Anton Webern: Passacaglia

  • for orchestra
  • 3 3 3 3 - 4 3 3 1 - timp, perc, hp, str
  • Duration: 12’
  • Instrumentation details:
    piccolo
    1. flute
    2. flute
    1. oboe
    2. oboe
    cor anglais
    1. clarinet in B
    2. clarinet in B
    bass clarinet in B
    1. bassoon
    2. bassoon
    contrabassoon
    1. horn in F
    2. horn in F
    3. horn in F
    4. horn in F
    1. trumpet in B
    2. trumpet in B
    3. trumpet in B
    1. trombone
    2. trombone
    3. trombone
    bass tuba
    timpani
    perc
    harp
    violin I
    violin II
    viola
    violoncello
    contrabass
  • Composer: Anton Webern

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Work introduction

‘To surrender oneself utterly to the listening experience’ – this is what Anton Webern’s music demands. ‘To recognise sounds, to experience them sensuously’ – these are the composer’s main concerns. His works are among the most important compositions of the 20th century and represent the most radical and logically consistent continuation of the 12-tone technique developed by Arnold Schönberg. ‘He could express a whole novel in a sigh’, said Schönberg of his compressed writing style. His first masterpiece, the Passacaglia for orchestra op. 1 (first performed in 1908) is a remarkable testimony to Webern’s handling of the late Romantic orchestral apparatus as well as to his clear formal organisation of its 269 bars.

Audiosamples

The complete perusal score (PDF-preview)

Next performances

World première

Location:
Wien (AT)
Date:
04.11.1908
Conductor:
Anton Webern

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