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Malcolm MacDonald

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195172010

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195172010.001.0001

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Consolidation (1914–33)

Consolidation (1914–33)

(p.54) Chapter Three Consolidation (1914–33)

Malcolm MacDonald

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes the events from 1914 to 1933, marked by war, tragedy, the death of Schoenberg’s wife Mathilde, and his quick remarriage to Gertrud Kolisch. During one of their strolls in July 1921, Schoenberg described to Josef Rufer “the method of composing with twelve notes related only to each other” employed in the Suite for piano on which he was working. A means of ensuring structural coherence in music within a totally chromatic idiom, its implications were far-reaching and easily misunderstood. To this day, it mesmerizes many of his most fervent supporters. Meanwhile, the years 1926–33 in Berlin were in some respects the happiest period of Schoenberg’s life; they certainly provided the best conditions of work. On October 25 1933, Schoenberg set out for America on the French liner Ile de France with his wife and baby daughter. He would never see Europe again.

Keywords:   Josef Rufer, German music, 12-tone technique, Gertrud Kolisch, Berlin

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