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Anton Webern (1883 – 1945). Who is the man behind the mask?. A PowerPoint presentation by: Jason Messinger. Anton Friedrich Wilhelm von Webern (1883 – 1945). By Jason Messinger

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anton webern 1883 1945
Anton Webern(1883 – 1945)

Who is the man behind the mask?

A PowerPoint presentation by:

Jason Messinger

anton friedrich wilhelm von webern 1883 1945

Anton Friedrich Wilhelm von Webern(1883 – 1945)

By Jason Messinger

“Doomed to a total failure in a deaf world of ignorance and indifference he inexorably kept on cutting out his diamonds, his dazzling diamonds, the mines of which he had such a perfect knowledge.” – Igor Stravinsky

there are a lot of questions you want answered right
There are a lot of questions you want answered right?

Let’s start with what works he has that makes him a composer?

works by anton webern
Works by Anton Webern
  • Passacaglia Op. 1
  • Entflieht auf leichtenKähnen Op. 2
  • Fünf Lieder Op. 3
  • Fünf Lieder Op. 4
  • FünfSätze Op. 5
  • SechsStücke Op. 6
  • VierStücke Op. 7
  • Zwei Lieder Op. 8
  • SechsBagatellen Op. 9
  • FünfStücke Op. 10
  • DreikleineStücke Op. 11
  • Vier Lieder Op. 12
works continued
Works Continued!
  • Vier Lieder Op. 13
  • Sechs Lieder Op. 14
  • Fünfgeistliche Lieder Op. 15
  • FünfKanons Op. 16
  • DreiVolkstexte Op. 17
  • Drei Lieder Op. 18
  • Zwei Lieder Op. 19
  • Streichtrio Op. 20
  • Symphonie Op. 21
  • Quartett Op. 22
  • DreiGesänge Op. 23
  • Konzert Op. 24
  • Drei Lieder Op. 25
works continued again
Works Continued! (Again…)
  • Das Augenlicht Op. 26
  • Variationen Op. 27
  • Streichquartett Op. 28
  • Kantate Nr. 1 Op. 29
  • Variationen Op. 30
  • Kantate Nr. 2 Op. 31
so you think that s a lot of works
So you think that's a lot of works?

Let’s review and see just how long these songs would last all together!!!

works by anton webern1
Works by Anton Webern
  • Passacaglia Op. 1
  • Entflieht auf leichtenKähnen Op. 2
  • Fünf Lieder Op. 3
  • Fünf Lieder Op. 4
  • FünfSätze Op. 5
  • SechsStücke Op. 6
  • VierStücke Op. 7
  • Zwei Lieder Op. 8
  • SechsBagatellen Op. 9
  • FünfStücke Op. 10
  • DreikleineStücke Op. 11
  • Vier Lieder Op. 12

74’18 Minutes

Just for this

Section!

works continued1
Works Continued!
  • Vier Lieder Op. 13
  • Sechs Lieder Op. 14
  • Fünfgeistliche Lieder Op. 15
  • FünfKanons Op. 16
  • DreiVolkstexte Op. 17
  • Drei Lieder Op. 18
  • Zwei Lieder Op. 19
  • Streichtrio Op. 20
  • Symphonie Op. 21
  • Quartett Op. 22
  • DreiGesänge Op. 23
  • Konzert Op. 24
  • Drei Lieder Op. 25

75’20 Minutes

For this section!

works continued again1
Works Continued! (Again…)
  • Das Augenlicht Op. 26
  • Variationen Op. 27
  • Streichquartett Op. 28
  • Kantate Nr. 1 Op. 29
  • Variationen Op. 30
  • Kantate Nr. 2 Op. 31

About 45 Minutes

For this section!

how long does all of webern s music last
How long does all of Webern's music last?

Roughly

3 hours and

15 minutes!

s o what makes his music good
So what makes his music good?

Let’s take a look into Webern’s techniques!

webern s beliefs in music
Webern's beliefs in music!
  • Music involves the presentation of ideas that can be expressed in no other way.
  • Music operates according to rules of order based on natural law rather than taste.
  • Great art does what is necessary, not arbitrary.
  • Evolution in art is necessary.
  • History – and thus musical idioms and practices – can move only forward, not backward!
webern s belief with the 12 tone scale
Webern's belief with the 12 tone scale!
  • Webern argued in a series of lectures published posthumously as The Path to the New Music.
    • Webern argued that twelve-tone music was the inevitable result of music’s evolution because it combined the most advanced approaches to pitch (using all twelve chromatic notes), musical space (integrating the melodic and harmonic dimensions), and the presentation of musical ideas (combining Classical forms with polyphonic procedures and unity with variety, deriving every element from the thematic material).
webern s view on history musical
Webern's view on History! (musical)
  • Webern regarded each step along the way from tonality to atonality to twelve-tone music as an act of discovery, not invention.
    • This gave him, and Schoenberg, total confidence in their own work, despite the incomprehension and opposition they encountered from performers and listeners.
some interesting facts about his musical style
Some interesting facts about his musical style.
  • His 4th of his 5 Pieces for Orchestra Op. 10, scored for clarinet, trumpet, trombone, mandolin, celesta, harp, drum, violin, and viola, takes only 19 seconds to play.
  • His music achieves the utmost subtilization of expressive means.
  • He extended the principle of nonrepetition of notes to tone colors with the twelve-tone method.
  • Typically, each 12 tone row is divided into symmetric sections of 2, 4, or 6 members, which enter mutually into intricate but invariably logical canonic imitations.
interesting facts continued
Interesting facts continued
  • Inversions and augmentations are inherent features
  • Melodically and harmonically, the intervals of the major seventh and minor ninth are stressed.
  • Single motifs are brief, and stand out as individual particles or lyric ejaculations.
  • He first used the serial technique in his Dreigesitliche Volkslieder (3 spiritual folksongs) 1924.
  • The impact of Webern’s works on the general public and on the critics was disconcerting, and upon occasion led to violent demonstrations.
  • The extraordinary skill and novelty of technique made Webern’s music endure beyond the fashions of the times.
n ow we have a general idea of webern s techniques
Now we have a general idea of Webern's techniques!

