„Illustrirtes Wiener Extrablatt“
Redaktion: XI./1, Borggasse 31

Wien 29. November.


Lieber Künstler und Phantast! 1

Es thut mir herzlich leid, daß ich zum Verräther an Ihnen geworden bin, in einem Augenblicke, da ich glaubte, Ihnen eine Annehmlichkeit zu bereiten. 2 Leider ist der Journalist in mir mitunter stärker als der taktvolle Mensch. Sie verstehen: da die Journalisten am liebsten das schreiben, was sie nicht wissen, reizt es Sie manchmal, aus der Rolle zu fallen; sie schreiben, was sie wissen. Zudem hatte ich wirklich Freude, als ich Ihr Buch vor mir liegen sah, das von Außen so gar nicht revolutionär aussieht und sogar die heuchlerische Larve Paragraphenlarve vornimmt, {2} damit man nur ja glaube, ein neuer Riemann wäre auferstanden, um unter uns zu wandeln. 3

Ich plauderte also vor Freude. Nun bin ich fest in der Lektüre u. halte bei Seite 50. Hoffe auch, meinen Fauxpas gutzumachen und will gewissenhaft schreiben, sobald ich fertig bin.

Bewahren Sie mir, verehrter Künstler und Phantast, Ihre Freundschaft und Ihr Wolwollen. An dem der Großen, deren Namen Sie in Ihrem Buch anführen, lag mir immer sehr wenig. Dachten Sie wirklich an „Bach für Reger“? 4 Bin ich ein Regerpfaffe? Nein, zum Kult hab’ ich niemals Talent gehabt. Bin auch {3} der Letzte, der nicht richtig zuhört, wenn Sie Argumente gegen Reger haben, an den mich nur eine gewisse innere Dankbarkeit für manche seiner Lieder knüpft.


Inzwischen bin ich Ihr
herzlich ergebener
[signed:] Hans Liebstoeckl.

Famos ist Ihr Ausfall auf die Archivare u. Denkmälersammler! Invehitur in Adleros et Mandyczewskos! 5 Zu deutlich: es geht gegen die Trockenwönze! 6

© Transcription Martin Eybl, 2007


Illustrirtes Wiener Extrablatt
Editorial Department: [Vienna] XI/1, Borggasse 31

Vienna November 29


Dear Artist and Fantasist, 1

I am truly sorry that I have become a traitor to you, just when I believed I was preparing something agreeable to you. 2 Unfortunately, deep down the journalist in me is stronger than the diplomat. You understand: since journalists like best of all to write about that which they do not know, it often tempts them into dropping a clanger; they write what they know. Furthermore, I was genuinely delighted when I saw your book lying before me, looking outwardly so entirely unrevolutionary and even adopting the disembling guise of [numbered] paragraphs, {2} such as might actually lead one to believe that a new Riemann had risen from the dead to walk among us. 3

So I prattled for joy. Now I am well stuck in to reading it and am on p. 50, and I am hoping to rectify my faux pas and will write conscientiously as soon as I am ready to do so.

Maintain your friendship and goodwill toward me, my dear artist and fantasist. I never was much interested in the goodwill of the great men you mention in your book. Did you really think of "Bach for Reger"? 4 Am I a Reger adherent? No, I have never had any talent for the latest fashion. Also, I am the last person {3} not to listen aright when you deploy arguments against Reger, to whom my sole attachment is a certain inherent gratitute for many of his Lieder.


In the meanwhile, I remain,
Cordially yours truly,
[signed:] Hans Liebstoeckl

Your attack on archivists and collectors is simply splendid! Invehitur in Adleros et Mandyczewskos! 5 Too clearly: it goes against the grain[?] 6 !

© Translation Ian Bent, 2007


„Illustrirtes Wiener Extrablatt“
Redaktion: XI./1, Borggasse 31

Wien 29. November.


