Anton Webern

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The other composer who filled me with awe -- I couldn't believe that anybody would write music

like that -- was Anton Webern. I heard an early recording on the Dial label with a cover by an artist named David Stone Martin -- it had one or two of Webern's string quartets, and his Symphony op. 21

on the other side. I loved that record, but it was about as different from Stravinsky and Varèse as you could get.

Anton Friedrich Ernst von Webern (3 December 1883 – 15 September 1945) was an Austrian composer and conductor. He was a member of the Second Viennese School. As a student and significant follower of Arnold Schoenberg, he became one of the best-known exponents of the twelve-tone technique, in addition, his innovations regarding schematic organization of pitch, rhythm and dynamics were formative in the musical technique later known as total serialism.

He is name-checked on the cover of "Freak Out!" (1966) under the heading "These People Have Contributed Materially In Many Ways To Make Our Music What It Is. Please Do Not Hold It Against Them", since he was one of FZ's favorite composers. He is also mentioned in "The Real Frank Zappa Book" (1989).

Mentioned in "My Favorite Records", an FZ penned article in Hit Parader (1967): "You ought to look into the complete works of Anton Webern on Columbia (K4L-232), conducted by Robert Craft. That's four records. Robert Craft is not always an excellent conductor, and his performances are not always absolutely accurate, but they probably didn't give him a very good budget because it was modern music, and they wanted to get the job over with, and he was probably under pressure, so don't mind the mistakes that are on there if you're following it with a score."

"Bagatelles" for String Quartet and "Symphony, Opus 21" by Anton Webern were 2 of the 10 records FZ selected (in 1989) for the American radio show Castaway's Choice, hosted by John McNally. Zappa also played "Five Pieces For Orchestra" during Musik Für Junge Leute.

Together with Alban Berg (1885-1935) Webern was a pupil of Arnold Schoenberg; the three are known as the Second Viennese School.