Let’s check out how he came about learning everything by reviewing his life story!

anton webern s life story
Anton Webern's Life Story!
  • Born in Vienna, Austria on December 3, 1883, as Anton Friedrich Wilhelm von Webern.
  • Died on September 15, 1945 when an American soldier accidentally shot and killed him.

Fun Fact:

Webern

Dropped

His middle

Names and

The von in 1918 as

Directed by the

Austrian

Government’s

Reforms after

WWI

slide21

First musical instruction was received by his mother who was an amateur pianist.

  • He played the cello in the orchestra while studying piano, cello, and theory with Edwin Komauer in Klagenfurt.
  • In 1902 he entered the University of Vienna, where he studied harmony with Graedener and counterpoint with Navratil.
    • During this time, he also attended classes in musicology with Guido Adler!
  • He received his Ph.D. in 1906 with a dissertation on Heinrich Isaac’s ChoralisConstantinus II.
slide22

In 1904, he began private studies in composition with Arnold Schoenberg, whose ardent disciple he became!

  • Alban Berg also studied with Schoenberg and all together, they laid the foundations of the 2nd Viennese School of composition!
t he 2 nd viennese school of composition
The 2nd Viennese School of Composition
  • Their music was initially characterized by post-Romantic expanded tonality and later, following Schoenberg’s own evolution, a totally-chromatic expressionism without firm tonal centre (often referred to as atonality) and later still Schoenberg’s serial twelve-tone technique.
  • Malevolent opponents referred S.,B., and W. as a Vienna Trinity.
    • Schoenberg – God the Father
    • Berg – God the Son
    • Webern – Holy Ghost
      • The last appelation was supposed to describe the phantomlike substance of some of Webern’s works.
webern s life continued
Webern's life continued.
  • From 1908 – 1914 he was active as a conductor in Vienna and in Germany.
  • In 1917 – 1918, he was the conductor at the Deutsches Theater in Prague.
  • In 1918, he settled in Mödling, near Vienna, where he taught composition privately.
  • He supervised the programs of the VereinfürMusikalischePrivataufführungen (Society for Private Musical Performances) from 1918 – 1922.
    • These performances were organized in Vienna by Schoenberg with the intention of promoting modern music without being exposed to reactionary opposition.
slide25

He was conductor of the Schubertbund from 1921-1922 and the Mödling Male Chorus from 1921 – 1926.

  • He led the Vienna Workers’ Symphony concerts and the Vienna Worker’s Chorus from 1922 – 1934.
  • From 1927 – 1938 he was a conductor on the Austrian Radio.
    • He conducted guest engagements in Germany, Switzerland, and Spain.
  • From 1929, he made several visits to England, where he was a guest conductor with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
slide26

For the most part, Webern devoted himself to composition, private teaching, and lecturing.

  • After Hitler came to power in Germany in 1933, Webern’s music was banned as a manifestation of “cultural Bolshevism” and “degenerate art.”
  • After Anschluss in 1938, his works could no longer be published.
  • He then simply taught a few private pupils and made piano arrangements of musical scores by others for Universal Edition.
    • He was an editor and proofreader for Universal Editon.
some personal facts about webern
Some personal facts about Webern
  • After his son was killed in an air bombardment of a train in Feb. 1945, he and his wife fled from Vienna to Mittersill, near Salzburg, to stay with his married daughters and grandchildren, where he believed he would be safer.
  • On September 15, 1945, during the Allied occupation of Austria, he was shot dead by an American Army soldier following the arrest of his son-in-law for black market activities. Despite the curfew in effect, Webern stepped outside the house to enjoy a cigar without disturbing his sleeping grandchildren. He was then shot by army cook Pfc. Raymond Norwood Bell.
    • Pfc. Bell was overcome by remorse and died of alcoholism in 1955.
    • Ironically, the war had officially ended by the time of Webern’s assassination. (WWII)
now we know a good amount about webern
Now we know a good amount about Webern.
  • Let’s put our new knowledge and research together and analyze his piece, Wie bin ichFroh! No. 1 of Drei Lieder, Op. 25
    • Follow this link to the glogster about this piece
    • Or, listen to the music by clicking on this speaker:
    • Or just go back to the wikispace
the end

The End!

By Jason L. Messinger