Lieber Künstler und Phantast! 1

Es thut mir herzlich leid, daß ich zum Verräther an Ihnen geworden bin, in einem Augenblicke, da ich glaubte, Ihnen eine Annehmlichkeit zu bereiten. 2 Leider ist der Journalist in mir mitunter stärker als der taktvolle Mensch. Sie verstehen: da die Journalisten am liebsten das schreiben, was sie nicht wissen, reizt es Sie manchmal, aus der Rolle zu fallen; sie schreiben, was sie wissen. Zudem hatte ich wirklich Freude, als ich Ihr Buch vor mir liegen sah, das von Außen so gar nicht revolutionär aussieht und sogar die heuchlerische Larve Paragraphenlarve vornimmt, {2} damit man nur ja glaube, ein neuer Riemann wäre auferstanden, um unter uns zu wandeln. 3

Ich plauderte also vor Freude. Nun bin ich fest in der Lektüre u. halte bei Seite 50. Hoffe auch, meinen Fauxpas gutzumachen und will gewissenhaft schreiben, sobald ich fertig bin.

Bewahren Sie mir, verehrter Künstler und Phantast, Ihre Freundschaft und Ihr Wolwollen. An dem der Großen, deren Namen Sie in Ihrem Buch anführen, lag mir immer sehr wenig. Dachten Sie wirklich an „Bach für Reger“? 4 Bin ich ein Regerpfaffe? Nein, zum Kult hab’ ich niemals Talent gehabt. Bin auch {3} der Letzte, der nicht richtig zuhört, wenn Sie Argumente gegen Reger haben, an den mich nur eine gewisse innere Dankbarkeit für manche seiner Lieder knüpft.


Inzwischen bin ich Ihr
herzlich ergebener
[signed:] Hans Liebstoeckl.

Famos ist Ihr Ausfall auf die Archivare u. Denkmälersammler! Invehitur in Adleros et Mandyczewskos! 5 Zu deutlich: es geht gegen die Trockenwönze! 6

© Transcription Martin Eybl, 2007


Illustrirtes Wiener Extrablatt
Editorial Department: [Vienna] XI/1, Borggasse 31

Vienna November 29


Dear Artist and Fantasist, 1

I am truly sorry that I have become a traitor to you, just when I believed I was preparing something agreeable to you. 2 Unfortunately, deep down the journalist in me is stronger than the diplomat. You understand: since journalists like best of all to write about that which they do not know, it often tempts them into dropping a clanger; they write what they know. Furthermore, I was genuinely delighted when I saw your book lying before me, looking outwardly so entirely unrevolutionary and even adopting the disembling guise of [numbered] paragraphs, {2} such as might actually lead one to believe that a new Riemann had risen from the dead to walk among us. 3

So I prattled for joy. Now I am well stuck in to reading it and am on p. 50, and I am hoping to rectify my faux pas and will write conscientiously as soon as I am ready to do so.

Maintain your friendship and goodwill toward me, my dear artist and fantasist. I never was much interested in the goodwill of the great men you mention in your book. Did you really think of "Bach for Reger"? 4 Am I a Reger adherent? No, I have never had any talent for the latest fashion. Also, I am the last person {3} not to listen aright when you deploy arguments against Reger, to whom my sole attachment is a certain inherent gratitute for many of his Lieder.


In the meanwhile, I remain,
Cordially yours truly,
[signed:] Hans Liebstoeckl

Your attack on archivists and collectors is simply splendid! Invehitur in Adleros et Mandyczewskos! 5 Too clearly: it goes against the grain[?] 6 !

© Translation Ian Bent, 2007

Footnotes

1 The salutation is a direct allusion to the title and series title of Schenker's Harmonielehre, vol. I of Musikalische Theorien und Phantasien, and his anonymous signing of himself as "Von einem Künstler" (by an artist) in the first edition.

