Anton Webern

Five Movements, op. 5

            Unlike his fellow Schoenbergian acolyte, Alban Berg, Anton Webern was the more cerebral, quiet, and detached.   While Berg is commonly thought of as more lyrical, comfortable in the larger forms of concerto and opera, Webern pursued a style of abstraction, brevity, and an almost mathematical precision of structure.   He is known for his lightly orchestrated, almost pointillist textures.  Like pinpoints of sound, that “ping” from disparate points, his works are aphoristic and brief almost to an extreme.  And what is almost indiscernible to most listeners is the frequent infusion in his mature style of counterpoint in all its glory:  invertible, canonic, retrograde, every technique from the golden age of counterpoint, the sixteenth through the eighteenth centuries.  And why no