Arnold Schoenberg

Arnold Schoenberg or Schönberg (German: <ˈaːʁnɔlt ˈʃøːnbɛʁk>; 13 September 1874 – 13 July 1951) was an Austrian composer and also painter, associated through the expressionist activity in German poeattempt and also art, and leader of the Second Viennese School. With the climb of the Nazi Party, by 1938 Schoenberg’s works were labelled as degenerate music because he was Jewish (Anon. 1997–2013); he relocated to the United States in 1934.

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Schoenberg’s strategy, both in regards to harmony and development, has actually been among the a lot of influential of 20th-century musical thought. Many European and also Amerihave the right to composers from at least 3 generations have consciously extfinished his reasoning, whereas others have actually passionately reacted versus it.

Schoenberg was known beforehand in his career for concurrently extfinishing the traditionally opposed German Romantic formats of Brahms and Wagner. Later, his name would involved personify innovations in atonality (although Schoenberg himself detested that term) that would end up being the a lot of polemical function of 20th-century art music. In the 1920s, Schoenberg occurred the twelve-tone technique, an influential compositional strategy of manipulating an ordered series of all twelve notes in the chromatic scale. He likewise coined the term occurring variation and was the first contemporary composer to adopt means of arising motifs without resorting to the prominence of a centralized melodic concept.

Schoenberg was also a painter, an essential music thinker, and also an influential teacher of composition; his students contained Alban Berg, Anton Webern, Hanns Eisler, Egon Wellesz, and also later John Cage, Lou Harriboy, Earl Kim, Leon Kirchner, and also other prominent musicians. Many of Schoenberg’s techniques, consisting of the formalization of compositional approach and his halittle of openly inviting audiences to think analytically, are echoed in avant-garde musical thought throughout the 20th century. His frequently polemical views of music history and also aesthetics were vital to many considerable 20th-century musicologists and also critics, including Theodor W. Adorno, Charles Rosen and Carl Dahlhaus, and the pianists Artur Schnabel, Rudolf Serkin, Eduard Steuermann and also Glenn Gould.

Schoenberg’s archival tradition is collected at the Arnold Schönberg Center in Vienna.


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Schoenberg’s Der Rote Blick (Red Gaze), 1910 

During the summer of 1910, Schoenberg created his Harmonielehre (Theory of Harmony, Schoenberg 1922), which remains one of the many prominent music-theory publications. From about 1911, Schoenberg belonged to a circle of artists and also pundits who consisted of Lene Schneider-Kainer, Franz Werfel, Herwarth Walden and also the latter’s wife, Else Lasker-Schüler.

In 1910 he met Edward Clark, an English music journalist then working in Germany. Clark ended up being his single English student, and in his later capacity as a producer for the BBC he was responsible for presenting many type of of Schoenberg’s functions, and also Schoenberg himself, to Britain (and also Webern, Berg and also others).

Anvarious other of his most crucial functions from this atonal or pantonal period is the extremely prominent Pierrot Lunaire, Op. 21, of 1912, a novel cycle of expressionist songs collection to a German translation of poems by the Belgian-French poet Albert Giraud. Utilizing the strategy of Sprechstimme, or melodrastically spoken recitation, the job-related pairs a female vocalist with a small ensemble of 5 musicians. The ensemble, which is currently frequently described as the Pierrot ensemble, is composed of flute (doubling on piccolo), clarinet (doubling on bass clarinet), violin (doubling on viola), violoncello, speaker, and also piano.

Wilhelm Bopp, director of the Vienna Conservatory from 1907, wanted a break from the stale setting personified for him by Robert Fuchs and also Hermann Graedener. Having taken into consideration many kind of candidates, he offered teaching positions to Schoenberg and Franz Schreker in 1912. At the time Schoenberg lived in Berlin. He was not entirely cut off from the Vienna Conservatory, having actually taught a exclusive concept course a year earlier. He seriously thought about the sell, yet he decreased. Writing afterward to Alban Berg, he cited his “aversion to Vienna” as the major reason for his decision, while contemplating that it can have been the wrong one financially, however having made it he felt content. A couple of months later on he wrote to Schreker arguing that it could have been a bad principle for him as well to accept the teaching place (Hailey 1993, 55–57).

