Riot in the Concert Hall

It became known as the ‘Skandalkonzert’: an evening of expressionist, experimental pieces at Vienna’s Great Hall of the Musikverein on March 31, 1913, which so disturbed the audience that rioting and slapping ensued, followed by a lawsuit. 

In time, it established the reputations of The Second Viennese School - a group of composers like Shoenberg and Weber, who sought to break away from the traditional tonal system and create a new form of classical music.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly consider whether it was simply the running order, not the artistic demands of the pieces, that truly upset the apple cart; reveal the extraordinary precautions Shoenberg put in place to prevent such an event recurring; and turn to Strauss for a zinger of a put-down…

Further Reading:

• ‘The Second Viennese School: Alban Berg, Arnold Schoenberg and Anton Webern | The British Library’ (British Library):

• ‘Skandalkonzert’ (ASAP History, 2020):

• ‘Schoenberg explained in 10 Minutes’ (Samuel Andreyev, 2019):

#Music #1900s #Austria #Jewish

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The Retrospectors are Olly Mann, Rebecca Messina & Arion McNicoll, with Matt Hill.

Theme Music: Pass The Peas. Announcer: Bob Ravelli. Graphic Design: Terry Saunders. Edit Producer: Sophie King.

Copyright: Rethink Audio / Olly Mann 2023.


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