The Times Literary Supplement's 'Grace Notes' series aims to 'celebrate pioneering composers and musicians, and assess the enduring impact of their work'.
Mark Berry's essay for the series is entitled 'Arnold Schoenberg: Beauty and horror'. Schoenberg's musical innovations have been both derided and celebrated, and Berry asserts that he 'remains the most controversial of all twentieth-century composers – perhaps, indeed, of all composers'. Berry concludes, though, that Schoenberg's music can and should be enjoyed – and that our efforts to listen with open ears will be 'handsomely repaid'.
The article can be read here.
Mark Berry is Reader in Music at Royal Holloway, University of London. His most recent book is a biography of Schoenberg, published by Reaktion Books in 2019.