Music as Autobiography- Translated by Ernest Bernhardt-Kabisch
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
In historical perspective, Alban Berg presents the twofold countenance of an artist who looks to the past as well as to the future. He was, to speak with Theodor W. Adorno, one of the boldest musical inaugurators of the twentieth century. His work contains germs that came to fruition only after his death. At the same time he was not prepared to dispense with certain aesthetic postulates of the nineteenth century. Adorno’s dialectically balanced aperçu conforms much more closely to the facts of the matter than the rather undifferentiated judgments of Pierre Boulez.
The broad appeal of Berg’s work is in large measure due to this twofold character of his art....
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