Archive for July, 2006

Anton Webern, Five Pieces for Orchestra, Opus 10. Performed by Pierre Boulez and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.

Tuesday, July 4th, 2006

One of the things I liked about this work (and I liked this work a lot) is that it’s very short and very quiet. I burned all the pieces for this assignment onto CD and would listen to them both at home and in the car. Now, when a piece is fairly long, as are some of the other works on this CD, your attention can drift. It doesn’t really matter (or at least that’s what you think), if your attention wanders for a few seconds. However, if your attention wanders even for a few seconds during one of Five Pieces, you’ve missed half the piece! So, I would always pay especially close attention when Five Pieces was playing (this was also due to the fact that they’re so soft for the most part). Sometimes you think a short piece cannot be as ‘important’ as longer pieces, but I think Five Pieces belies that idea. Actually, shortness is another thing I like about Satie’s compositions (besides the fact that they’re brilliant). It’s also what I like about that thing Paul McCartney sings on that short, untitled fragment on The White Album. The one that goes, “Can you take me back where I came from? Can you take me back?”. (In McCartney’s case, it’s a throwaway, but yet it’s not.)

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