“Greatest Hits of the Second Viennese School”

Recently I came across this. It’s . . . Well, what it says. A spoof advert for atonal music. Much of the humour comes from picking out entirely the wrong feature of a musical passage for comment—e.g. commenting on the tunefulness of a passage which consists entirely of harmony and orchestral colour, or the tenderness of . . . Watch it and see.

As a violinist, I particularly like “the virtuoso violin writing of Alban’s Violin Concerto In case you don’t know, the concerto starts with the soloist playing the four open strings. (By the way, you can see someone performing the concerto here. Oddly, the vibrato in the audio seems not to match his hand movements in the video.)

Actually the video is rather unfair to Schoenberg. And I quite like atonal music. So, here to redress the balance is a more serious one: an interview with Schoenberg about his paintings and his music, recorded in 1949.

Follow the “related video” links for more material, both serious and otherwise.

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