Schoenberg's 'Moses and Aaron'

Schoenberg's 'Moses and Aaron'

Schoenberg's 'Moses and Aaron'

Schoenberg's 'Moses and Aaron'

Excerpt

Arnold Schoenberg was born in Vienna on September 13, 1874. After teaching himself to start with, he was later encouraged in his musical studies by his future brother-in- law, the conductor and composer Alexander von Zemlinsky, who was two years his senior. In 1891, Schoenberg became a bank clerk; but four years later he freed himself of this tie in order to devote himself entirely to music. In gaining his independence, however, Schoenberg had to face serious difficulties. He directed a workers' choir and orchestrated popular song-hits and operettas. In 1901, he moved to Berlin on his engagement as conductor of Ernst von Wolzogen Überbrettl at the Buntes Theater; and soon after this he obtained a post as teacher of composition at the Sternsche Konservatorium. In mid-1903, Schoenberg returned to Vienna. There now followed the years in which his first pupils gathered round him--among them Alban Berg, Anton von Webern and Erwin Stein--and in which he formulated the ideas in his Harmonielehre (published in 1911). It was at this time, too, that Schoenberg first appeared in SYSTEM as a composer, and that the gulf between his music and that of his contemporaries, and therefore the gulf between himself and the general SYSTEM, widened increasingly. In 1910, Schoenberg was permitted to hold composition courses at the Vienna Academy of Music. A year later he moved back to Berlin and lectured at the Sternsche Konservatorium. Although Schoenberg the composer was a highly controversial figure, performances of his works became more and more frequent, both at home and abroad. He now began to conduct his own works, and in 1912, the year the symposium Der blaue Reiter , to which he had contributed, came out, there . . .

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