Poll

Who is your favorite?

Schoenberg
21 (40.4%)
Webern
14 (26.9%)
Berg
17 (32.7%)

Total Members Voted: 25

Author Topic: Schoenberg vs. Webern vs. Berg  (Read 13125 times)

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greg

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Schoenberg vs. Webern vs. Berg
« on: September 25, 2007, 07:16:54 AM »
I'm voting for Schoenberg. Berg possibly could've won if he wrote a LOT more, but he didn't so Schoenberg gets my vote.

dtwilbanks

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Re: Schoenberg vs. Webern vs. Berg
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2007, 07:19:22 AM »
Dunno. I'd have to subject myself to them first.  ;D

EmpNapoleon

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Re: Schoenberg vs. Webern vs. Berg
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2007, 07:43:34 AM »
Boulez

Mark G. Simon

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Re: Schoenberg vs. Webern vs. Berg
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2007, 07:44:15 AM »
My reaction to them is somewhat like that of Goldilocks to the 3 bears' porridge. One (Berg) is too hot, the other (Webern) is too cold and the third (Schoenberg) is just right.

With Webern I feel as if he started with a big Romantic score and subtracted all but a few of the notes. I find I can't derive the kind of musical meaning he expects you to find with what he's given.

With Berg I feel as if he started with a big Romantic score, and added 50% more notes to it. He overwhelms you with meaning to the point of exhaustion. Fortunately, his two operas work wonderfully on stage (I have been fortunate to see both of them at the Met with Levine in the pit) and the Lyric Suite is drop dead gorgeous. And he wrote those nice pieces for clarinet and piano. So what am I complaining about anyway? Gee, I don't know.

But Schoenberg, the mature Schoenberg anyway*, always seems to strike the right balance. Somehow Schoenberg speaks to me more than the other two.


(* I have a hard time sitting through those early songs, op. 1-3)

Larry Rinkel

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Re: Schoenberg vs. Webern vs. Berg
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2007, 08:00:07 AM »
Neither of the three was especially prolific (even thinking in these terms of Webern is a joke), so I can't vote on that score. Webern is too reticent to be truly satisfying, and the pieces I most love by Schoenberg (the early atonal period, from op. 10-22, and Moses und Aron) are offset by the works I dislike - such as the early Gurrelieder and such neoclassic 12-tone works as the Septet and Wind Quintet. But I have next to no reservations about anything Berg wrote, thus my vote.

Offline Brewski

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Re: Schoenberg vs. Webern vs. Berg
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2007, 08:51:49 AM »
A really tough one, since I love all three, but Berg by a tiny margin for Lulu and Wozzeck.  I recently bought the score to Wozzeck and am even more amazed, after browsing it and then following along while listening.

--Bruce
"Do you realize that we're meteorites; almost as soon as we're born, we have to disappear?"

~Iannis Xenakis

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

Offline quintett op.57

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Re: Schoenberg vs. Webern vs. Berg
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2007, 08:55:08 AM »
I prefer Schönberg but it's possibly because I still don't know very much about his two main pupils.


especially as he develops his techniques from the commonly misnamed "atonality" (there's no such thing)
don't really agree

karlhenning

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Re: Schoenberg vs. Webern vs. Berg
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2007, 09:06:31 AM »
From among these three, my answer is likely to be the one to whom I've been listening most recently.

Offline Josquin des Prez

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Re: Schoenberg vs. Webern vs. Berg
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2007, 09:08:16 AM »
Webern > All.  ;D

Offline Josquin des Prez

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Re: Schoenberg vs. Webern vs. Berg
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2007, 09:20:26 AM »
With Webern I feel as if he started with a big Romantic score and subtracted all but a few of the notes.

Subtracted all but the most relevant notes while eschewing everything that was superfluous or redundant. This isn't as new as you think. Bach does the same thing, except on a lesser scale. Still, if you took one of his fugues and milked every particle of musical invention in a romantic fashion you may be surprised just how huge those works really are. Likewise for Webern, except he refines the process to it's extreme. The thing you need to keep in mind is that his polyphony works in a spiral, so even during rests there's still all sorts of implied counterpoint and harmony going all linked in a constant loop.

To be frank i don't really think the serialists really understood the true essence of Webern which is why their work is a bit of a failure in my eyes, starting with Boulez. The development of western harmony ends with Webern and that's that. Everything that happened afterwards is pure redundancy (though i guess Ligeti's micropolyphony was a pretty clever way to get around this, at least partially).

« Last Edit: September 25, 2007, 09:29:14 AM by Josquin des Prez »

Offline Montpellier

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Re: Schoenberg vs. Webern vs. Berg
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2007, 10:05:24 AM »
A really tough one, since I love all three, but Berg by a tiny margin for Lulu and Wozzeck.  I recently bought the score to Wozzeck and am even more amazed, after browsing it and then following along while listening.

