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The Music of Alban Berg (Composers of the Twentieth Century Serie)
Austrian composer Alban Berg (1855-1935), along with his contemporaries Arnold Schoenberg and Anton von Webern, altered the musical landscape of the Western world. Dave Headlam offers a comprehensive analysis of Berg's music in this book. He examines each of the composer's works - including the Piano Sonata, Opus I, the operas "Wozzeck" and "Lulu", and...
Austrian composer Alban Berg (1855-1935), along with his contemporaries Arnold Schoenberg and Anton von Webern, altered the musical landscape of the Western world. Dave Headlam offers a comprehensive analysis of Berg's music in this book. He examines each of the composer's works - including the Piano Sonata, Opus I, the operas "Wozzeck" and "Lulu", and the Violin Concerto - and defines the main components of his musical language. Charting Berg's development as he progressed from late-romantic tonality to atonality and finally to his own distinctive dodecaphonic language, Headlam demonstrates the compositional continuity that underlies all of Berg's music. Headlam closely analyses Berg's compositional technique and the use of symmetry and cycles throughout his oeuvre. He brings into the discussion Berg's own writings as well as those of composer and musicologist George Perle; the techniques of Schoenberg, Webern and other serialists; and aspects of pitch-class set and twelve-tone theory. Headlam contends that in his treatment of all musical elements - pitch, rhythmic, formal and even orchestrational techniques - Berg achieved a synthesis that transcends the surface distinctions of his tonal, atonal, and twelve-tone period and that the cyclic basis of these chronological periods differs in degree rather than in kind. Berg's achievement of this synthesis foreshadows later developments in the work of his many musical heirs.
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