Lieber Herr von Cube ! 1

Voran das Bildchen zur Bestätigung u. Richtigstellung: 2
thumb

Die erste Tieferlegung geht durch 10men:
thumb
bei denen die Diminution allerlei Schabernack treibt, Hervorheben von Mittelstimmen nach oben, {2} Tausch (T. 12–13 u. 14–15): (b–a, as–g tief dicht dicht beim am Baß, statt oben) u s w.

Der Bass führt, Oberdezimen sind es. Gliederung: [slurs connect each pitch-name to the next:] c1–g c. Wundervolle Parallelismen bei der Oberst. mitten im Schabernack: 2mal überworfen [slurs connect each pair of pitch-names in the remainder of this paragraph:] e a 2, d–g 2, dann und dazu einmal Bass: a–d; dann ebenso: a–d 2, g–c2 u. Bass: d– cg ; die ă als d1.

Endlich das Schwierigste: Erfüllung der oblig. Tonlage [the Ă in the following is placed above the c:] (d1)–c? Ă , zurück in die Lage der Ą, mittels, thumb
einer Brechung e1–c2, kombiniert mit [the first "4" slured to the second "4":] 3–4 4–3.

Um aber e1 (*) zu gewinnen, verschärft Bach d1 (=ă) mittels d1–f2 bis zur Sept, die e1 dringend veranläßt!

{3} Lesen Sie in der Gesammtausgabe S. 204 (hinten) die Forkel 'sche Gestalt, damit Sie sich vom Wert jener köstlichen Dim. einen Begriff machen. 3

Lesen Sie die „Berl. Tonk. Zeitg“ vom 5.11. Dort finden Sie einen Aufsatz von Schönberg (unbeschreiblich trottelhaft) 4 u. einen[corr] aus Kiel, der auch von mir spricht: 5 der Verfasser dankt mir zwar die Befreiung von Riemann , aber – der Jugend sollten diese Bücher doch nicht in die Hand gegeben werden, System: Inquisition – Scheiterhaufen, – zum Lachen, heute, wo der Sieg schon so auf der Hand liegt, zum Lachen! Ich erzähle {4} davon, weil Sie möglicherweise auf die Haltung der „B. T. Ztg.zu schließen haben. Doch hat meines Erinnerns Vriesl. dort schon einen Aufsatz über mich gebracht. 6 Ihr Aufsatz wäre aber etwas anders, müsste also passieren: er spricht ja über eine Unterrichtsfrage, nicht eigentlich über mich selbst. Also Mut. Übrigens dürften Sie für den Aufsatz jede andere Musikzeitung leicht gewinnen.

Ihre Lebensfreude macht auch mir Freude. Nicht rasten. Vielen Dank für das l. Briefchen.


Mit besten Grüßen von uns Beiden
Ihr
[signed:] H Schenker

Ihren Aufsatz möchte ich gern vorher lesen, hoffentlich geht das.

{5} PS. (gegen Riemann etc.)

Rhythmisch-Metrisches:
thumb
["NB" is boxed and the following sentence is written on five lines to the right and below the example:] NB: der zwischen es1–d1 eingeschobene Takt mit 6/4 ist nicht von S. Bach.

Dynamik (Vortrag) richtet sich danach; falsch allerorten (s. Peters , Czerny , usw.[)]

Die Disson. bei der l.H. immer stärker spielen als die Konson. also zB. thumb

Der Unterschied von 4+/2 u. 4+/3 bedeutet die Schönheit in der Färbung jener holden Parallelismen: mit {6} Absicht schreibt B.
thumb
um bei der Oberst. der nackten Wdg. zu entgehen: thumb

Sonntag, den 12.1.30

© Transcription William Drabkin, 2006



Dear Mr. von Cube, 1

To begin with, a simple graph for purposes of confirmation and correction: 2
thumb

The first descending register transfer proceeds in parallel 10ths:
thumb
at which the diminution plays all sorts of tricks: Inner parts are brought to the fore, above; {2} voice exchange (bars 12–13 and 14–15): (bę–a, aę–g closely positioned near the bass, rather than in a higher register), etc.

