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Dialectics of Serialism: Abstraction and Deconstruction in Schnebel’s für stimmen (... missa est)

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Paul Attinello


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German contemporary composer Dieter Schnebel's philosophical interests inform many of his compositions, especially those that make up the series fr stimmen (… missa est)(1956 - 1969). Representing a 'working-through' of concepts at several levels of composition and experience, the three vocal works of the series are both an exploration of the most flexible possibilities of serialism and a reaction against the abstraction and limitations implicit in its classic techniques. This reaction represents a deconstructive impulse that intentionally undermines the composer's control over temporal, linguistic and vocal processes, creating a quasi-postmodern critique of serialism, structure and voice embedded in a set of modernist serial processes. Although one can claim similar status for works by Berio and Kagel, among others, Schnebel's awareness of the implications of the serial and the deconstructed enables him to establish a dialectical interface among these approaches to system and meaning lacking in the works of other composers.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Attinello P

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Contemporary Music Review: Other Darmstadts

Year: 2007

Volume: 26

Issue: 1

Pages: 39-52

Date deposited: 08/09/2011

ISSN (print): 0749-4467

ISSN (electronic): 1477-2256

Publisher: Taylor & Francis


DOI: 10.1080/07494460601069200


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