2 Schenker's Harmonielehre (Stuttgart: Cotta, 1906) was released on November 10, 1906, and Schenker asked for Liebstöckl to be sent a review copy on November 22. Liebstöckl wrote about it anonymously in the Illustrirtes Wiener Extrablatt for November 28, 1906 (p. 10): "Im Verlage der J. G. Cotta’schen Buchhandlung (Stuttgart und Berlin) ist soeben der erste Band eines Werkes erschienen, das den Titel: ,Neue musikalische Theorien und Phantasien von einem Künstler‘ führt und die Harmonielehre behandelt. Verfasser dieses auf vier Bände berechneten Werkes, das den Versuch unternimmt, neue Wege zu finden und neue Einblicke in das Wesen der Musik zu eröffnen, ist der Wiener Musiker und Musikschriftsteller Dr. Heinrich Schenker." ("From the house of the J. G. Cotta Bookdealership (Stuttgart and Berlin) the first volume of a work has just been published that bears the title "New Musical Theories and Fantasies by an Artist" and deals with the theory of harmony. Of this work, expected to comprise four volumes, which makes an attempt to find new paths and to afford new insights into the essence of music, the author is the Viennese musician and writer about music, Dr. Heinrich Schenker.").

Schenker recognized Liebstöckl as the initiator of this notice, and recorded his unfavorable reaction in his diary the same day at OJ 1/5, p. 27: "Indiscretion von Liebstöckl im Extrabl. begangen. Briefwechsel." ("Indiscretion committed by Liebstöckl in the [Illustrirtes Wiener] Extrablatt. Exchange of letters."). He evidently wrote to Liebstöckl indignantly in a letter not known to survive, to which the present letter is Liebstöckl's response.

3 Harmonielehre is written in numbered paragraphs lacking headings but with marginal rubrics, all within a systematic framework ‒ an arrangement more characteristic of 18th-century and earlier treatises, and which was already somewhat archaic in the 19th century (Weber still used it in his Versuch einer geeordneten Theorie der Tonsezkunst (Mainz: Schott, 1817–21), when it was gradually superseded by chapters with headed subdivisions (e.g. A. B. Marx). Riemann used numbered paragraphs in those theory works intended for a skilled readership, e.g. Musikalische Dynamik und Agogik ... (Hamburg: Rahter, 1884), Katechismus [Grundriß] der Kompositionslehre (Leipzig: Hesse, 1889), Vereinfachte Harmonielehre ... (London: Augener; New York: Schirmer, 1903), although his paragraphs had emboldened headings rather than rubrics. The overtone of biblical language (e.g. John, xx.24: "Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and walked among them ...") is blasphemous: Riemann, or a Riemann follower, is equated with the risen Christ, and yet Schenker is said to surmount and surpass this tradition.

4 Modern composers, Schenker maintains, exhibit a lack of scale-step progression, for which the opening of Reger's Piano Quintet, Op. 64, is cited as a "deterrent example" (Harmonielehre, pp. 219–26; the footnote concerning Reger is lacking in the English translation). And Schenker invokes as "the model of a manner of composition truly sweeping in the utter boldness of its voice-leading and (even in fugues) securely based on scale-steps, those of Johann Sebastian Bach" (pp. 221-22).)

5 "It inveighs against people like Adler and Mandyczewski." Liebstöckl is referring to the footnote on p. 88 of the Harmonielehre, in which Schenker criticizes the notion that "all old works are intrinsically good merely by virtue of their age, and deserve to be preserved and performed by us in extravagant fashion" (Eng. trans., p. 69, note 5).

6 Trockenwönze: meaning unclear; die Wonze (plural: die Wonzen) is a "trimmed beard" or "handlebar moustache".

Commentary

Format
3p letter, printed letterhead, holograph salutations, message, signature and postscript
Provenance
Schenker, Heinrich (document date-1935)--Schenker, Jeanette (1935-c.1942)--Ratz, Erwin (c.1942-c.1945)--Jonas, Oswald (c.1945-1978)--University of California, Riverside (1978--)
Rights Holder
Heirs of Hans Liebstöckl, deemed to be in the public domain
License
All reasonable steps have been taken to locate the heirs of Hans Liebstöckl. Any claim to intellectual rights on this document should be addressed to the Schenker Documents Online, at schenkercorrespondence (at) mus (dot) camc (dot) uk

Digital version created: 2014-11-24
Last updated: 2012-09-26