Arnold Schönberg himself considered the work as a turning-point not in his career, but in his conception of music. It was the beginning of new era, the emancipation from the Austro-German Romantic tradition and its musical language. Schönberg’s String Quartet No. 1 in D Major (op. 7) respects the formal layout inherited from Brahms – four movements – and also the “structural cogency and clarity” of Brahms’ chamber music, as Oliver Neighbour, Paul Griffiths and George Perle write in their reference work “The New Grove – Second Viennese School”. What is new, the authors note, is the fact that Schönberg casts the work as a pure work of expressivity, held together rather by a line of thought, an emotional consecutiveness, than by a set of formal laws.
William Duckworth (b Morgantown, NC, Jan 13, 1943; d West New York, NJ, Sept 13, 2012 American composer. He participated in the 1988 Darmstadt Composition Forum and was the featured composer at the 1995 Ferrara Festival. Duckworth is best-known for his piano work “Time Curve Preludes” (1978), a composition considered by many to mark the beginning of postminimalism in music. So far for Oxford Music Online, which I shamelessly quote to start this post for lack of a better idea. Of course I could have started with the Labèque twin sisters, who share the responsibility for this post with the author (me!), but I have done that already in an earlier post about Philipp Glass.
As you may have noticed, occasionally paintings by Claude Monet illustrate my posts. I love the Impressionist paintings and Monet certainly is my favourite painter. In the wake of Impressionism sailed a group of painters that took the Impressionist technique to new extreme: Their paintings would exclusively consist of minuscule dots, paintings made like an ancient mosaic. Or like a picure composed of pixels. Since the dot’s name in French is “point”, this technique quickly went by the name of “Pointillism”.
This was so cool! Expect the unexpected, they say, and I try to, but I did not expect an encore to beat a full concert. No way. Quite a surprise and a good one with that. It made me vibrate the whole evening and eclipsed what I had heard before and after in such a way that I downloaded the piece during the break and listened to it one more time while driving home from the concert. And the following day I must have listened to it at least four or five more times.