The bass leads, supporting parallel 10ths, divided into [slurs connect each pitch-name to the next:] c1–g c. Wonderful parallelisms in the upper part in the midst of the trickery. Twice [the inner part] is thrown above, [slurs connect each pair of pitch-names in the remainder of this paragraph:] e–a 2 and d–g 2, then with a single response in the bass, a–d; then similarly a–d 2, g–c2 and d– cG in the bass. The ă is taken by d1.

Finally, the most difficult problem: completing the obligatory register from [the Ă in the following is placed above the c:] d1 to c (but in which octave?) as Ă, back into the register of the Ą, by means of: thumb
an arpeggiation from e1 to c2, combined with [the first "4" slured to the second "4":] 3–4 4–3.

But in order to gain e1 (see * [in example 3]), Bach hones the d1 (=ă) by means of d1–f1, [thus] leading to the seventh, which urgently demands resolution to e1 !

{3} Have a look, on p. 204 in the collected edition [of Bach's music] (at the back of the volume), Forkel 's version of the piece, so that you will understand the value of that exquisite diminution. 3

Read the Berliner Tonkünstler-Zeitung of November 5, [1929]. You will find there an (indescribably bumbling) article by Schoenberg, 4 and one from Kiel, which also refers to me: 5 the author thanks me, indeed, for freeing him from Riemann, but – these books should on no account be put in the hands of today's youth; [the present] system [is the] rubbish heap of the Inquisition – ludicrous, today, when victory is so very nearly within our reach, ridiculous! I speak {4} of these things because you may possibly have arrived at a view of the quality of the Berliner Tonkünstler-Zeitung . And yet, if I remember correctly, Vrieslander published an article about me there. 6 Your article would be somewhat different, and therefore would have to be suitable: it concerns a question of pedagogy, and ist not specifically about me. Take courage. In any event, you should find it easy to publish your essay in any other music journal.

Your joy in life brings joy also to me. Do not rest. Many thanks for your sweet letter.


With best wishes from the two of us,
Yours,
[signed:] H. Schenker

[PS 1] I should be grateful to read your article before you submit it; I hope that will be all right.

{5} PS [2]. (in opposition to Riemann and other writers)

Rhythmic-metric analysis:
thumb
["NB" is boxed and the following sentence is written on five lines to the right and below the example:] NB: [in the example] the bar with the 6/4 chord inserted between the eę 1 and the d1 is not by Bach.

Dynamics (performance) are in accordance with the example; they are incorrectly given every where (see the Peters edition, Czerny, etc.).

The dissonances in the left hand should always be played louder than the consonances, thus for example thumb

The difference between a 4+/2 chord and a 4+/3 chord will clarify the shading of those magnificent parallelisms. {6} Bach deliberately writes
thumb
in order to avoid a naked repetition in the upper voice. thumb

Sunday, January 12, 1930

© Translation William Drabkin, 2006



Lieber Herr von Cube ! 1

Voran das Bildchen zur Bestätigung u. Richtigstellung: 2
thumb

Die erste Tieferlegung geht durch 10men:
thumb
bei denen die Diminution allerlei Schabernack treibt, Hervorheben von Mittelstimmen nach oben, {2} Tausch (T. 12–13 u. 14–15): (b–a, as–g tief dicht dicht beim am Baß, statt oben) u s w.

Der Bass führt, Oberdezimen sind es. Gliederung: [slurs connect each pitch-name to the next:] c1–g c. Wundervolle Parallelismen bei der Oberst. mitten im Schabernack: 2mal überworfen [slurs connect each pair of pitch-names in the remainder of this paragraph:] e a 2, d–g 2, dann und dazu einmal Bass: a–d; dann ebenso: a–d 2, g–c2 u. Bass: d– cg ; die ă als d1.

Endlich das Schwierigste: Erfüllung der oblig. Tonlage [the Ă in the following is placed above the c:] (d1)–c? Ă , zurück in die Lage der Ą, mittels, thumb
einer Brechung e1–c2, kombiniert mit [the first "4" slured to the second "4":] 3–4 4–3.

Um aber e1 (*) zu gewinnen, verschärft Bach d1 (=ă) mittels d1–f2 bis zur Sept, die e1 dringend veranläßt!