World War I


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Later, Schoenberg wregarding construct the many prominent variation of the dodecaphonic (additionally known as twelve-tone) strategy of composition, which in French and also English was given the alternate name serialism by René Leibowitz and Humphrey Searle in 1947. This strategy was taken up by many kind of of his students, who constituted the so-dubbed 2nd Viennese School. They had Anton Webern, Alban Berg and also Hanns Eisler, all of whom were profoundly affected by Schoenberg. He publiburned a number of publications, varying from his famous Harmonielehre (Theory of Harmony) to Fundamentals of Musical Complace (Schoenberg 1967), many type of of which are still in print and supplied by musicians and also developing composers.

Schoenberg viewed his advancement as a organic progression, and also he did not deprecate his previously works when he ventured into serialism. In 1923 he wrote to the Swiss philanthropist Werner Reinhart:

“For the present, it matters even more to me if people understand also my older works … They are the herbal forerunners of my later on functions, and also just those who understand and also comprehend these will have the ability to get an knowledge of the later functions that goes beyond a fashionable bare minimum. I perform not attach so a lot prestige to being a musical bogey-male regarding being a herbal continuer of properly-construed excellent old tradition!” (Stein 1987, 100; quoted in Strimple 2005, 22)

His initially wife passed away in October 1923, and also in August of the following year Schoenberg married Gertrud Kolisch (1898–1967), sister of his pupil, the violinist Rudolf Kolisch (Neighbour 2001; Silverman 2010, 223). She wrote the libretto for Schoenberg’s one-act opera Von heute auf morgen under the pseudonym Max Blonda. At her repursuit Schoenberg’s (inevitably unfinished) item, Die Jakobsleiter was ready for performance by Schoenberg’s student Winfried Zillig. After her husband’s fatality in 1951 she started Belmont Music Publishers devoted to the publication of his functions (Shoaf 1992, 64). Arnold supplied the notes G and E♭ (German: Es, i.e., “S”) for “Gertrud Schoenberg”, in the Suite, for septet, Op. 29 (1925) (MacDonald 2008, 216) (check out musical cryptogram).

Following the 1924 death of composer Ferruccio Busoni, that had offered as Director of a Master Class in Composition at the Prussian Academy of Arts in Berlin, Schoenberg was appointed to this short article the following year, but bereason of health problems was unable to take up his write-up till 1926. Among his significant students during this duration were the composers Roberto Gerhard, Nikos Skalkottas, and Josef Rufer.

Along with his twelve-tone works, 1930 marks Schoenberg’s go back to tonality, through numbers 4 and also 6 of the Six Pieces for Male Chorus Op.35, the other pieces being dodecaphonic (Auner 1999, 85).

Third Reich and also relocate to America

Schoenberg continued in his article until the Nazis pertained to power under Adolf Hitler in 1933. While vacationing in France, he was warned that returning to Germany type of would be dangerous. Schoenberg formally reclaimed membership in the Jewish religious beliefs at a Paris synagogue, then traveled with his family to the United States (Friedaffluent 1986, 31). However before, this taken place only after his attempts to relocate to Britain pertained to nopoint. He ennoted the assist of his former student and great champion Edward Clark, currently a senior producer with the BBC, in helping him obtain a British teaching article or even a British publisher, however to no avail.

His first teaching place in the USA was at the Malkin Conservatory in Boston. He moved to Los Angeles, wright here he taught at the University of Southern The golden state and also the College of California, Los Angeles, both of which later on named a music structure on their particular campprovides Schoenberg Hall (UCLA Department of Music <2008>; University of Southern California Thornton School of Music <2008>). He was appointed visiting professor at UCLA in 1935 on the referral of Otto Klemperer, music director and also conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra; and also the next year was promoted to professor at a salary of $5,100 per year, which enabled him in either May 1936 or 1937 to buy a Spanish Revival residence at 116 North Rockingham in Brentwood Park, close to the UCLA campus, for $18,000. This attend to was straight throughout the street from Shirley Temple’s home, and also tbelow he befrifinished fellow composer (and also tennis partner) George Gershwin. The Schoenbergs were able to employ domestic aid and also started holding Sunday afternoon gatherings that were known for great coffee and Viennese pastries. Frequent guests consisted of Otto Klemperer (who studied composition privately via Schoenberg beginning in April 1936), Edgard Varèse, Joseph Achron, Louis Gruenberg, Ernst Toch, and, on occasion, famous actors such as Harpo Marx and also Peter Lorre (Crawford 2009, 116; Feisst 2011, 6; Laskin 2008; MacDonald 2008, 79; Schoenberg 1975, 514; Starr 1997, 383; Watkins 2010, 114). Composers Leonard Rosenman and also George Tremblay stupassed away via Schoenberg at this time.

