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Hardcover Arnold Schoenberg's Journey Book

ISBN: 0374105901

ISBN13: 9780374105907

Arnold Schoenberg's Journey

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Book Overview

Winner of the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award in Concert Music Books Proposing that Arnold Schoenberg has been more discussed than heard, more tolerated than loved, Allen Shawn puts aside ultimate judgments... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

excellent book

Even if you don't read music, there is much to be gained from this book. The author's admiration for Schoenberg is evident and contagious. He is able to describe the music in ways that make you want to go put on a CD immediately. There are many intelligent insights, both musical and biographical. The writing style is lively and graceful. The chapter entitled 'On Being Short' could stand alone in a literary journal.

i like this book

This marvellous book evoked the sense of excitement/bemusement at encountering Schoenberg's music for the first time but also prompted me to investigate works which in the past i'd not given sufficent attention. Here's a few scattered quotes of what he has to say about 'Die Gluckliche Hand': 'that the representation of the unattainable is embodied in music that is itself dense and tangled is no accident.Although it is beautifully imagined and so headlong in its progress that it seems shorter than it is......yet it is precise in its intricacy,and the orchestration is lush and full of colour' pg.158 The moments of analyis are always free of technical jargon and i like the attention given to Schoenberg's painting as a means of illumination.Altogether a compelling read and well illustrated. The possible drawbacks are minor: for my liking,there are too many references to Robert Craft, and i don't understand what Shawn means when he describes Wagner as being earthbound in comparison with early Schoenberg(the prelude to Parsifal being one of the most weightless pieces of music i know).Also,i have a special affection for that most ravishing of choral works 'Friede auf Erden' op.13 so was sad to find no reference to this little gem. But please,go out and buy this book.It's got just the right tone of voice.Supplement with Rosen's more dense but equally thoughtful book.

a wonderful, sympathetic view

Allen Shawn's book is clearly a labor of love. This is remarkable, given that Schoenberg is notoriously difficult to love! I strongly recommend the book to anyone interested in one of the most influential composers of all time. Shawn is a composer, and presents careful treatments of several major compositions, complete with excerpts from the scores. He includes some fascinating biographical information, but the focus is the music. Schoenberg pioneered "atonal" music in the years right around 1910 parallel to Kandinsky's pioneering abstract painting, and in fact the two were friends and collaborators. Here is an amazing quote from Schoenberg: "It has never been the purpose and effect of new art to suppress the old, its predecessor, certainly not to destroy it. ... The appearance of the new can far better be compared with the flowering of a tree: it is the natural growth of the tree of life. But if there were trees that had an interest in preventing the flowering, then they would surely call it revolution. And conservatives of winter would fight against each spring. ... Short memory and meager insight suffice to confuse growth with overthrow." (p. 141)

Great Composer, Great Book

I don't understand musical notation, but when Mr. Shawn goes into detail, his inspiration is transmitted to me, and I want to go hear the work.Schoenberg is tough, true. But I hope people will read this book and see he was human and passionate. It's really silly that I haven't had the opportunity to hear one of the greatest composer's music in concert. Will that change?With more advocates such as Mr. Shawn, I can hope so.

A great book

Thank you, Allen Shawn, for putting Arnold Schoenberg in the light that he deserves to be viewed in.
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