Anton Webern 131





Born on this day in 1883, Anton Webern was among the greatest and most influential of modern composers. Webern was a master of expressive economy and few artists in any medium have packed as much poetry and intellect into such a compact oeuvre. His intensely distilled and perfectly honed works are among the essential sounds of the 20th century and great favourites here at Tigerloaf. Webern enjoyed only moderate success in his lifetime but his posthumous fame has been immense: he was perhaps the single most esteemed composer in the postwar period and an essential influence on the musical avant-garde from the 1940s onward, his reputation outstripping even that of his mentor Arnold Schoenberg. His tragic and untimely death (he was accidentally shot by a G.I. during the Allied occupation of Austria) robbed him of the honours he should have reaped and prompts one of the great musical what ifs: how might his work have developed in a musical world that was crucially formed by his own compositional methods? Sadly the question has no answer.

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