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MusicEssay A BBC Educationwebsite aimed at students in further education(studying ALevels)hasasked you to provide the script for a twentiethcentury Western

art music podcast on The Second VienneseSchool. N.B Indications of where musical extracts are to be played, and accompanying appropriate timingswillbeincludedinthefootnotes. The Second VienneseSchoolcomprisedofagroup ofAustroGermaniccomposerswho broke the traditional forms of musical composition in the early twentieth century, lead by Arnold Schoenberg. The substratum of the Second Viennese School lies in the rich musical soil of German romanticism. This musical genre wasearnestlyexpanded,atfirst,byWagner,wholaid the foundations of rich chromatic tonality, harmonic expression, and use of counterpoint which characterised most late 19th century, germanic, musical works. The Wagnerian elements of romantic composition were sustained, and developed by Bruckner, Strauss and Mahler, who enriched the Wagnerian musical language for the symphonic, more structural forms. Mahler seems to be the fin de siecle ofthat period inmusicalhistory,itwas Mahlersmusicthatsawa schism occur in western classical music.Ononeside of the musicalplatform wastheFrench, impressionist and expressionist movement, typified by the likes of Ravel and Debussy, and on the other side, the Second Viennese School seeing itself as the natural progression from German Romanticism. The most recognisable members of the Second Vienna School were Schoenberg,AlbanBerg,andAntonWebern. Schoenbergs early works show the influence of Wagner and Mahler, drawing from significant pieces likeTristan and Isolde. Schoenbergs compositions were intenselychromatic, but alsodistinctlytonal.ItwashisstringsextetVerklrteNacht,aworkof 1899,thatSchoenberg illustrates the defining aspects of his early period, that ofvigorouschromaticromanticism,while the latter sections of the music hint at the future direction of atonality. This single movement piece is also innovative in structure, portraying an initial venture by Schoenberg, to coalesce sonata form with larger musical structure, essentially being a traditional four movement work. Schoenberg continued the tradition of germanic romanticism that defined the late 19th century. This music yearned for acomplete intellectual and artistic freedom, with which tochallengethe traditionally held views on music, but also on culture and society in the mainstream. Schoenbergs next period was degradingly named atonal music by its detractors. Many contemporaries desired Schoenberg to compose in the style of Verklrte Nacht, but as the composer himself states Ihave not discontinued composing in the same style...Thedifference isonlythatidoitbetternowthanbeforeitismoreconcentrated,moremature.

The hugely chromatic style of musicof this period can be typified through Bergs Piano Sonata Op. 1, which moves through keys extremely quickly, giving the listener a precarious perceptionofthecomposition

.Thepieceusesveryrecognisablesonataform , utilisingexposition,developmentandafinalrecapitulationandcodathetonalcentreofthework is in the key of b minor. Berg uses the first theme presented as a means of deriving all other themes used.Schoenbergisaclearinspirationfortheuseofwholetonechordsandmotifs.The sonata alsodrawson the quartal harmonic effects ofSchoenbergsChamberSymphonyOp.9. The piece was composedfrom1907 to 1908, andwhilebeinginfluencedbytheworksofBergs teacher Schoenberg, it portrays manysimilaritieswiththeworksofAlexanderScriabin,interms ofharmonyandchromaticism. Pierrot lunaire, Op. 21 written in 1912 for Voice and small ensemble, incorporates the style of singing known as Sprechgesang. This work, of Schoenbergs second atonal periodis made up of 21 poems,divided into3groups ofsevenpoems.Thepieceisundoubtedly atonalin nature, and presents asignificant departure from the likes of VerkrteNacht and Bergs Op. 1, despite that,the worksuse of fugue, rondo, and canondemonstrateSchoenbergs debttoolder forms of bygone eras. The use of sprechgesang imbues Pierrot lunaire with an ironic, melodramatic, and comical quality.The premiere of Pierrot lunaire was reasonably successful, demonstratingacertainamountofpositiveinterestemerginginatonalmusic. The onset of the First World War, in1914, can be perceivedasthecontextualbackdrop for the newfound cultural expressionism in music. The passionate natureof newcompositions epitomised the mood of the public at that time. Thedesireforchangeandrevolutioninthe wake of the war was prevalent. The new school of musical thought heraldedareturntoprogressively more structured, and more established musical forms. The composers of the new Viennese School, wished to follow in the line of Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms, use the classical and baroque forms, but bring them to their most advance levels, stretching and breaking traditional harmonies and tonalities, so that a new perspective on old forms would be brought to the forefront of musical culture. After this period, musical composition of the second viennese school began tolosealltonalcentres,without adefinablekey,andmoveinanydirection ofpitch. It is crucial to note that the impact of atonality would have been startling, as Schoenberg was writing for a nineteenth century audience, who had never before experienced any music as drasticallydivergentfromtheconventionalasthis. The next period of Schoenbergs musical development heralded the evolution from chromatic expressionism toserialism.Schoenberghadbegunbytestingthetwelvetonesystem in the Waltz from the Five PianoPieces,Op.23whichillustrates thesystematicprocesswhich was undertaken in order to specify the rules of his system, beforebeing appliedtoanyworkas the composition process.The Suitefor Piano, Op. 25, Schoenbergs firsttwelvetoneworkwas composed between 19211923, in which Schoenberg uses all twelve notes of the chromatic scale to construct the piece. The suite is comprised of nine dances, and makes retrospective accounts of the baroque forms showing the extent to which old forms were vital tonewworks. The use of the tone row in the Intermezzo is particularly interesting and effective in its complexity. The row divides into three parts and then is inverted at an interval ofsixsemitones, this fabricates a multitude of intricate and varying textures that make the piece stylistically

