Source: The Complete Classical Music Guide (2012). General Editor: John Burrows OBE HonRCM, edited with Charles Wiffen MMus DMus RCM. p. 261 Centre Left.

  Schoenberg and his followers—raised on the high Romanticism of composers like Mahler and Wolf—saw themselves as building on the Austro-Germanic tradition. At the same time, Schoenberg’s interest in painting indicates a close relationship between the Expressionism of artists such as Kokoschka and Kandinsky, and of his own music and that of his followers, such as Berg. Igor Stravinsky sprang to fame with his Russian ballets, such as The Firebird (1909) and The Rite of Spring (1913), and reinvigorated music with the primitive force of his rhythmic language, mirrored in the angular lines of the paintings of Picasso from the same period.

I've listened to The Firebird (1909) and The Rite of Spring each at least 9 times, but I know little about Picasso. So I don't understand the emboldened.


There is a phenomenon called synesthesia where you perceive visual stimulation as having a sound, and auditory input as having a visual component. The composer Kandinsky famously experienced this an as ever-present reality, while other people have reported it under unusual circumstances, or the influence of drugs.

While most of us are not synesthetes, we all tend to have some general sense of a relationship between sound and shape. It's perhaps for that reason that visual and musical movements often reflect each other in one way or another. For example, the complex trills and little ornaments of baroque music are reflected in the complex carvings and little ornaments of baroque architecture.

In terms of modernist art and music, the bold strokes, anti-realism, increasingly abstract subject material, geometric shapes, and multiple perspectives of modern art are reflected in the bold chords, irregular rhythms, non-representational melodies, dissonances and mathematical patterns of modernist music. "Angular" music is generally used to mean unusual or dissonant intervals and rhythms --melodic lines opposed to one another rather than harmonized, as in Rite of Spring. A good Picasso comparison would be his famously transgressive Les Demoiselles d'Avignon.

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