avant-garde rioting

In addition to the two events mentioned, there was also a celebrated performance in Vienna on March 31, 1913, two months before the Stravinsky performance. Pieces from Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg, Alexander Zemlinsky, Anton Webern, and Gustav Mahler were performed. (The concert was ended before Mahler’s piece was performed). A good summation can be found in Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skandalkonzert): “A punch administered by concert organizer Erhard Buschbeck became the subject of a lawsuit, whereby operetta composer Oscar Straus, heard as a witness, testified it had been the most harmonious sound of the evening . . . Press reports from the period mention tumultuous riots: the followers of Schoenberg, his students, and opponents yelling at each other, throwing things, disturbing the performance, destroying furniture, etc . . . For Berg’s work the Skandalkonzert had lasting consequences: the songs were not performed again until 1952, and the full score did not appear in print until 1966.”

At La Scala, in 1868, 26-year-old Arrigo Boito’s first opera, Mefistofele, provoked riots and duels, and was closed by the police after two performances. Years later, he was able to bring it back in a revised and shortened version, and it now has the distinction of being one of only two Italian operas from Verdi’s era, but not by Verdi, to remain in the repertoire. But, in fifty years, he was never able to finish an opera score again.

Is the other La Gioconda?

Why does it take so many posts before anybody links to the column? I know new members aren’t expected to know to post a link, but you’d think those of us who have been here longer would.

Link: Did avante-garde arts events of a century ago really inspire riots?

Yes. To which Boito, incidentally, wrote the libretto, albeit under a pseudonym.

Alas, even among us denizens of the SDMB, human frailties result in occasional oversights. Have pity on us mortals.
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