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Arnold Schoenberg (Critical Lives)

Mark Berry

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Reaktion Books
11 February 2019
Music; Individual composers & musicians, bands & groups; Biography: arts & entertainment
Series: Critical Lives
The most radical and divisive composer of the twentieth century, Arnold Schoenberg remains a hero to many, and a villain to many others. In this refreshingly balanced biography, Mark Berry tells the story of Schoenberg's remarkable life and work, situating his tale within the wider symphony of nineteenth- and twentieth-century history. Born in the Jewish quarter of his beloved Vienna, Schoenberg left Austria for his early career in Berlin as a leading light of Weimar culture, before being forced to flee in the dead of night from Hitler's Third Reich. He found himself in the United States, settling in Los Angeles, where he would inspire composers from George Gershwin to John Cage.

Introducing all of Schoenberg's major musical works, from his very first compositions, such as the String Quartet in D Major, to his invention of the twelve-tone method, Berry explores how Schoenberg's revolutionary approach to musical composition incorporated Wagnerian late Romanticism and the brave new worlds of atonality and serialism. Essential reading for anyone interested in the music and history of the twentieth century, this book makes clear Schoenberg changed the history of music forever.

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By:   Mark Berry
Imprint:   Reaktion Books
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 200mm,  Width: 130mm, 
ISBN:   9781789140873
ISBN 10:   1789140870
Series:   Critical Lives
Pages:   224
Publication Date:   11 February 2019
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Further / Higher Education
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Mark Berry is a reader in music history at Royal Holloway, University of London. He is the author of Treacherous Bonds and Laughing Fire: Politics and Religion in Wagner's Ring and After Wagner: Histories of Modernist Music Drama from Parsifal to Nono. He also regularly reviews concert and opera performances for his popular blog, Boulezian.

Reviews for Arnold Schoenberg (Critical Lives)

Though Schoenberg's music maintains its reputation in his native Austria and to a lesser degree elsewhere in Europe, in North America his name has fallen out of the constellation of musical luminaries. Berry's succinct biography and critical overview will serve to remedy that in part. Berry seizes on both the technical features of Schoenberg's remarkable music and the remarkable cultural context in which it developed. And he does so in an eminently readable style (only minimal appeal is made to musical technicalities such as sonata-allegro form). Thus lay readers should be able to make their way through the book without difficulty. . . . The book includes an excellent select discography with brief annotations and a very select bibliography. Recommended. http: //choiceconnect.org/webclipping/216600/tt7c0cx7acgpqn46gy_refmtp-e8ckgw5by2dkvem3t4dlxk-w--Choice A superb piece of writing: informative, engaging, and compact. It wears its considerable research with a winning lightness of touch. The best introduction to the composer. --Thomas Hyde, composer and lecturer in music at Worcester College, University of Oxford


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