After Shostakovich – The New Viennese School

Posted: February 4, 2019 in Music, Uncategorized

Once I was asked in class if Greenberg would consider dance, in particular modern dance, to be a viable form of art. I wouldn’t say he would hate all ‘arty’ dance, though I must confess I believe his opinion of it would be relatively low. Serious thought and criticism doesn’t really have much to say about dance until a moment slightly after the one we’ve arrived at in our readings. It is the Jackson expressionism of Jackson Pollock, often called Action Painting, which clears up a space for bodily performance. Now, it was Greenberg in fact who discovered Pollock. But what Greenberg valued in Pollock’s paintings were their material and formal qualities, not their expressivity.

Rather than dance, Greenberg declares that it was only music which was powerful enough to break literature’s hegemonic control of other forms of art. So, what would Greenberg think of the music below? Would he consider it Art or Kitsch? And, why? Does this music remind us of what we heard in the Debussy tracks I posted earlier? In what ways does the music of Debussy, or that of the Russian composers I posted a few days ago, compare and contrast with the work of these Viennese composers?

(Please let me know if listening to music like this is interesting and helpful to you. It takes me a while to get this up here, but I’m certainly willing to make the necessary effort if you want me to.)

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