Skandalkonzert: The Battle for Modernism

Posted: 05/04/2017 by vequinox in Literature


41G7VPHFY2LOn the evening of the 31st of March 1913, the infamous Skandalkonzert at the Great Hall of the Vienna Musikverein took place. Despite the bad press that followed, the event has entered public consciousness as a major breakthrough into the era of modernism in classical music. What could be more symbolic than a riot erupting between the audience and the musicians as a reaction to the dissonances and atonality of modern masterpieces? Even though rather distressing for the composers, the riot, set within the context of expressionist musical variations, provides a rather illustrative commentary on the transgression of not only musical, but to a certain extent, social boundaries too. Siglind Bruhn stated that, “Modernism is a testing of the limits of aesthetic construction.” (Encrypted Messages in Alban Berg’s Music). However, one should not disregard that modernism, through the initiation of the new aesthetics, tested, above all, the limits of…

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