“EMANCIPATION OF DISSONANCE”
In later life, Schoenberg liked to say that the musical explorations that made him notorious were thrust upon him against his will. Generalizing from what he perceived to be his own experience, he made bold to assert that “Art is born of ‘I must,’ not ‘I can.’”7 There was a certain pomposity to the claim. It smacked of Hegel’s “world-historical” figure, the unconscious or unwilling servant of history’s grand design. But there was a kernel of biographical truth in it as well. It is a fact that a period of severe psychological disturbance immediately preceded Schoenberg’s most radically maximalist phase. In 1906–1907 he suffered a major depression, one of several such periods that made his creative output sporadic. (The catalogue of no other comparably productive composer includes so many unfinished works.) His wife, neglected, deserted him and their two small children for a lover, the expressionist painter Richard Gerstl, who committed suicide when she returned to Schoenberg (the composer having also seriously if briefly contemplated taking his own life).
- Citation (MLA):
- Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 6 Inner Occurrences (Transcendentalism, III)." The Oxford History of Western Music. Oxford University Press. New York, USA. n.d. Web. 4 Aug. 2015. <http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume4/actrade-9780195384840-div1-006005.xml>.
- Citation (APA):
- Taruskin, R. (n.d.). Chapter 6 Inner Occurrences (Transcendentalism, III). In Oxford University Press, Music in the Early Twentieth Century. New York, USA. Retrieved 4 Aug. 2015, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume4/actrade-9780195384840-div1-006005.xml
- Citation (Chicago):
- Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 6 Inner Occurrences (Transcendentalism, III)." In Music in the Early Twentieth Century, Oxford University Press. (New York, USA, n.d.). Retrieved 4 Aug. 2015, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume4/actrade-9780195384840-div1-006005.xml