Wednesday, 12 December 2012

International Dodecaphonic Day

If only I had realised today (12.12.12.) was such – and yes, just like Schoenberg himself, it works in the New World as well the Old World – earlier today whilst I was at work in the Arnold Schönberg Center, I’m sure I could have dug out some choicer nuggets. Here anyway is a typically laconic summation of The Method from Webern’s Path to the New Music: ‘To develop everything … from one principal idea! That’s the strongest unity… But in what form? That’s where art comes in!’

And from Schoenberg’s own article, Composition with Twelve Tones:
… the validity of this form of thinking is … demonstrated by the … law of unity of musical space, best formulated as follows: the unity of musical space demands an absolute and unitary perception. In this space, as in Swedenborg’s heaven (described in Balzac’s Seraphita) there is no absolute down, no right or left, forward or backward. Every musical configuration, every movement of tones has to be comprehended primarily as a mutual relation of sounds, of oscillatory vibrations, appearing at different places and times.
Most important, here is the glistening Bauhaus-Musik of the Gigue from the op.25 Suite for Piano, rendered all the more pristine and dramatic by Maurizio Pollini:

Schoenberg n’est nullement mort.

1 comment:

Dominic Rivron said...

Argh! If only I'd thought of it! Coincidentally, I DID play Stockhausen's Leo from Tierkreis with a pupil which I think uses a form of 12-note composition. We talked about the structure, too. It would have been great to associate the activity with the date - but unfortunately I didn't put 2 and 2 together to make 12.

Numerology aside, perhaps there ought to be an International Dodecaphonic Day every year, not just once a century - not as completist as 12/12/12, but just the plain old 12th December.