerung,” in the Allgemeine Musikzeitung 52/14 (1925) can be found in F21 Berg 132/II/49 and 480/70/1–3, published in Alban Berg: Handschriftliche Briefe, Briefentwürfe und Notizen, Quellenkataloge zur Musikgeschichte, vol.

Through Schoenberg’s instruction and example he was completely immersed in the precepts of Viennese Classicism, that line of development from Haydn and Mozart through Beethoven and Brahms that placed great emphasis on rigorous construction, motivic development, and structural coherence—in short, what one might call a syntax of organicism. Berg’s music, however, also has a lyrical, expansive, even discursive quality that looks back to Schubert, and to aspects of Viennese popular music. These contrasting compositional and aesthetic impulses are by no means mutually exclusive, as we see in Mahler, but among composers of the so-called Second Viennese School Berg stands apart in making the tension between these worlds a productive component of his creative persona, as well as a tangible part of our experience of his music.

This, in turn, encouraged a kind of lateral awareness by critics and audiences in which points of descriptive comparison were more readily drawn from the present than from the past. It was in this transformed environment that Berg became more widely known, most particularly through his Piano Sonata, op. 1, and his String Quartet, op. 3. But in 1921, when the sonata was performed at the first Donaueschingen festival, it was not a success. “Music of the day before yesterday of the immediate past” opined Hugo Holle of the Allgemeine Musik-Zeitung, and it was a typical response.

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