Webern's Vibe

Started by karlhenning, April 02, 2008, 12:44:20 PM

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Mirror Image

This is the image I used for my Schoenberg t-shirt:
"Humility is society's greatest misconception."

My "Top 5" Favorite Composers: Debussy, Mahler, Strauss, Sibelius and Bartók


vers la flamme

Quote from: Mirror Image on December 30, 2019, 04:53:41 PM
One of my all-time favorite works is Schoenberg's Five Pieces for Orchestra. For me, it is better than anything that has come before and after in his oeuvre. I'm a huge fan of this middle period or as it's been called 'free atonal period' where there's no rules and is completely up in the air as far as where the music goes. Five Pieces for Orchestra resonates deeply for me because you can hear a composer that knows he can no longer accept the German/Austrian tradition (even though he never truly abandoned it and, ironically, felt he was a part of the same lineage as Schubert, Brahms, Wagner, etc.). Schoenberg, of course, never fully turned his back on tonality and many of his works embraced it. He's actually not difficult to crack at all, but he does require much listening in order to fully assimilate everything that is happening in his music. I, too, prefer the string sextet arrangement of Verklärte Nacht, but I like the string orchestra arrangement as well.

Perhaps not in a general sense, but for me, he is, especially compared to supposedly "difficult" composers like Webern and Boulez who came to me very easily. It's much the same way that I feel about Brahms. His music is a constantly rewarding challenge, a puzzle for my brain to work together. It's all so layered, dense, and contrapuntal, and there is always so much going on as you allude to. For this reason it is extremely rewarding to repeated listens. I feel the same way about late Webern, but again, I find it much more simple on a fundamental level.

Speaking of late Webern, I got two CDs today that contain recordings of the piano variations. I'm listening to one of them now...:

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Pretty damn good recording, I think. More fiery than my preferred recording, from a young Idil Biret.

This is the other one I got:

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Have yet to hear it, but the Schoenberg on there is pretty damn solid!

vers la flamme

Quote from: Mirror Image on December 30, 2019, 05:03:33 PM
This is the image I used for my Schoenberg t-shirt:

Awesome, I love that self-portrait. Schoenberg was one hell of a painter!


San Antone

Quote from: vers la flamme on December 30, 2019, 05:13:28 PM
This is the other one I got:

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Have yet to hear it, but the Schoenberg on there is pretty damn solid!

That Peter Hill recording is very good, IMO.  It has become my go-to recording for the solo piano music of these composers.

staxomega

Quote from: vers la flamme on December 30, 2019, 05:13:28 PM
Perhaps not in a general sense, but for me, he is, especially compared to supposedly "difficult" composers like Webern and Boulez who came to me very easily. It's much the same way that I feel about Brahms. His music is a constantly rewarding challenge, a puzzle for my brain to work together. It's all so layered, dense, and contrapuntal, and there is always so much going on as you allude to. For this reason it is extremely rewarding to repeated listens. I feel the same way about late Webern, but again, I find it much more simple on a fundamental level.

Speaking of late Webern, I got two CDs today that contain recordings of the piano variations. I'm listening to one of them now...:

[asin]B000001GQK[/asin]

Pretty damn good recording, I think. More fiery than my preferred recording, from a young Idil Biret.

This is the other one I got:

[asin]B00000JYTV[/asin]

Have yet to hear it, but the Schoenberg on there is pretty damn solid!

How do you think Op. 27 variations from Peter Hill compares to Pollini? Glenn Gould's are also really good if you haven't heard them.

Leo K.

Been listening to various recordings of Webern's Symphony, Op.21. Perhaps my favorite symphony of all time, or close. Right now I'm playing Robert Craft's account on Naxos. Earlier I played Takuo Yuasa's account, also on Naxos. I have no direct favorite recording as they each look at this work with a valid interpretation.

Lisztianwagner

Webern is still the toughest nut of the Second Viennese School to crack for me, but his music has an aspect I admire, I mean, the quality of concentrating the expressive power and the inspiring intent into a small form, that in any case is able to be meaningful and inventive, in an aphoristic way; as a matter of fact, works like Variations Op. 30, the Piano Variations, Five and Six Orchestral Pieces and the Concerto Op. 24 are short, but suggestive, with an essential, but effective orchestration. His fragmented textures, developed through a wide trimbric variety, are quite thrilling too.
"Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire." - Gustav Mahler

Mandryka

#147
Quote from: Leo K. on October 06, 2022, 08:08:55 AM
Been listening to various recordings of Webern's Symphony, Op.21. Perhaps my favorite symphony of all time, or close.

Yes I can understand why you might say that. Did you see that Heinz Holliger released a recording of it a couple of months ago? I'm not sure I like what he makes of it but maybe . . .
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Leo K.

Quote from: Mandryka on October 16, 2022, 08:26:05 PM
Yes I can understand why you might say that. Did you see that Heinz Holliger released a recording of it a couple of months ago? I'm not sure I like what he makes of it but maybe . . .
I was not aware of the new Holliger recording so thanks very much! I will check it out for sure.

Mandryka

#149
Holliger really slows things down. It's extraordinary how fresh the music sounds in all its uncomfortable strangeness. Timeless I guess. There's an early recording by Craft which I like very much.
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Leo K.

Quote from: Mandryka on October 17, 2022, 01:22:12 PM
Holliger really slows things down. It's extraordinary how fresh the music sounds in all its uncomfortable strangeness. Timeless I guess. There's an early recording by Craft which I like very much.
It seems Eliahu Inbal stretched the first movement out too (on the Denon label) - very transfixing account, like walking in Kafka's world. Yes I love the strangeness and the almost-reference to Mahler's 9 (the beginning) so it looks backward too.

Mandryka

Quote from: Leo K. on October 20, 2022, 10:39:52 AM
It seems Eliahu Inbal stretched the first movement out too (on the Denon label) - very transfixing account, like walking in Kafka's world. Yes I love the strangeness and the almost-reference to Mahler's 9 (the beginning) so it looks backward too.

Thanks for that, I'm listening now and I like it very much.
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen