thumbnail of Contemporary Music in Evolution; 4; 1910
Hide -
If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+
Good evening. And this is going to Schuller with another installment in the series contemporary music and evolution. We continue tonight where we left off. Namely was the year in 1910. That very productive year. You'll recall I had already played part of Mahler's Ninth Symphony Stravinsky's Firebird Suite and the first act of his opera. Well I seen some piano preludes of Debbie C as well as his defense a lot of the young. The last work they had been that we heard on this series quite some weeks ago where the five pieces for string orchestra string quartet the OPP was number immediately succeeding the string quartet pieces is an orchestral work. Undoubtedly at the present time they've been most often played composition. It is not his best work nor by any means his most important but it is one of the most accessible and conductors who feel the need to hop on the
vegan bandwagon which started rolling in this country about four years ago are readily attracted to the six pieces for orchestra Opus 6. In these six relatively short movements they've been the master of the short fall compresses musical experience to its most economical minimum in terms of duration and form. As the Expressionist approach developed composers and they have been foremost among them I felt that the only possible further intensification of expression was not through expansion and lodgment as in the many gigantic super orchestra works of the period but simply through compression by concentrating and reducing everything to its absolute essential. The long phrase was reduced to a single note or two notes or three notes. The super orchestras of Mahler Schoenberg and squeak have been reduced to chamber proportions even in full orchestra works the tendency was to treat each instrument on a chamber music level not to amass
huge orchestral sounds. The large bloated Sonata forms became repetition less short phones in which the variation principal and polyphony were the determining elements. These factors plus the fact that they've been continuity is a new one. A fragmented one in which lines appear not in one color or sound but are broken into many separate yet related chain like segments should be borne in mind when listening to Vevo. I say this only because I have found that if the listener continues to demand the long breathing lines of a Schubert let's say or the continuity of a Richard Strauss he can never even catch a glimpse of a man's special world. While they have been was concerned with these formal problems and with purification of expression most conductors have seen in these orchestral pieces only a series of effects. Unfortunately many of the sounds we have been created here. Where 30 years
later to become quite unwittingly and on a much lower level part of the repertoire of background music used in radio scripts shows soap operas and Grade B movies. The dissonant muted breasting for instance heralding the arrival of the villain is a piece of musical bric a brac without which the grade B drama seemingly cannot exist and its familiarity undoubtedly accounts somewhat for a degree of recognition when audiences listen to these vehement pieces especially when conductors over do these effects. Needless to say they've been was experimenting with new sound patterns and color proportions. Not eerie effects. The perfect recording of the six pieces forecaster does not exist as yet crafts recorded performance in the comp. they've been set is embarrassingly cold and virginal. The only other commercial recording is by the vest. Bad and bad in Germany conducted by Hans hall spot.
It is the one that I shall play. It has the right sound for the most part that is accurately played comes close to achieving the right expression and does not seek the easy sensational effect. Its only defect is that like all German orchestras the playing is a tiny bit wooden lacking some of the flexibility. She a virtuous city and lightness of sound that the almost French impressionist aspect of a man's music occasionally demands. There have been six pieces for castra Opus 6 played by the best funk artist or Abaddon Biden conducted by Hans hall spot.
There. No.
B B.
You are.
Why be. Woo woo. Mavens. Six pieces of art history of a six played by the best from dogs Dr. Baden Baden Germany conducted by Hans bond. Since I'm making such a fuss of excellence of performance especially in pieces that require the most perfected rendition in order to reach people I am very happy to be able to play a vibrant performance now which is perfect stylistically emotionally and technically it is a foments of the four pieces for Violin and Piano Opus 7 played by the young German violinist Massena and the pianist funs contact ski. Note the extraordinary clarity of the performance the avoidance of exaggeration for
the sake of easy effect and the absolute control and mastery of the technical problems. This applies to all four of these short pieces but is especially welcome in the first piece because this seemingly harmless piece lasting about a minute is historically one of the most important pieces in contemporary music. For in it they have been took the melody the concept the concept of a fragmented and very colored melody which I spoke about in connection with Schoenberg's 5 pieces for orchestra and makes it with typically German consequent logic a functional structural form building element. The violin in fact all string instruments is capable of producing a variety of sounds. The normal bowed tone the harmonics the pits the cattle that is the plucking of the string. A call ano I produce. Pode sound with a wooden part of the bell effect known as pointy cello an
effect produced by playing near the bridge producing a kind of glassy steely sound and several other tonal variance. Some of these effects had been used already in earlier centuries. The punter cello Francis was used by Rossini and the Barber of Seville and if memory serves me right even by months of Eddie but it had to await the first 10 years of our own century before composers began really using these sounds as a continuing normal aspect of string writing. In this first violin piece in Opus 7 they've been takes these sounds out of the realm of novel effect and actually build a piece with them. The violin plays only four phrases in the brief movement and each phrase is played with a different sound or color. The first phrase implies the sound of the violin harmonic high whistling sound. The second the normal one violin. The third phrase is played call
ano and the fourth and the last bits of cattle. This then is another example of how they have been reduces compositional or textural essentials to a pure minimum and builds his pieces and dance upon these essentials. In other words it is not a question of simply reducing the super forms of Wagner Mahler and others and trimming them down. On the contrary they haven't developed the pure small farm by starting with the smallest possible musical nuclei and building from there. The four pieces for Violin and Piano Opus 7 by Anton Vaniman.
