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Noon Edition

Berg: Seven Early Songs, "Night" and "Summer Days"

The “B’s” are a product of the nineteenth century. Nevertheless, this desire to create a historical legacy transferred into the twentieth. This accounts for the term “Second Viennese School” to describe the music of Berg, Anton Webern, and Arnold Schoenberg. The “First Viennese School,” which refers to Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven, was a convenient historical fiction—these earlier composers certainly never considered themselves as any kind of group. Still, the desire to contend historically with these giants produced a ‘second’ where there never really was a ‘first’! The songs we just heard were composed when Berg first began studying with Schoenberg. Berg then put them on the shelf for roughly two decades before selecting seven of them to revise and orchestrate.

Music Heard On This Episode

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