Verehrter, lieber alter Freund! 1

Endlich habe ich mal „Gelegenheit“, mich bei Ihnen für die liebe Sympathie zu bedanken, mit der Sie meine letzte Arbeit im Laufe des Winters begleitet haben! 2 Die Gelegenheit selbst aber ist die Bitte, beiliegendes Notizchen 3 in Ihrem Blatt bis spätestens 9. Juni plazieren zu wollen. Ich glaube, auch Ihnen werden die Vorlesungen willkommen sein. Bis dahin erscheint eine große Monographie über die IX. Symph . (von Beethoven , nicht von Bruckner oder Mahler !), die schon in der Druckerei ist. 4 Dort wird eine noch nicht vernommene Rech 5 Wahrheit über Wagners Unzulänglichkeit gegenüber der absoluten Musik ganz unwiderleglich {2} nachgewiesen. Ein scharfes Praeludium für den III. Band, wo die Wagnerdämmerung Haupttema ist. 6


Im Voraus danke ich herzlichst
u. grüße Sie bestens
Ihr
[signed:] H Schenker
30. Mai 1911

© Transcription Martin Eybl, 2007



Dear good old Friend, 1

At long last I have "occasion" to thank you for the kind fellow-feeling with which you have accompanied my recent work over the course of the winter! 2 The occasion is itself, however, a request that you please place the accompanying little notice 3 in your newspaper by at the latest June 9. I believe that the lectures will be welcome to you yourself, too. By then will have appeared a big monograph on the Ninth Symphony (that of Beethoven , not of Bruckner or Mahler!), which is already in press. 4 Therein a justification 5 truth not hitherto intimated regarding Wagner's incompetence over against absolute music will be incontrovertibly {2} proven. [This will form] a stinging prelude for volume III, the principal theme of which is the twilight of Wagner. 6


In anticipation, I thank you from the bottom of my heart
and send my best greetings to you,
Yours,
[signed:] H. Schenker
May 30, 1911

© Translation Ian Bent, 2007



Verehrter, lieber alter Freund! 1

Endlich habe ich mal „Gelegenheit“, mich bei Ihnen für die liebe Sympathie zu bedanken, mit der Sie meine letzte Arbeit im Laufe des Winters begleitet haben! 2 Die Gelegenheit selbst aber ist die Bitte, beiliegendes Notizchen 3 in Ihrem Blatt bis spätestens 9. Juni plazieren zu wollen. Ich glaube, auch Ihnen werden die Vorlesungen willkommen sein. Bis dahin erscheint eine große Monographie über die IX. Symph . (von Beethoven , nicht von Bruckner oder Mahler !), die schon in der Druckerei ist. 4 Dort wird eine noch nicht vernommene Rech 5 Wahrheit über Wagners Unzulänglichkeit gegenüber der absoluten Musik ganz unwiderleglich {2} nachgewiesen. Ein scharfes Praeludium für den III. Band, wo die Wagnerdämmerung Haupttema ist. 6


Im Voraus danke ich herzlichst
u. grüße Sie bestens
Ihr
[signed:] H Schenker
30. Mai 1911

© Transcription Martin Eybl, 2007



Dear good old Friend, 1

At long last I have "occasion" to thank you for the kind fellow-feeling with which you have accompanied my recent work over the course of the winter! 2 The occasion is itself, however, a request that you please place the accompanying little notice 3 in your newspaper by at the latest June 9. I believe that the lectures will be welcome to you yourself, too. By then will have appeared a big monograph on the Ninth Symphony (that of Beethoven , not of Bruckner or Mahler!), which is already in press. 4 Therein a justification 5 truth not hitherto intimated regarding Wagner's incompetence over against absolute music will be incontrovertibly {2} proven. [This will form] a stinging prelude for volume III, the principal theme of which is the twilight of Wagner. 6


In anticipation, I thank you from the bottom of my heart
and send my best greetings to you,
Yours,
[signed:] H. Schenker
May 30, 1911

© Translation Ian Bent, 2007

Footnotes

1 This document appears in Schenker's copybook, containing carbon copies of original holograph letters; it presents formidable difficulties for decipherment.

2 Three clippings for the relevant period from the Illustrirtes Wiener Extrablatt, for which Liebstöckl was music critic, all however unsigned, are preserved in Schenker's scrapbook, OC 2/p. 22, with underlinings by Schenker: November 29, 1910, pp. 10–11, "h.l." "Third Philharmonic Concert: Weingartner's Third Symphony" ("Therein, in truth, lies the evil over which Heinrich Schenker laments so nimbly and convincingly: the evil of the decline of our musical instincts."), January 17, 1911, p. 11, "h.l." "Concerts" ("The Schenkerian method seems to me as each day goes by to be more significant and more valuable."), January 23, 1911, p. 7, anonymous, "Concerts" ("The arrangements of all the works performed this evening were by Dr. Heinrich Schenker, the excellent and skilled theorist and connoisseur of Bach. Less significant proved to be his qualities as a conductor, which were not in the slightest detrimental to his musical reputation." The last-mentioned article concerns the chamber concert on January 13, 1911 in the Bösendorfer-Saal, at which, under Schenker's direction, two cantatas by J. S. Bach (Selig ist der Mann, BWV 57, and the Kreuzstabkantate, BWV 56) as well as a keyboard concerto by C. P. E. Bach were performed; see also OC 52/62, January 19, 1911, Hertzka to Violin.

3 This is the announcement that Schenker made in several newspapers as a ploy to force Wilhelm Bopp to agree to his proposed Bach and Beethoven editions. The notice, as posted in the Neue freie Presse, reads: "Dr. Heinrich Schenker kündigt für diesen Herbst eine Serie von sechs bis acht Vorlesungen über den ,Niedergang der musikalischen Kunst‘ an und wird dabei Werke von modernen Autoren (R. Strauß, Reger, Debussy u. a.) besprechen. Daran wird sich nebst Reformvorschlägen eine Kritik des heute üblichen Unterrichtsbetriebes schließen." ("Dr. Heinrich Schenker announces for the coming fall a series of six to eight lectures on the "Decline of the Art of Music," and will in the course of these discuss works by modern composers (R. Strauss, Reger, Debussy, etc.) These will be followed, in addition to proposals for reform, by a critique of the teaching methods in practice today." Cf. the diary entry, OJ 1/10, pp. 131[r]-131[v], beginning of June, 1911, as well as the letter to Max Graf OC 1/3, May 30, 1911.

4 Schenker received his monograph Beethovens Neunte Sinfonie from the publishers on July 2, 1912.

5 The initially intended word was perhaps "Rechtfertigung" ‒ the translation reflects that.

6 Wagnerdämmerung: a play, of course, on Wagner's Götterdämmerung. "III. Band" ("volume III") is a reference to Schenker's "Über den Niedergang der Kompositionskunst."

Commentary

Format
2p letter, holograph salutations, message and signature, numbers "4" and "5" stamped in right-hand top corner
Provenance
Schenker, Heinrich (document date-1935)--Schenker, Jeanette (1935-1938)--Oster, Ernst (1938-1977)—New York Public Library (c.1977-)
Rights Holder
Heirs of Heinrich Schenker, in the public domain
License
This document is deemed to be in the public domain as of January 1, 2006. Any claim to intellectual rights should be addressed to the Schenker Correspondence Project, Faculty of Music, University of Cambridge, at schenkercorrespondence [at] mus (dot) cam (dot) ac (dot) uk.

Digital version created: 2014-11-25