Osterc's "Avantgardism" in the Light of His Second String Quartet (1934)


  • Marija Bergamo




The contribution proceeds from two starting-points: (1) from the claim that between Osterc the composer and Osterc the idealogist there are divergences, (2) from the need that the key concepts of Osterc's aesthetics and poetics, such as avant-garde, atonal, a-thematic, the old, the new, the progressive - should be examined with regard to their scope, content, and historical acceptability. A summarizing analysis of the composer's Second String Quartet from the year 1934 reveals in all the parametres of its structure and on re-examination of these concepts that what was violently-destructively "new" Osterc fully developed predominantly on the verbal plane, whereas in the compositional practice he was starting from what was already known and under control, and that he was closer to the modern trend rather that to the avant-garde. At the time when it all seemed that only a radical renovation, i.e. a destruction of what is in existence, and a setting-up of completely new musical statements of truth, can re-vitalize music Osterc - living in this belief which was musically in no way in accord with his temperament - did what he thought he must and was capable of. His output could accordingly be designated as the "art of the potential".


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How to Cite

Bergamo, M. (1995). Osterc’s "Avantgardism" in the Light of His Second String Quartet (1934). Musicological Annual, 31(1), 63–69. https://doi.org/10.4312/mz.31.1.63-69