Fat Man Mäßig
A video I created after composer Carl Stone posted Schoenberg's Three Piano Pieces, Op. 11, 1. Mäßig on his Facebook page. I listened to it and instantly saw air force personnel hugging and cherishing Fat Man, the nuclear bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki. It's the strange poetry of the piece.
“Schoenberg saw music history as moving inevitably forward. The introduction of equal temperament made possible chromaticism, modulation techniques, and the tonal system of the eighteenth century. But Schoenberg saw that, carried to its logical conclusion, tonal music contained within itself the seeds of its own destruction. As Charles Wuorinen has put it, atonality was the end result of 'the tendency within tonal music for an ever-increasing number of foreign, ancillary tones to be introduced into the harmonic fabric. In retrospect we hear the Op. 11 pieces as both a clear break with the past and a foreshadowing of the future.' ”
Assistant Professor of Piano and Music History
We too contain within us the seeds of our own destruction.