The Modern Orchestra (Much Ado About Nothing)

Theo Zasche1907-03-31

Arnold Schönberg Center

Arnold Schönberg Center
Vienna, Austria

In Vienna, new music met with home-grown opposition continuously fostered by a languid conservatism. To compose in this city meant having to constantly deal with the established esthetical demands of the audiences. While the composers of the (Second) Viennese School saw themselves as consistent continuators of Brahms’ varying motivic-thematic work and of the logic and rendering of musical thought originating from the First Viennese School, they overestimated the capacity for innovation of their contemporaries, who were attached to a stable order and to tonality following natural principles. Retrospectively speaking, the musical exponents of Viennese Modernism did define themselves through the degree of scandal caused by their concerts, which were primarily provoked by Arnold Schönberg and his pupils Anton Webern and Alban Berg. Ever since the premiere of Schönberg’s String Quartet No. 2, op. 10 in December 1908, which had sparked a hitherto unprecedented riot among the polarized audience, Viennese art enthusiasts were well acquainted with the phenomenon of the concert scandal. Here the composers Richard Strauss, Gustav Mahler and Arnold Schönberg as well as the concert master Arnold Rosé can be seen. The caricature was published in Illustrirtes Wiener Extrablatt 88 (31 March 1907).


  • Title: The Modern Orchestra (Much Ado About Nothing)
  • Creator: Theo Zasche
  • Date Created: 1907-03-31
  • Location Created: Wien, Österreich
  • Physical Dimensions: w25.4 x h18 cm
  • Provenance: Arnold Schoenberg, Los Angeles; Gertrud Schoenberg, Los Angeles; Nuria Schoenberg Nono, Venezia, Lawrence and Ronald Schoenberg, Los Angeles; Arnold Schoenberg Institute, Los Angeles; Arnold Schönberg Center, Vienna
  • Type: Newspaper
  • Rights: Arnold Schönberg Center, Vienna
  • External Link: https://www.schoenberg.at

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