{3} Lesen Sie in der Gesammtausgabe S. 204 (hinten) die Forkel 'sche Gestalt, damit Sie sich vom Wert jener köstlichen Dim. einen Begriff machen. 3

Lesen Sie die „Berl. Tonk. Zeitg“ vom 5.11. Dort finden Sie einen Aufsatz von Schönberg (unbeschreiblich trottelhaft) 4 u. einen[corr] aus Kiel, der auch von mir spricht: 5 der Verfasser dankt mir zwar die Befreiung von Riemann , aber – der Jugend sollten diese Bücher doch nicht in die Hand gegeben werden, System: Inquisition – Scheiterhaufen, – zum Lachen, heute, wo der Sieg schon so auf der Hand liegt, zum Lachen! Ich erzähle {4} davon, weil Sie möglicherweise auf die Haltung der „B. T. Ztg.zu schließen haben. Doch hat meines Erinnerns Vriesl. dort schon einen Aufsatz über mich gebracht. 6 Ihr Aufsatz wäre aber etwas anders, müsste also passieren: er spricht ja über eine Unterrichtsfrage, nicht eigentlich über mich selbst. Also Mut. Übrigens dürften Sie für den Aufsatz jede andere Musikzeitung leicht gewinnen.

Ihre Lebensfreude macht auch mir Freude. Nicht rasten. Vielen Dank für das l. Briefchen.


Mit besten Grüßen von uns Beiden
Ihr
[signed:] H Schenker

Ihren Aufsatz möchte ich gern vorher lesen, hoffentlich geht das.

{5} PS. (gegen Riemann etc.)

Rhythmisch-Metrisches:
thumb
["NB" is boxed and the following sentence is written on five lines to the right and below the example:] NB: der zwischen es1–d1 eingeschobene Takt mit 6/4 ist nicht von S. Bach.

Dynamik (Vortrag) richtet sich danach; falsch allerorten (s. Peters , Czerny , usw.[)]

Die Disson. bei der l.H. immer stärker spielen als die Konson. also zB. thumb

Der Unterschied von 4+/2 u. 4+/3 bedeutet die Schönheit in der Färbung jener holden Parallelismen: mit {6} Absicht schreibt B.
thumb
um bei der Oberst. der nackten Wdg. zu entgehen: thumb

Sonntag, den 12.1.30

© Transcription William Drabkin, 2006



Dear Mr. von Cube, 1

To begin with, a simple graph for purposes of confirmation and correction: 2
thumb

The first descending register transfer proceeds in parallel 10ths:
thumb
at which the diminution plays all sorts of tricks: Inner parts are brought to the fore, above; {2} voice exchange (bars 12–13 and 14–15): (bę–a, aę–g closely positioned near the bass, rather than in a higher register), etc.

The bass leads, supporting parallel 10ths, divided into [slurs connect each pitch-name to the next:] c1–g c. Wonderful parallelisms in the upper part in the midst of the trickery. Twice [the inner part] is thrown above, [slurs connect each pair of pitch-names in the remainder of this paragraph:] e–a 2 and d–g 2, then with a single response in the bass, a–d; then similarly a–d 2, g–c2 and d– cG in the bass. The ă is taken by d1.

Finally, the most difficult problem: completing the obligatory register from [the Ă in the following is placed above the c:] d1 to c (but in which octave?) as Ă, back into the register of the Ą, by means of: thumb
an arpeggiation from e1 to c2, combined with [the first "4" slured to the second "4":] 3–4 4–3.

But in order to gain e1 (see * [in example 3]), Bach hones the d1 (=ă) by means of d1–f1, [thus] leading to the seventh, which urgently demands resolution to e1 !

{3} Have a look, on p. 204 in the collected edition [of Bach's music] (at the back of the volume), Forkel 's version of the piece, so that you will understand the value of that exquisite diminution. 3

Read the Berliner Tonkünstler-Zeitung of November 5, [1929]. You will find there an (indescribably bumbling) article by Schoenberg, 4 and one from Kiel, which also refers to me: 5 the author thanks me, indeed, for freeing him from Riemann, but – these books should on no account be put in the hands of today's youth; [the present] system [is the] rubbish heap of the Inquisition – ludicrous, today, when victory is so very nearly within our reach, ridiculous! I speak {4} of these things because you may possibly have arrived at a view of the quality of the Berliner Tonkünstler-Zeitung . And yet, if I remember correctly, Vrieslander published an article about me there. 6 Your article would be somewhat different, and therefore would have to be suitable: it concerns a question of pedagogy, and ist not specifically about me. Take courage. In any event, you should find it easy to publish your essay in any other music journal.