--Bruce

Jeez, I'd LOVE to be able to afford the score for Lulu - and once the business of Northern Rock has quietened down I might apply for a mortgage to buy it.  I borrowed it but the library only allows 3 weeks if someone else reserves it.   A beautiful work - I have it on DVD in its original version.   Wozzeck is as great.   A heart-wreching ending.   Somehow, by nifty arrangement of his tone rows Berg managed to preserve an individuality so easily lost in Schoenberg's system.  (Yes, I concede that Webern was unique too but the serial output from many following composers sounds too samey).

So, Berg...
 


Mark

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Re: Schoenberg vs. Webern vs. Berg
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2007, 10:07:49 AM »
Schoenberg. The original and therefore the best.


(How's that for blatant, ignorant subjectivity? ;D)

Offline not edward

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Re: Schoenberg vs. Webern vs. Berg
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2007, 10:20:54 AM »
From among these three, my answer is likely to be the one to whom I've been listening most recently.
Seconded.
"I don't at all mind actively disliking a piece of contemporary music, but in order to feel happy about it I must consciously understand why I dislike it. Otherwise it remains in my mind as unfinished business."
 -- Aaron Copland, The Pleasures of Music

Larry Rinkel

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Re: Schoenberg vs. Webern vs. Berg
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2007, 10:24:56 AM »
Jeez, I'd LOVE to be able to afford the score for Lulu - and once the business of Northern Rock has quietened down I might apply for a mortgage to buy it.  I borrowed it but the library only allows 3 weeks if someone else reserves it.

Scan it! (We won't tell.)

As a college freshman in 1967 I bought the vocal score to the as yet incomplete Lulu - a huge, oversized volume - for $20, a decent sum at the time. I bought my study score to Wozzeck a year earlier for the same amount. Maybe ten years ago I found the 2-volume study score to Lulu second-hand for about $100. No, you can't have it!  :D

Larry Rinkel

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Re: Schoenberg vs. Webern vs. Berg
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2007, 10:25:50 AM »
A really tough one, since I love all three, but Berg by a tiny margin for Lulu and Wozzeck.  I recently bought the score to Wozzeck and am even more amazed, after browsing it and then following along while listening.

--Bruce

Vocal score or study score?

Offline Brewski

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Re: Schoenberg vs. Webern vs. Berg
« Reply #15 on: September 25, 2007, 11:16:29 AM »
Vocal score or study score?

It's the study score (see cover below).  I think I found it for around $25 on eBay. 

--Bruce
"Do you realize that we're meteorites; almost as soon as we're born, we have to disappear?"

~Iannis Xenakis

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

Larry Rinkel

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Re: Schoenberg vs. Webern vs. Berg
« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2007, 12:07:49 PM »
It's the study score (see cover below).  I think I found it for around $25 on eBay. 

--Bruce

You did very well. A new copy today costs over $80.

DavidW

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Re: Schoenberg vs. Webern vs. Berg
« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2007, 03:52:57 PM »
Webern > All.  ;D

Agreed.  His music is lyrical, compact, complex and beautiful. :)

Offline Dancing Divertimentian

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    probably something somebody somewhere is snickering at...wait, Schoenberg! Definitely Schoenberg! (And, let's see, does he have a disciple or two...)...
Re: Schoenberg vs. Webern vs. Berg
« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2007, 05:57:38 PM »
All three, but with Webern I'm glued to my chair. Will let up for a potty break with the others...




« Last Edit: September 25, 2007, 06:19:18 PM by donwyn »
Veit Bach-a baker who found his greatest pleasure in a little cittern which he took with him even into the mill and played while the grinding was going on. In this way he had a chance to have the rhythm drilled into him. And this was the beginning of a musical inclination in his descendants. JS Bach

Offline MDL

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Re: Schoenberg vs. Webern vs. Berg
« Reply #19 on: September 26, 2007, 05:14:18 AM »
Schoenberg's output was far larger and more varied than either Berg's or Webern's. I accept that some people find some of his work dry and academic, but many of his works are wildly emotional and exciting. Gurrelieder, the two Chamber Symphonies, the Second String Quartet, the Five Pieces for Orchestra, Erwartung, Jacob's Ladder, the Piano Concerto, Music for an Imaginary Film, A Survivor From Warsaw and of course the astounding Moses und Aron are, to my ears, every bit as thrilling and beautiful as Stravinsky, Mahler or Nielsen.

« Last Edit: September 26, 2007, 08:24:38 AM by MDL »