Masterclass: Leila Josefowicz on Berg Violin Concerto Second Movement - part 2

LJ Chris Lee

In the second of two articles, Leila Josefowicz discusses the Adagio of the second movement, in the context of the Viennese School and the Neue Sachlichkeit era

Explore more Masterclasses like this in The Strad Playing Hub

Read more premium content for subscribers here

To me this piece is like water: it is one of the essential ingredients needed to survive in life. It is high art at its most profound, and whether you are religious or spiritual, or neither, to play or listen to it is a sacred experience and a prayer. It expresses and ruminates on feelings, thoughts and new ways of existence, and it is all the more poignant and tragic because it serves as a double requiem, for Berg’s friend Alma Manon Gropius, who died aged 18 from polio, and for himself, as the last piece he wrote before his own death. For anyone who has experienced the death of someone very close to them, this music gives a visceral, spiritually powerful picture…

Already subscribed? Please sign in

Subscribe to continue reading…

We’re delighted that you are enjoying our website. For a limited period, you can try an online subscription to The Strad completely free of charge.

  • Free 7-day trial

    Not sure about subscribing? Sign up now to read this article in full and you’ll also receive unlimited access to premium online content, including the digital edition and online archive for 7 days.

    No strings attached – we won’t ask for your card details

  • Subscribe 

    No more paywalls. To enjoy the best in-depth features and analysis from The Strad’s latest and past issues, upgrade to a subscription now. You’ll also enjoy regular issues and special supplements* and access to an online archive of issues back to 2010.


* Issues and supplements are available as both print and digital editions. Online subscribers will only receive access to the digital versions.