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Contents

Music in the Early Twentieth Century

AT THE OPPOSITE EXTREME

Chapter:
CHAPTER 6 Inner Occurrences (Transcendentalism, III)
Source:
MUSIC IN THE EARLY TWENTIETH CENTURY
Author(s):
Richard Taruskin
At the Opposite Extreme

ex. 6-25a Arnold Schoenberg, Die Jakobsleiter, mm. 1–8

At the Opposite Extreme

ex. 6-25b Complementary hexachord and derivative harmonies

The idea of the “aggregate” or full chromatic gamut as symbolizing closure, or (more practically) as providing the opportunity for it, is curiously corroborated at the opposite end of the temporal and expressive scale by a number of pieces of extraordinary—indeed unprecedented—brevity. Among the most curious yet (backhandedly) characteristic products of the maximalist impulse, they bore a relationship to Beethoven’s Bagatelles (or Schubert’s Moments musicaux) comparable to the relationship that Gurrelieder or Die Jakobsleiter bore to the Ninth Symphony. They provided an arena in which Schoenberg, and even more enthusiastically and committedly his pupil Webern, could strive for the maximum in compression—“every glance a poem, every sigh a novel,” as Schoenberg put it in a preface he contributed to the first edition of Webern’s Bagatelles for string quartet, composed in 1911–1913 but only published in 1924. Even at the tiny end, determined extremism of this kind is a mark of the maximalist impulse.

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. 18 Dec. 2018. <http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume4/actrade-9780195384840-div1-006018.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 18 Dec. 2018, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume4/actrade-9780195384840-div1-006018.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 18 Dec. 2018, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume4/actrade-9780195384840-div1-006018.xml
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