The Second Viennese School (III)

Schoenberg and Serialism:

In this post I have tried to interpret what I read about Shoenberg’s music in a very critical phase of his lifetime which actually was a start point to his pioneering steps towards The New Music:

http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/25024?q=arnold+Schoenberg&search=quick&pos=1&_start=1#firsthit

Heading: Expressionist Works, Serial and Tonal Works 1920-36

Serialism, as a method of composition, required Schoenberg to look for a solution that enabled him keeping the stability and unity of his music. For “Developmental variation”, which is actually concerned with transformation of motives and intentionally avoids shaping the phrases brings a sense of instability that can result in a piece with fragments fallen apart from each other. However transformation of musical ideas are not always perceptible by ear easily. It is worth mentioning that Schoenberg chose this strategy intentionally. What Schoenberg did was actually a Neo-Classical approach to formal structure, as well as creating in coherence in terms of rhythmic figurations. Concerning form, he modeled Bach and Mozart, whom he mentioned as his first place teachers. As example, in his Wind Quintet, the first movement is a sonata and the last one a rondo. Schoenberg’s approach to rhythm in serialism was actually planing some thematic figurations and applying transformation so skillfully that it would not disturb their identity throughout the piece, although evolving them. This brings a gradual textural complexity at the same time.

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