Monday, September 23, 2019
Every now and then you run into something really unusual on YouTube--and sometimes the clip is completely mis-labeled. Take this one for example. It says it is Chet Atkins, Leo Kottke and Doc Watson jamming around on "Last Steam Engine Train" when it is obviously a colorized clip from 1931 when Arnold Schoenberg was in Barcelona working on Act II of Moses und Aron. While there, he was visited by his students Anton Webern and Alban Berg. In the clip, Schoenberg is seated on the right, Webern on the left and in the middle, at the back, is Berg. You will notice that, uncharacteristically, it is Webern that takes a solo with, for him, a plethora of notes. Notice that he does make reference to his usual pointillistic style. Towards the end, Berg essays a few ideas while throughout it is the teacher, the elder Schoenberg, who provides a strict harmonic framework for his two students.