Alban Berg

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Bust of Alban Berg at Schiefling, Carinthia, Austria

Alban Maria Johannes Berg (February 9, 1885December 24, 1935) was an Austrian composer. He was a member of the Second Viennese School along with Arnold Schoenberg and Anton Webern, producing works that combined Mahlerian romanticism with a highly personal adaptation of Schoenberg's twelve-tone technique.

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  • "If...Berg departs so radically from tradition, through his substitution of a symmetrical partitioning of the octave for the asymmetrical partionings of the major/minor system, he departs just as radically from the twelve-tone tradition that is represented in the music of Schoenberg and Webern, for whom the twelve-tone series was always an integral structure that could be transposed only as a unit, and for whom twelve-tone music always implied a constant and equivalent circulation of the totality of pitch classes."
  • "I think the origin of all this clamour for tonality is not so much the need to sense a relationship to the tonic, as a need for familiar chords: let us be frank and say "for the triad"; and I believe I have good reason to say that just so long as a certain kind of music contains enough such triads, it causes no offence, even if in other ways it most violently clashes with the sacred laws of tonality."
    • Alban Berg, quoted in Reich, Willi (1971). Schoenberg: A Critical Biography, p.34. Translated by Leo Black.

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