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In this lucid, revealing book, award-winning pianist and scholar Charles Rosen sheds light on the elusive music of Arnold Schoenberg and his challenge to conventional musical forms. Rosen argues that Schoenberg's music, with its atonality and dissonance, possesses a rare balance of form and emotion, making it, according to Rosen, "the most expressive music ever written." Concise and accessible, this book will appeal to fans, non-fans, and scholars of Schoenberg, and to those who have yet to be introduced to the works of one of the greatest composers of the twentieth century.
"Arnold Schoenberg is one of the most brilliant monographs ever to be published on any composer, let alone the most difficult master of the present age. . . . Indispensable to anyone seeking to understand the crucial musical ideas of the first three decades."—Robert Craft, New York Review of Books
"What Mr. Rosen does far better than one could reasonably expect in so concise a book is not only elucidate Schoenberg's composing techniques and artistic philosophy but to place them in history."—Donal Henahan, New York Times Book Review
"For the novice and the knowledgeable, Mr. Rosen's book is very important reading, either as an introduction to the master or as a stimulus to rethinking our opinions of him. Mr. Rosen's accomplishment is enviable."—Joel Sachs, Musical Quarterly
Biolographical Note i: Expressionism ii: Atonality iii: The Society for the Private Performance of Music
iv: Serialism and Neoclassicism