Monday, November 1, 2010


This week's Music Track is perhaps the most "off-the-wall" piece I've selected so far, and some explanation is needed.

I grew up with all types of changes to the normal culture like modern art and music.  Rock and Roll was a part of that.  This track is off in a totally different direction.  It's Five Pieces for Orchestra by Anton Webern, written in 1911.  It's a true example of atonal music and it doesn't attract a huge audience.  I went to a number of avant garde performances in the sixties and found the experiences quite exhilerating.  Occasionally I still listen to poor old Webern or even his contemporaries Schoenberg and Alban Berg.

I say poor old Webern because he came to a sad end.  He was shot by an American soldier when he stepped out of his cabin in the woods in 1945.  Not wanting to disturb his grandchildren, he had gone out to smoke a cigar and the flame attracted the shot.  The shooter was filled with remorse and he died ten years later of alcoholism.  But as they say, the music lives on.  It is odd stuff and I'd appreciate your comments.  Could you ever learn to love it?

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