A Schoenberg Reader: Documents of a Life by Joseph Auner

By Joseph Auner

Arnold Schoenberg’s shut involvement with the various critical advancements of twentieth-century track, most significantly the holiday with tonality and the production of twelve-tone composition, generated controversy from the time of his earliest works to the current day. This authoritative new selection of Schoenberg’s essays, letters, literary writings, musical sketches, work, and drawings deals clean insights into the composer’s lifestyles, paintings, and thought.

The files, many formerly unpublished or untranslated, display the relationships among numerous facets of Schoenberg’s actions in composition, track idea, feedback, portray, functionality, and instructing. additionally they convey the importance of occasions in his own and relatives lifestyles, his evolving Jewish identification, his political issues, and his shut interactions with such figures as Gustav and Alma Mahler, Alban Berg, Wassily Kandinsky, and Thomas Mann. broad statement via Joseph Auner locations the files and fabrics in context and lines vital issues all through Schoenberg’s profession from turn-of-century Vienna to Weimar Berlin to nineteen-fifties la.

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One is acquired by age,/It knows of counsel others would laugh at. The second, a gift of the gods,/Finds help even where the first fails. For new troubles, it knows new counsels,/For new sufferings, it knows new remedies. And the counsel was of trouble and remedy,/For the suffering that tormented us was new. A fierce enemy/Gnawed us to the marrow. To simple customs and manly virtue/Our people owed victory and possession. The enemy was lecherous and decadent/As he withdrew before our attacks. 22 Early Years in Vienna and Berlin Too cowardly and weak for open war,/He knows how to take his revenge.

KONRAD: ‘‘It dies for its own sake, not for him. One never dies for one’s friend or enemy. Its last breath is meant for its fading life. It surrounds its last sigh with fragrance, intending even in death to bring to life the last of its remaining beauty—only in order to be more beautiful. That can’t be revenge. ’’ KONRAD: ‘‘It does not think of gratitude, but it does not refuse it either. The one whose part it is by nature to give, gives. Such a person gives limitlessly, whether he is the one to receive gratitude (a creditor), or to give thanks (a debtor).

Being then only 23 years of age, I was easily to catch fire, and to begin composing symphonic poems of one uninterrupted movement, the size of the models given by Mahler and Strauss. One, which I did not finish, was ‘‘Hans im Glück’’ (a Grimm fairytale). Climaxing this period were ‘‘Transfigured Night,’’ Op. 4, and ‘‘Pelleas and Melisande,’’ Op. 5. 7 ‘‘If upon your life’s journey,’’ c. 1891 Schoenberg wrote this poem for Malvina Goldschmied, a first cousin on his mother’s side, who was born in 1877.

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