Your joy in life brings joy also to me. Do not rest. Many thanks for your sweet letter.


With best wishes from the two of us,
Yours,
[signed:] H. Schenker

[PS 1] I should be grateful to read your article before you submit it; I hope that will be all right.

{5} PS [2]. (in opposition to Riemann and other writers)

Rhythmic-metric analysis:
thumb
["NB" is boxed and the following sentence is written on five lines to the right and below the example:] NB: [in the example] the bar with the 6/4 chord inserted between the eę 1 and the d1 is not by Bach.

Dynamics (performance) are in accordance with the example; they are incorrectly given every where (see the Peters edition, Czerny, etc.).

The dissonances in the left hand should always be played louder than the consonances, thus for example thumb

The difference between a 4+/2 chord and a 4+/3 chord will clarify the shading of those magnificent parallelisms. {6} Bach deliberately writes
thumb
in order to avoid a naked repetition in the upper voice. thumb

Sunday, January 12, 1930

© Translation William Drabkin, 2006

Footnotes

1 Writing of this letter is recorded in Schenker's diary at OJ 4/3, p. 3429, January 9, 1930: "An v. Cube (Br.): meine Ausführung des 1. Präludiums von Bach begonnen." ("To von Cube (letter): my account of the first Prelude of Bach begun."), and continued at OJ 4/3, p. 3429, January 12, 1930: "An v. Cube (Br.): zuendegeführt." ("To von Cube (letter): finished.").

2 This letter offers an extensive commentary of Cube's provisional reading of Bach's Prelude in C from the Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I, which was presented in Cube's letter to Schenker OJ 9/34, [20], January 2, 1930. The details of Schenker's analysis are very close to those in the graphic analysis of the prelude in the Fünf Urlinie-Tafeln (Five Analyses in Sketchform) of 1932: the main difference here is the prominence of the bass Fě supporting a diminished seventh (in the published analysis the Fě is a passing note between F, supporting a major seventh, and G, the structural dominant). For further commentary on this letter (and a facsimile of pages 1–2 and 5–6, see William Drabkin, "A Lesson in Analysis with Heinrich Schenker," Music Analysis 4 (1985), pp. 241–58.

3 The Bach-Gesellschaft edition (vol. 14) includes in its text-critical report – on p. 205, not p. 204 – an apocryphal version of the Prelude attributed to Johann Forkel (the so-called "Forkel'sche Gestalt"), which appeared in the later eighteenth-century printings of Hoffmeister's edition of the Well-Tempered Clavier. It is only 24 bars long, and lacking in most of the contrapuntal features discussed in this letter.

4 Arnold Schoenberg, "Zur Frage des modernen Kompositionsunterrichtes," in Deutsches Tonkünstler-Zeitung, November 5, 1929, Eng. trans. "On the Question of Modern Composition Teaching," Style and Idea, trans. Leo Black (London: Faber & Faber, 1975), 373–76.

5 On page 79 of the Schenker Scrapbook (OC, file 2), Jeanette has written the note reference to "Waldemar Schmidt/Seminarleiter in Kiel/citirt Schenker neben Kurth/ Deutsche Tonkünstler Zeitung 5.XI.29 ("Waldemar Schmidt, director of the conservatory in Kiel, cites Schenker alongside Kurth", Deutsche Tonkünstle-Zeitung, November 5, 1929).

6 The Schenker Scrapbook (p.76) contains Vrieslander's "Heinrich Schenker" from the Deutsche Tonkünstler-Zeitung of March 5, 1928, written on the occasion of the (delayed) publication of Das Meisterwerk in der Musik, volume II.

Commentary

Format
6-p letter, holograph message with music examples, holograph signature
Provenance
Felix-Eberhard von Cube (document date--????) -- photocopies: W.M.Drabkin (1985-2011) -- Oswald Jonas Memorial Collection (2011-)
Rights Holder
Heirs of Heinrich Schenker, deemed to be in the public domain
License
All reasonable steps have been taken to locate the heirs of Heinrich Schenker. Any claim to intellectual rights on this document should be addressed to the Schenker Documents Online, at schenkercorrespondence [at] mus (dot) cam (dot) ac (dot) uk

Digital version created: 2006-10-19
Last updated: 2011-11-06