resembletheemotionalparametersofolder,Brahmsianintermezzi. Webern was a pioneer of the development of the small motif. After beginning with a 12tone row, Webern would divide up the row into smaller cells of notes,usually3.Thesethree notes would then be developed in terms of dynamics, pitch, time and thena new cell would be introduced. In the1934 Concerto for Nine Instruments, Op. 24Webern uses thethreenote cell extensively in ordertoderivetherestofthecomposition.The piececommenceswithflute,oboe, clarinet, and trumpet playing the threenote cells, made up of same two intervals a major third and a minor ninth.These are played at a variety of different speeds. In this kind of composition the cell of notes would not usually deviate in pitch, instead the melody would be constructed through the careful manipulation of timbre and time. Musicalcompositionwassimultaneouslyat its most basic, yet at the forefront of musicaladvancement. Whitall states that Webern made the large claim that composition withtwelvetoneshasachievedadegreeofcompleteunitythat wasnotevenapproximatelytherebefore.

Bergs lastwork,hisViolinConcertoof1935usestonerowsbutinamuchmorefreeand expressive mannerthan Schoenberg and Webern. Berg utilised thestrict serial techniques laid down by schoenberg, but also free atonality in order to create musical ideas. Berg uses the twelvetone technique of nonrepeated notes filling the chromatic scale, yet Berg puts the tone row in a seemingly tonal manner. When the tone row is analysed it can beseentobemadeup of ascending arpeggiated triadic chords G minor, D major, A minor, and E major respectively. The Violin Concerto notably doffs his cap to his musical ancestors by quoting a portion of a chorale melody by Bach the first notes of this chorale are also the final four notes of Bergs tonerow. A folk song Ein Vogelm Zwetschgenbaum is also quoted, this can be heard in the allegro sectionofthefirstmovement.TheConcertoisintwomovements, whichuseolderforms skillfully.Thefirstmovementmakesuseofsonataformintheandante section,progressingtoan allegro. In the second movement, which again commences with an allegro, a demanding virtuosic cadenza typical of romantic concertos, adds drama and passionate expression tothe piece. Works akin to Schoenbergs Suite for Piano inspired Webern abundantly. With the Variations forPiano,Op.27composedin1936,Webernbroughtthetwelvetonesystemintothe realm of small microcosms of musical invention, whereby music would be experienced in exceedinglyconciseburstssomeonlyafewsecondsinlength. Webern may have beeninfluencedbytheotherminiatureworks,asthosewrittenbySchumann. In the first variationthetonerowisorderedsymmetrically.Thetonalityoftheworkisintriguingas Webern uses the tonerow in a subtle manner in order to control the pitch, showing a development of the tonerowmethod,asatonerowisnotdesignedtocontrolthepitch.Theuse of symmetry in Webern is also present in his Symphony, Op.21. Written in 1928 it contains symmetrical form and harmony.In order toaccomplish this Webern usesassortedtechniques, including a canon, and a more complex double canon. The tonerow also substantiates uniformity, as the intervals of the first sixnotes are retrograded in order to derivethe remaining

six notes. Both extracts of music have be chosen to illustrate that symmetry was particularly fundamental to Webern, as symmetry demonstrated a certain degree of musical purity and perfection,whichhestrivedfor. Musical composition of this era, while eventually breaking all previous boundaries of tonality and harmony, remained musically indebted to the structures designed by the artistic forefathersofhistory.Thesecondviennaschoolshould notbecompartmentalisedintoaspecific style, however, as there were important differing characteristics in the works of each member composer. Schoenbergs own tonerow method influenced both Webern and Berg, yet Webern took the notions of the twelve tone to its most extreme and rigid level whereas Bergs music developed to encompass extraordinary romanticism. This music is still somewhat misunderstood, the atonality is jarring compared to most music of the classical genre yet a great deal of Bergs and Schoenbergs works have become popular in modern times. These compositions represent the ultimate in artistic expression, and have influenced many new generations of composers, from Cage and Boulez to Stockhausen and Carter. Music of the second viennese school still has the same resonance,potency,andoriginalityasitdidalmosta centuryago.


