Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
sgcim

"Gimme Some Of That Ol' Atonal Music'

33 posts in this topic

I've mentioned this before, but about 15 years ago I fell in love with Schoenberg's mid-20's opus numbered chamber-works that all include winds.  More specifically...

  • Serenade, Op. 24 - for clarinet, bass clarinet, mandolin(!), guitar, violin, viola, and cello - plus a bass vocalist (on one movement only)
  • Wind Quintet, Op. 26 - for standard wind-quintet: flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, and bassoon
  • Suite, Op. 29 - for sopranino clarinet in Eb, standard Bb clarinet, bass clarinet, vioin, viola, cello, and piano
  • ...plus Webern's chamber arrangement of Schoenberg's Chamber Symphony #1, Op. 9 - for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, and piano

There's also a really nifty "sonata" arrangement of the Wind Quintet for piano and either violin, or else flute (and I've got recordings of each version, for flute or violin) -- and both versions are just dandy!!

People complain about serialism not being any fun, but I find these particular pieces just about as spritely and "dancy" as all getout.  When I was working to pack up our house to move to Washington DC, and it was just me for a few months trying to get that house shaped up to put on the market, I only had about 200 CD's to listen to -- most of them stuff I was going to get rid of, plus a all these Schoenberg pieces.  Damn, if that music isn't ever just about THE best thing ever to get shit done to.  I think I literally listened to 1-2 of these works every day (or every other day) for several weeks there.  Joyous music, in my book, and complicated too -- but it always put a spring in my step, if not literally then at least mentally.

And the funny thing is that I'm really NOT especially fond of wind quintets and other stuff like this generally.  Sure, they're ok, but it's not like Wind Quintets are a specific 'thing' I'm into or anything.

Edited by Rooster_Ties

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had three spate reactions to the "Big 3" -

  1. Schoenberg was never really stirring for me until recently, and when it started to be, it was due to - surprise! - readings/interpretations that focused on the music, not the math. Funny how that works...
  2. Webern used to actually piss me off, make me angry. I've come off that now, but still need to hear the "right" interpretation. But now, I am open. The one that turned me around was a Chicago Symphony thing that Organissimo's Own Larry Kart (The Dean Of Online Music Critics) hipped me to. That one literally stopped me dead in my tracks and made me reconsider everything about Webern, just...reset button pushed.
  3. Berg has always sounded good to me. He just has.

So, I don't buy the notion that any one "system" is inherently going to kill music. If Schuller was conscientiously calling anything out, it should not have been Schoenberg's methods, it should have been the mindless literal systemic(?) devotion to that system - any system - at the expense of personality, imagination, you know, basic humanity.

It's a poor craftsman who blames his tools.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, JSngry said:

I've had three spate reactions to the "Big 3" -

  1. Schoenberg was never really stirring for me until recently, and when it started to be, it was due to - surprise! - readings/interpretations that focused on the music, not the math. Funny how that works...
  2. Webern used to actually piss me off, make me angry. I've come off that now, but still need to hear the "right" interpretation. But now, I am open. The one that turned me around was a Chicago Symphony thing that Organissimo's Own Larry Kart (The Dean Of Online Music Critics) hipped me to. That one literally stopped me dead in my tracks and made me reconsider everything about Webern, just...reset button pushed.
  3. Berg has always sounded good to me. He just has.

So, I don't buy the notion that any one "system" is inherently going to kill music. If Schuller was conscientiously calling anything out, it should not have been Schoenberg's methods, it should have been the mindless literal systemic(?) devotion to that system - any system - at the expense of personality, imagination, you know, basic humanity.

It's a poor craftsman who blames his tools.

 

I think that Webern disc I plugged might have been this one with the Vienna Philharmonic:

https://www.amazon.com/Schoenburg-Survivor-Warsaw-Webern-Orchestral/dp/B000001GF3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was, and I have an ongoing problem with never being able to find it when looking for "Chicago" on the spine. Go figure.

But that's one helluva record.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/10/2019 at 4:08 PM, Chuck Nessa said:

Why the opposition? If you don't like it, leave it alone. Too many great works were created in the system for me to dismiss it.

Sometimes Gunther was off base (nasty word removed). He had his own agenda.

Yeah, I don’t really get why someone would care enough to post this, much less think this was a clever zinger.  But such is the nature of trolls.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The original post is basically a less funny, 67 year lag version of “the jerk store called, they’re running out of YOU!”

Edited by Guy Berger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Didn't bother to read the OP (or watch - even the opening still shot looked dopey). Used to spend time on classical discussion forums, and have seen more than enough "tonal drone" trolling.

Edited by T.D.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.