On Monday, Mar. 4, Q2 Music recorded Dissonant Abstraction: Arnold Schoenberg and Morton Feldman live from the Museum of Modern Art.
Part of the exhibition Inventing Abstraction, 1910-1925, the concert opens with Herzgewächse – a quirky vocal miniature for soprano, celesta, harmonium and harp penned by one of the exhibition's most pivotal figures, Arnold Schoenberg. It was Schoenberg's work in developing serialism – a method of composition in which all notes of the scale are considered equal – which the Russian painter and theorist, Wassily Kandinsky, admitted to spurring his first fully abstract canvases.
The concert concludes with Morton Feldman's expansive Three Voices – a contemplative setting of a Frank O'Hara poem for solo voice and two prerecorded voices.
Listen to the pre-concert introduction by composer and program curator David Lang:
Dissonant Abstraction is the second in a series of two concerts at MoMA which illustrate how the music of pioneers in the early 20th century has influenced contemporary voices. The first concert paired Claude Debussy and Steve Reich and is available for on-demand listening. Both concerts were performed by members of the Bang on a Can Summer Festival at Mass MoCA.