BERG AND WEBERN
How I would like to be able to write happy music like that! ALBAN BERG, IN CONVERSATION WITH PAUL COLLAER, AFTER HEARING A COMPOSITION BY MILHAUD.
Of all the Schoenberg disciples Alban Berg and Anton Webern proved to be the most significant. Along with their teacher they have been called the second Viennese school-- high praise indeed when one remembers that Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven constitute the first.
As pointed out in Chapter IV, the young Berg and Webern adopted the style of their master and first wrote in a highly charged chromatic style; when he turned to atonality, they too abandoned the major-minor system and wrote short expressionist pieces for orchestra and chamber groups. When Schoenberg worked out the principles of twelve-tone composition they were at his side, but at this point the similarities in their music ceased and the younger men developed strongly personal styles. Although they remained lifelong friends, their later careers and music followed diverging paths. Stravinsky comments on the contrast in their personalities and appearances in one of his "Conversations."
I have a photograph on my wall of Berg and Webern together dating from about the time of the composition of the Three Pieces for Orchestra. Berg is tall, loose-set, almost too beautiful;