But. You. Know.
Wow. And.
A remarkable performance of the four pieces for Violin and Piano Opus 7 have been played by the German violinist and the pianist funs Khan task. At about the same time they have been fellow pupil ban bag was finishing his first string quartet Opus 3. Barry who was always seeking a link to the past rather than Vevo and uncompromising past of the future is still in this opus 3 tied very much to late 19th century tradition especially the Tristan and pacifying the Wagner and the orchestral world of Mahler and Strauss was also more than about two Schoenberg second quartet. Beggs first quote It is a curiously an even work on the one hand it displays considerable mastery of farm a sureness of hand and an interesting attempt to incorporate the variation principle into the Sonata and Rondo
forms. On the other hand the thematic material is rather dated the expressive content is often extremely sentimental and pretty in a typically Viennese way and the climbing chromaticism becomes of a bearing at times and that it is a thing unto itself rather than a means to an end. Nonetheless I should like to play Baggs Opus 3 string quartet to lead you judge and evaluated for yourself. Especially since bag is considered by many the best composers of the three tonal lists a position which I myself cannot hold. It is played in a very dramatic performance by the late New music quite that.
What. Man.
And. One. Thing. Hey.
Losing. You. When you win. You. We'll. Move. On.
Oh. Yeah by. The book.
The in the. Head. In a. Thing we were. Willing go out. Louis. Illinois.
Wow a. Little. Dirty. I mean clean. It. Up.
Yes. Yes.
Will. You. Yes. I am. Don't. You. Know who. I am.
In. The US.
Yeah I. Knew. You. Lou. You were. Saying when. You were saying. M..
Yeah but. Lame. Thank. You and. I am.
Thank. You. Yeah. Yeah. Regarding. How many bags early string quartet Opus 3 played by the new music quite Tet. See if you can tell who composed the following music. Where.
The earth through the earth where the with the long way. Were. Working with. The air.
Well if you couldn't tell I guess. I don't blame you although there are some hallmarks of this composer's Matua style in this piece and even some similarities with the composer's very last works. Well that was part of number one. Two pictures by the then 29 year old Bela Bartok played by the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Georgie Ley him. I found this work interesting because it shows us by talking under the spell of the music of Debussy in the second piece which we will hear and we see by beginning to make use of true and Garion folk music. Now the list propagated pseudo gypsy music that had spread like wildfire all over Europe. Moreover in this second piece Bartok uses these folk elements almost in the same manner as in much later works and I found surprising relationships to late works like the Concerto for Orchestra and the Violin Concerto. I'm not quite sure
whether this makes the late works less original or the earlier works more original or perhaps both. Let's listen now to the second of the mash of Bela Bartok.
The book. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks.
Thanks. The in. The back.
Thank you. Yes. The.
No. The big. Thank.
The bank. Above.
Contemporary Music in Evolution
Episode Number
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/500-q814s61c).
Contemporary Music in Evolution is a radio program hosted by Gunther Schuller, which traces the evolution of Western classical music from 1899 to 1961. Each episode focuses on a specific year and chronicles some of the significant works, schools, and composers of the time. Schuller introduces several performance recordings in each episode, and gives commentary and analysis that also touch on previous episodes.
Recorded Music
Media type
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
Host: Schuller, Gunther
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 64-36-4 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:30:00?
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “Contemporary Music in Evolution; 4; 1910,” University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed September 23, 2021,
MLA: “Contemporary Music in Evolution; 4; 1910.” University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. September 23, 2021. <>.
APA: Contemporary Music in Evolution; 4; 1910. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from