Lieber Freund! 1

So sehr es mich freute daß Sie diesem pseudo-phiylosophischen Fragekasten 2 entronnen sind, so sehr taten mir die Gründe leide, die Sie abhielten herzukommen! Haben Sie Herrn Frankensteins Fragelösungen 3 gelesen?

Was ich wirklich will, ist nicht geeignetes Material für schriftliche Mittheilung. 4 Ich könnte mit vielen Leuten sprechen. Ich sprach mit vielen! Ich schließe da Leute wie Schnabel, Walter etc. ein!

In meiner tödlichen Einsamkeit wächst in’s Unermessliche meine Sehnsucht nach einem Menschen-Ohr! Da sind Sie der einzige Mensch für mich in diesem Lande einer “show-atmosphere”, — so weit von jeder Kunst!

Ach, ich will nicht noch deutlicher oder undeutlicher werden. Ich warte nur auf den bald nahenden Tag, an dem ich es mir finanziell werde ermöglichen können nach Los Angeles zu kommen, Sie zu sehen u. zu sprechen!


Grüßen Sie herzlichst Ihre Lieben
u. seien Sie herzlichst begrüßt
von Ihrem getreuen
[signed:] M Violin

© Transcription Ian Bent, 2020



Dear Friend, 1

As overjoyed as I was that you have escaped from this pseudo-philosophical newspaper column, 2 I was equally saddened by the reasons why you were deterred from coming here! Have you read Mr. Frankenstein's solutions to questions? 3

What I really want is not suitable material for written communication. 4 I could speak with many people. I spoke with many! I include in that people such as Schnabel, Walter, etc.!

In my deathly isolation, my longing for someone to lend a willing ear has grown to huge proportions! You are the sole human being in this land of [in English:] "show atmosphere" [in German:] – so far removed from any art!

Ah! I will never become any more or less articulate. I wait only for the day, fast approaching, when I will be able to afford to travel to Los Angeles in order to see and to speak with you!


Pass on my most cordial greetings to your love-ones,
and accept my most cordial greetings to yourself,
from your faithful
[signed:] M. Violin

© Translation Ian Bent, 2020



Lieber Freund! 1

So sehr es mich freute daß Sie diesem pseudo-phiylosophischen Fragekasten 2 entronnen sind, so sehr taten mir die Gründe leide, die Sie abhielten herzukommen! Haben Sie Herrn Frankensteins Fragelösungen 3 gelesen?

Was ich wirklich will, ist nicht geeignetes Material für schriftliche Mittheilung. 4 Ich könnte mit vielen Leuten sprechen. Ich sprach mit vielen! Ich schließe da Leute wie Schnabel, Walter etc. ein!

In meiner tödlichen Einsamkeit wächst in’s Unermessliche meine Sehnsucht nach einem Menschen-Ohr! Da sind Sie der einzige Mensch für mich in diesem Lande einer “show-atmosphere”, — so weit von jeder Kunst!

Ach, ich will nicht noch deutlicher oder undeutlicher werden. Ich warte nur auf den bald nahenden Tag, an dem ich es mir finanziell werde ermöglichen können nach Los Angeles zu kommen, Sie zu sehen u. zu sprechen!


Grüßen Sie herzlichst Ihre Lieben
u. seien Sie herzlichst begrüßt
von Ihrem getreuen
[signed:] M Violin

© Transcription Ian Bent, 2020



Dear Friend, 1

As overjoyed as I was that you have escaped from this pseudo-philosophical newspaper column, 2 I was equally saddened by the reasons why you were deterred from coming here! Have you read Mr. Frankenstein's solutions to questions? 3

What I really want is not suitable material for written communication. 4 I could speak with many people. I spoke with many! I include in that people such as Schnabel, Walter, etc.!

In my deathly isolation, my longing for someone to lend a willing ear has grown to huge proportions! You are the sole human being in this land of [in English:] "show atmosphere" [in German:] – so far removed from any art!

Ah! I will never become any more or less articulate. I wait only for the day, fast approaching, when I will be able to afford to travel to Los Angeles in order to see and to speak with you!


Pass on my most cordial greetings to your love-ones,
and accept my most cordial greetings to yourself,
from your faithful
[signed:] M. Violin

© Translation Ian Bent, 2020

Footnotes

1 Editorial dating of this letter is uncertain and casts doubt on the neighboring letters. The letter to which this replies is not known to survive. A letter from Alfred V. Frankenstein, dated October 6, 1949 (LC ASC), exists, stating:

"Mr. Monteux is programming your Theme and Variations in honor of your seventy-fifth birthday on his opening program of the San Francisco Symphony Season, November 10th, 11th, and 12th. I should therefore like to ask you for two things: I should like to have program material on the Theme and Variations, including as many thematic quotations as you may feel desireable. Secondly, if you would care to provide it, I should like to have some statement regarding your views of contemporary music in the light of your long and illustrious career, this to be used either in the program book of the Symphony Orchestra or in The Chronicle."

The work in question was presumably the Theme and Variations, Op. 43b (1943), rather than the Variations for Orchestra, Op. 31 (1928). — Schoenberg replied on October 13 (LC ASC) declining the request for the program book material, and recommending Robert U. Nelson (of UCLA), but ended: "If I can, I might write something about my views on contemporary music, under the supposition, and if I can do it, on a more scientific manner rather than on a critical evaluation." (Both quotations taken from transcriptions on the Arnold Schoenberg Institute website search facility:)

2 A "Fragekasten" is a column in a newspaper for readers' questions, even an "agony column." But the fact that an "analysis" was asked for (see footnote 1 above) suggests that Violin may be using this term rather freely or derisively.

3 "Fragelösungen": underlined in pencil, presumably by Schoenberg.

4 Possibly a delayed reaction to Schoenberg's proposal, in OJ 70/35, [8], April 1, 1949, perhaps raised again in the most recent letter, that Violin write an article about "Schenker's theories" for The Musical Quarterly . — Or is he speaking about written versus face-to-face communication, direct exchange of ideas, which is the theme of the next paragraph?