Bach,D.J.(Jan.,1936),ANoteonArnoldSchoenberg',TheMusicalQuarterly,Vol.22,No.1, pp.813. Bailey,K1998,TheLifeofWebern,CambridgeUniversityPress,Cambridge. Brook,D1946,Composers'Gallery,2ndedition,Rockliff,London. Frisch,W.1993,TheEarlyWorksofArnoldSchoenberg,18931908,NewEdition,Universityof CaliforniaPress. Hayes,M1995,AntonVonWebern,Phaidon,London. Hyde,M,M.(Autumn,1983),'TheFormatandFunctionofSchoenberg'sTwelveToneSkecthes', JournaloftheAmericanMusicology,California,Vol.36,No.3,pp.453460. Hyde,M.M.(Oct.,1980),TheTelltaleSketches:HarmonicStructuresinSchoenberg's TwelveToneMethod,TheMusicalQuarterly,Vol.66,No.4,pp.560580. Kuster,A.2004,Berg:AnalysisofPianoSonata,Op.1[online],p.1,Availablefrom:[Accessed:5.4.2008] Lantham,A(Editor)2002,TheOxfordCompaniontoMusic,OxfordUniversityPress,New York. Ogdon,W.(Spring,1962),'AWebernAnalysis',JournaloftheMusictheory,DukeUniversity Press,Vol.6,No.1,pp.133138. Pople,A.1991,Berg:ViolinConcerto,CambridgeUniversityPress,Cambridge. Pople,A(Editor)1997,TheCambridgeCompaniontoBerg,CambridgeUniversityPress, Cambridge. Stein,L(Editor)1975,StyleandIdea:SelectedWritingsofArnoldSchoenberg,Faberand Faber,London. Thompson,W.2002,TheGreatComposers,AnnessPublishingLimited,HongKong. Whittall,A(Apr.,1973),Schoenberg,TheMusicalTimes,Vol.114,No.1562,pp.377378. Whittall,A(Autumn,2001),Schoenbergsince1951:OverlappingOpposites,TheMusical Times,Vol.142,No.1876,pp.1120. Whitall,A.(Dec.,1983),'WebernandAtonality:ThePathfromtheOldAesthetic',TheMusical Times,Vol.124,No.1690,pp.733737. Whittall,A(Winter,1999),TwentiethCenturyMusicinRetrospect:FulfilmentorBetrayal?,The MusicalTimes,Vol.140,No.1869,pp.1121.

DiscographyofRecordingsUsed Craft,R2005,WebernSymphonyConcertofor9Instruments[AudioCD],Naxos. Craft,R2007,Schoenberg:PierrotLunaire,ChamberSymphonyNo.1,4OrchestralSongs, Hergewachse[AudioCD],Naxos. Hill,P(1999),Schoenberg,Berg,Webern:PianoMusic[AudioCD],Naxos. Levine,J.1992,Berg:ViolinConcerto[AudioCD],DeutscheGrammophon. Levine,J.2001,Wagner:OrchestralMusic[AudioCD],DeutscheGrammophon. Karajan,H.v.(1998),Schoenberg:VerklarteNachtOelleasundMelisande[AudioCD], UniversalClassics. Monsaingeon,B(2007),GlennGould:TheAlchemist[DVD],EMIClassics. Appendices Timeline/PlaylistofWorks WagnerTristanandIsolde,Prelude,excerpt3:23 SchoenbergVerklteNacht,Op.4:I.Grave6:40 BergPianoSonata,Op.112:07 SchoenbergPierrotLunaire,Op.21,PartII:No.9.PrayertoPierrot1:06 SchoenbergSuiteforPiano,Op.25,Intermezzo4:12 WebernConcertoforNineInstruments,Op.24:1.Etwaslebhaft2:47 BergViolinConcerto:I.AndanteScherzo11:32 WebernVariationsforPiano,Op.27,I.Sehrmssig2:04 WebernSymphony,Op.21:II,Variationen2:36 FurtherListening Schoenberg SixLittlePiecesforPiano,Op.19 ChamberSymphony,Op.38 PianoConcerto,Op.42 Berg Lulu Kammerkonzert LyricSuite Webern PassacagliaforOrchestra,Op.1 ThreeLittlePiecesforCelloandPiano,Op.11 StringQuartet,Op.28 Wagner PreludefromParsifal