Show Less
Restricted access

Alban Berg

Music as Autobiography- Translated by Ernest Bernhardt-Kabisch

Constantin Floros

The central point of this book is the realization that the creative work of Alban Berg, which in recent years has moved to the forefront of scholarly interest, is largely rooted in autobiography, so that therefore one can gain access to the music by studying the inner biography of its creator. Accordingly, the first of the three parts of this volume outlines a character portrait of this great composer. Part two considers the conditions relevant to a deeper understanding of Berg and of the Second Viennese School generally. In part three, then, Berg’s key works will be analyzed and semantically deciphered in terms of his inner biography. The study is based not only on the sources in print but also on the rich unpublished material. Alban Berg was incapable of composing without a program. He needed an extra-musical stimulus. With him, personal experience was the indispensable condition of the creative process: the autobiographic reference was all-important for composing.
Show Summary Details
Restricted access

Afterword: Berg – a Janus Face


“Alban Berg was certainly the most gifted of the entire crop of Schönberg pupils, probably altogether the most significant of the time.” Mahler692

“With faithful insistence, Berg, one of the boldest musical inaugurators of the twentieth century, yet preserved the postulates of the nineteenth, conserved the unbroken even after the break.” Adorno693

“For everything reassuring that these worthy musicians discover in Berg is precisely what we value the least: his Romanticism and – one regrets to have to say it – his dependence on tradition.”

“In truth, Berg is merely a final supreme flowering of the Wagner succession, one in which additionally the amiability of the Viennese waltz – in all its ghastly literal sense – and the emphatic nature of Italian verismo fuse in equal measure.” Pierre Boulez694

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.