The “scandal concert” turns 100

Reading time: 2 min. Scandal concert

31 March 2013: the 100th anniversary of the so-called “scandal concert” conducted by Arnold Schönberg and which, for many reasons, amounted to a caesura in European concert life. On 5 April 2013, the concert will be repeated at the Musikverein, Ö1 broadcasts a live transmission.

The issue of the “scandal concert” was not merely a question of how an audience treated the performers – it was about partisanship at a crossroads of musical history. The audience’s response was so unruly that the evening was cut short before the last piece on the programme (Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder) could be performed. Everyone understood that date. It was a sign, duly reported the next day in the Neuen Wiener Tagblatt daily newspaper, thus: “One is not wrong in alleging that scenes like the one yesterday have never before happened, neither in Vienna nor certainly any other concert hall in any other cultural city.” The “scandal concert” was not merely an ephemeral annoyance in musical life; every commentator saw it at once as a special occurrence – the day when the audience turned its back on new music.

“Scandal Concert“
Anton Webern: 6 Stücke
Alexander Zemlinsky: Vier Orchesterlieder
Arnold Schönberg: 1. Kammersymphonie
Alban Berg: 5 Orchester-Lieder
Gustav Mahler: Kindertotenlieder
Christiane Oelze, s; ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien, cond. Cornelius Meister
Friday, 5 April 2013, 19:30
Musikverein, Goldener Saal
Ö1 | Listen live

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