Schönberg and Vienna

This is a tale of a time, a man and two cities. The time is the early 20th century. The man is Arnold Schönberg, an emblematic composer. The cities are Vienna and Los Angeles: the former the city of dreams. the latter its American equivalent. Through his music, Schönberg played an ideal bridging role between these two hemispheres in which he found himself living in the course of his lifetime. In Vienna, he witnessed the decline of the Habsburg Empire and picked up the sounds of encroaching modernism in the guise of a return to the essential in art, writing them into his music. Forced to emigrate during the Nazi era, he listened to the echo of his city from Los Angeles, reproducing café life on the Ring on Sunset Boulevard in order to pursue his personal search for simplicity and elegance in music. Let us set off now from Vienna.

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