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Austrian conductor, also composer, and author.

Career Summary

Weingartner's career as a conductor began in 1884, and he held a series of appointments, successively at Königsberg, Danzig, Hamburg, Mannheim, and Berlin (1891-1907), and then succeeded Gustav Mahler after the latter had been forced out as director of the Vienna Hofoper in 1908, himself resigning in 1911 in the face of opposition from critics and the public, but retaining control of the Vienna Philharmonic concerts until 1927. Thereafter he held posts in other cities until being appointed director of the Vienna Volksoper (1919-24). He again directed the Vienna Hofoper (Staatsoper) 1935-36. Despite his early association with Liszt, he has been considered principally a conductor of Classical composers, notably Beethoven.

As a composer he wrote seven operas, six symphonies, two symphonic poems, and much chamber music. As an author he wrote books on interpretation of the repertory (Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann), on conducting, and memoirs.

Weingartner and Schenker

Weingartner's Ratschläge für Ausführungen der Symphonien Beethovens (Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1906) is cited in the "Literatur" (Secondary Literature) sections of Schenker's Beethoven's Neunte Sinfonie: Eng. trans., pp. 20 ("serious substantive efforts ... acquits himself to good advantage"), 51-3, 88, 104 ("makes the effort, which cannot be valued highly enough, to supplement the dynamic shadings on the basis of the sense of the composition"), 119-20, 135-36, 159-60, 176, 182 ("gives accurate guidance ... several corrections ... they are to be considered perfectly appropriate"), 222, 285 ("astute suggestions concerning stage arrangement ... good instinct"), 307-08 ("arrives at the only correct solution"), 316-19 ("rightly objects--it is just a pity that no reason is given!"), 330. Later, Schenker included the Ratschläge in his discussion of the Fifth Symphony in Der Tonwille, Heft 5 (1923), and elsewhere in Heft 3 (1922) criticizing him for conducting an all-French program (Eng. trans., vol.1, pp. 136, 198-201, 221).

Early in his career, as a music critic, Schenker had written "Bülow-Weingartner" in 1895 (Federhofer (1990), pp.171-75), a review of an article by Weingartner entitled "Ueber das Dirigiren" (1895), itself a reflection on an article by Wagner of the same title.

There is no correspondence between Weingartner and Schenker, but several articles and concert programs survive in OC and OJ. For comments in Schenker's diary, see Federhofer (1985), pp. 267-68.

Sources:

  • NGDM
  • Baker's1971
  • Federhofer, Hellmut, Heinrich Schenker nach Tagebüchern und Briefen ... (Hildesheim: Georg Olms, 1985)
  • Federhofer, Hellmut, Schenker als Essayist und Kritiker ... (Hildesheim: Georg Olms, 1990)

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Correspondence

  • WSLB 47 Handwritten letter from Schenker to Hertzka (UE), dated November 9, 1909

    Schenker resists attending a meeting with Hertzka and von Wöß regarding the printing of his edition of the Chromatic Fantasy & Fugue; asserts his rights as an author to control over his own material; and makes claims for the introduction to his Instrumentations-Tabelle, which was not accepted for inclusion in 1908 reprinting.

  • OC 1 B/35-40 Handwritten draft letter, in Jeanette Kornfeld/Schenker's hand, from Schenker to Hertzka (UE), undated [June 10, 1919]

    Schenker promises to send Hans Weisse to see Hertzka. In reacting unfavorably to Hertzka's suggestions that the Foreword to Die letzten fünf Sonaten von Beethoven ... op. 111 be discarded for its second edition, Schenker puts up a stout defense of his use of polemic in his writings, contending that art and all manifestations of human life are inextricably interconnected. He claims that his pronouncements on politics now will prove correct in the long run. His sole concern is with the truth; he is not interested in pandering to his readers.

  • WSLB 303 Handwritten letter from Schenker to Hertzka (UE), dated June 12, 1919

    Schenker promises to send Hans Weisse to see Hertzka. In reacting unfavorably to Hertzka's suggestions that the Foreword to Die letzten fünf Sonaten von Beethoven, Op. 111 be discarded for its second edition, Schenker puts up a stout defense of his use of polemic in his writings, contending that art, life, and politics are inextricably interconnected. He claims that his pronouncements on politics now will prove correct in the long run. His sole concern is with the truth; he is not interested in pandering to his readers.

  • OC 1B/10-11 Handwritten letter from Schenker to Hertzka (UE), dated February 22‒23, 1922

    Schenker returns materials for the Fifth Symphony article, reports a delay in providing information for the facsimile edition of the "Spring" Sonata, and complains that he has futilely lavished time on the purification of the German language for the second edition of Die letzten fünf Sonaten ... Op. 109. — He agrees in principle to Hertzka's idea of an "Urlinie-Ausgabe" of the Beethoven sonatas, and agrees to announce it in Tonwille 2, but asks how the first seventeen sonatas are to be done retrospectively, and rejects the suggestion that his pupils might make the preparatory graphs.

  • OJ 6/7, [27] Handwritten letter from Schenker to Moriz Violin, dated January 15, 1926

    Schenker agrees to to teach Violin's pupil Agnes Becker twice a week, as soon as she is ready to come to Vienna. He reports Furtwängler's disillusionment with modern music, and notes that Weingartner and Julius Korngold have expressed similar sentiments. He is not optimistic that humanity in general will truly understand the classics, which underscores the important of his (and Violin's) mission.

  • OJ 6/7, [45] Handwritten letter from Schenker to Violin, dated December 23, 1929

    Schenker, expressing misgivings about the medical profession, nonetheless hopes that Karl Violin's impending operation is successful. He is still awaiting news about a publisher for the "Eroica" monograph; Furtwängler's illness has delayed some lines of enquiry, and Hertzka (at Universal Edition) has not been cooperative.

  • OJ 9/15, [3] Handwritten notecard from Elsa Bienenfeld to Schenker, dated June 6, 1933

    Bienenfeld thanks Schenker for her visit to him on June 2, 1933, and invites him to meet Felix Weingartner on June 14, 1933.

Diaries