Posted on January 25, 2010 by Dylan Anderson

Chantelle Olson speaks to Dr. Alex Carpenter about Arnold Schoenberg and the Faculty Colloquium.

By Chantelle Olson –

Today’s Faculty Colloquium will be a slightly different experience. It will take place in the Faith and Life Chapel rather than in C014 and will feature a musical performance by Dr. Roger Admiral. In "The Clash of Tradition and Modernity in the Piano Music of Schoenberg," Dr. Alex Carpenter will be introducing the audience to the life, art and music of Arnold Schoenberg, an Austrian musician of the late 19th and early 20th century.

In 1909, Schoenberg abandoned musical tradition and invented a new, “atonal” method of composition, producing music Dr. Carpenter describes as “intuitive” and “psychological”. A man invested in self-expression, Schoenberg was a tragic figure, an “unfocused genius” who, according to Dr. Carpenter, called himself “a conservative revolutionary.”

Schoenberg’s music was different from anything encountered by early 20th century audiences. Many didn’t like it, and nearly a century later, we still have trouble understanding – or even listening to – his compositions.

Dr. Carpenter, who teaches musicology here at Augustana, has entertained a vivid interest in Schoenberg’s life and music since he was in grad school, and he is very excited about the Colloquium.

After introducing the topic and the performance of Schoenberg’s Three Piano Pieces, op. 11 by Dr. Admiral, Dr. Carpenter hopes to facilitate a discussion surrounding Schoenberg’s philosophy of life and composition, and why we still find his music shocking one hundred years later.

Faith & Life Chapel
12:30 – 2:00 pm


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