Monday, February 9, 2015

alban berg

Alban Maria Johannes Berg 
(February 9, 1885 – December 24, 1935) 

This Austrian composer from the Second Viennese School created a more emotional and accessible version of the twelve-tone technique by combining it with Romanticism.  Born in Vienna, he taught himself musical composition as a teenager before studying under Arnold Schoenberg.  He became involved in the cultural elite of Vienna and the performance of his Five Songs on Picture Postcard Texts by Peter Altenberg became known as the Skandalkonzert of March 31, 1913, when the audience, shocked by the experimental music of the Second Viennese School started a riot.  Berg served in the Austro-Hungarian Army during the first world war and released his first opera Wozzeck.  Berg assisted Schoenberg with his Society for Private Musical Performances, in which the radical music of their peers could be performed in a safe setting.  His final opera Lulu remained unfinished as he interrupted work on it to compose his Violin Concerto, a commission from the Russian-American violinist Louis Krasner.  He would not live to hear either performed.  He died at the age of fifty on Christmas Eve, from blood poisoning contracted from an insect-sting-induced carbuncle on his back.  

Berg would express:    "Music is at once the product of feeling and knowledge, for it requires from its disciples, composers and performers alike, not only talent and enthusiasm, but also that knowledge and perception which are the result of protracted study and reflection."


Violin Concerto



Five Songs on Picture Postcard Texts by Peter Altenberg  caused a riot when it premiered in 1913.

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