After his move to the United States in 1934 (Steinberg 1995, 463), the composer used the different spelling of his surname Schoenberg, rather than Schönberg, in what he dubbed “deference to Amerihave the right to practice” (Foss 1951, 401), though according to one writer he first made the adjust a year previously (Ross 2007, 45).

He lived tbelow the remainder of his life, but at initially he was not settled. In approximately 1934, he applied for a place of teacher of harmony and also theory at the New South Wales State Conservatorium in Sydney. The Director, Edgar Bainton, rejected him for being Jewish and also for having “modernist ideas and also dangerous tendencies”. Schoenberg likewise at once explored the concept of emoving to New Zealand also. His secretary and also student (and also nephew of Schoenberg’s mother-in-law Henriette Kolisch), was Ricdifficult (Dick) Hoffmann Jr, Viennese-born yet that resided in New Zealand 1935–47, and Schoenberg had actually since childhood been fascinated with islands, and via New Zealand also in certain, perhaps bereason of the beauty of the postage stamps issued by that country (Plush 1996).


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Throughout this last period, he written numerous noteworthy functions, consisting of the hard Violin Concerto, Op. 36 (1934/36), the Kol Nidre, Op. 39, for chorus and orchestra (1938), the Ode to Napoleon Buonaparte, Op. 41 (1942), the haunting Piano Concerto, Op. 42 (1942), and his memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, A Survivor from Warwitnessed, Op. 46 (1947). He was unable to complete his opera Moses und Aron (1932/33), which was one of the initially works of its genre to be composed entirely making use of dodecaphonic composition. Along through twelve-tone music, Schoenberg also returned to tonality via works in the time of his last period, prefer the Suite for Strings in G significant (1935), the Chamber Symphony No. 2 in E♭ minor, Op. 38 (started in 1906, completed in 1939), the Variations on a Recitative in D minor, Op. 40 (1941). Throughout this period his notable students had John Cage and also Lou Harrichild.

In 1941 he ended up being a citizen of the United States.

Later years and also death


Schoenberg’s superstitious nature might have actually prompted his death. The composer had triskaidekaphobia (the are afraid of the number 13), and also according to frifinish Katia Mann, he feared he would certainly die throughout a year that was a multiple of 13 (quoted in Lebrecht 1985, 294). He dreaded his sixty-fifth birthday in 1939 so much that a friend asked the composer and also astrologer Dane Rudhyar to prepare Schoenberg’s horoscope. Rudhyar did this and told Schoenberg that the year was dangerous, but not fatal.

But in 1950, on his seventy-sixth birthday, an astrologer composed Schoenberg a note warning him that the year was a vital one: 7 + 6 = 13 (Nuria Schoenberg-Nono, quoted in Lebrecht 1985, 295). This stunned and depressed the composer, for up to that suggest he had only been wary of multiples of 13 and never taken into consideration adding the digits of his age. He died on Friday, 13 July 1951, soon prior to midnight. Schoenberg had stayed in bed all day, sick, anxious and also depressed. His wife Gertrud reported in a telegram to her sister-in-law Ottilie the following day that Arnold passed away at 11:45 pm, 15 minutes before midnight (Stuckenschmidt 1977, 520). In a letter to Ottilie dated 4 August 1951, Gertrud defined, “About a quarter to twelve I looked at the clock and also shelp to myself: an additional quarter of an hour and then the worst is over. Then the doctor dubbed me. Arnold’s throat rattled twice, his heart provided a powerful beat and that was the end” (Stuckenschmidt 1977, 521).

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Schoenberg’s ashes were later interred at the Zentralfriedhof in Vienna on 6 June 1974 (McCoy 1999, 15).