[in unknown hand, top right corner: "17. V. 1910"]


Verehrtester Herr Doctor, 1

ich glaube, daß hier ein Mißverständnis vorliegt. Es war meine Absicht mir durch ein Gespräch mit Ihnen die Sicherheit zu holen, ob meine Auffassung einiger Details in den L.-Ouvertüren richtig ist oder nicht. Es hätte durchaus von Ihnen abgehangen, ob und wieweit Sie bei diesem Anlasse mir etwas von Ihren Erfahrungen und Denkergebnissen mitgetheilt hätten. Ihre Bedenken 2 will ich natürlich gerne respektieren, bemerke jedoch noch folgendes: Es scheint Ihre Annahme zu sein, daß ich die Publikation einer Arbeit über die beiden Leonoren-Ouvertüren beabsichtige. Das ist nicht der Fall. Ich hoffe Sie werden im Herbste im Besitz meiner Arbeit 3 sein, die sich mit der Aehsthetik [sic] des musikalischen Schaffens beschäftigt und wo ich in einem Capitel neben anderen Beispielen die Leonorenouvertüren als ein Exempel dafür benütze, wie ein Künstler zum Stil kommt. 4 Alles, was ich über die Leonorenouvertüren zu sagen habe, ist mit allen anderen Gedankengängen so verknüpft, daß es nur durch diese Verbindung Werth hat. So sehr es mich interes- {2} sieren wird die Arbeit ihres Schülers 5 zu lesen, wenn Sie publiziert sein wird, so wenig Einfluß wird sie auf meine Gedankengänge nehmen können, weil es sich hier um allgemeine Auffassungen und Überzeugungen handelt, die das Resultat langjähriger Kunsterfahrungen sind. Doch das Theoretisieren führt hier zu nichts. Sie werden selbst Gelegenheit haben, die Sachen zu sehen und zu prüfen.


Mit den herzlichsten Grüßen
Ihr stets ergebener
[signed:] Max Graf.

© Transcription Martin Eybl, 2006

[in unknown hand, top right corner: "17. V. 1910"]


Most revered Dr. [Schenker] , 1

I think there is a misunderstanding here. I intended, by means of a conversation with you, to establish securely whether my understanding of certain details in the "Leonora" overtures is correct or not. Throughout it would have depended on you, whether, and to what extent, you would have communicated to me some of your experiences and conclusions on this occasion. Naturally I shall gladly respect your scruples, 2 but would add the following remarks: You seem to assume that I intend to publish an article on the two "Leonora" overtures. That is not the case. I hope that by the autumn you will have at your disposal my work, 3 which is concerned with the aesthetics of musical creativity, and in it I use the "Leonora" overtures in one of the chapters, together with other examples, as an illustration of the way in which an artist achieves style. 4 All I have to say about the "Leonora" overtures is so interconnected with other trains of thought that it is only in that context that it has value. As highly as the work of your student 5 will interest me, {2} when it comes to be published, it will be able to exert equally little influence on my trains of thought, since it is general concepts and opinions that are dealt with here, which are the fruit of many years' experience of art. But theorizing is pointless here. You will have occasion to see matters for yourself and to test them.


With my most cordial greetings,
yours very faithfully,
[signed:] Max Graf.

© Translation Geoffrey Chew, 2006

[in unknown hand, top right corner: "17. V. 1910"]


Verehrtester Herr Doctor, 1

ich glaube, daß hier ein Mißverständnis vorliegt. Es war meine Absicht mir durch ein Gespräch mit Ihnen die Sicherheit zu holen, ob meine Auffassung einiger Details in den L.-Ouvertüren richtig ist oder nicht. Es hätte durchaus von Ihnen abgehangen, ob und wieweit Sie bei diesem Anlasse mir etwas von Ihren Erfahrungen und Denkergebnissen mitgetheilt hätten. Ihre Bedenken 2 will ich natürlich gerne respektieren, bemerke jedoch noch folgendes: Es scheint Ihre Annahme zu sein, daß ich die Publikation einer Arbeit über die beiden Leonoren-Ouvertüren beabsichtige. Das ist nicht der Fall. Ich hoffe Sie werden im Herbste im Besitz meiner Arbeit 3 sein, die sich mit der Aehsthetik [sic] des musikalischen Schaffens beschäftigt und wo ich in einem Capitel neben anderen Beispielen die Leonorenouvertüren als ein Exempel dafür benütze, wie ein Künstler zum Stil kommt. 4 Alles, was ich über die Leonorenouvertüren zu sagen habe, ist mit allen anderen Gedankengängen so verknüpft, daß es nur durch diese Verbindung Werth hat. So sehr es mich interes- {2} sieren wird die Arbeit ihres Schülers 5 zu lesen, wenn Sie publiziert sein wird, so wenig Einfluß wird sie auf meine Gedankengänge nehmen können, weil es sich hier um allgemeine Auffassungen und Überzeugungen handelt, die das Resultat langjähriger Kunsterfahrungen sind. Doch das Theoretisieren führt hier zu nichts. Sie werden selbst Gelegenheit haben, die Sachen zu sehen und zu prüfen.


Mit den herzlichsten Grüßen
Ihr stets ergebener
[signed:] Max Graf.

© Transcription Martin Eybl, 2006

[in unknown hand, top right corner: "17. V. 1910"]


Most revered Dr. [Schenker] , 1

I think there is a misunderstanding here. I intended, by means of a conversation with you, to establish securely whether my understanding of certain details in the "Leonora" overtures is correct or not. Throughout it would have depended on you, whether, and to what extent, you would have communicated to me some of your experiences and conclusions on this occasion. Naturally I shall gladly respect your scruples, 2 but would add the following remarks: You seem to assume that I intend to publish an article on the two "Leonora" overtures. That is not the case. I hope that by the autumn you will have at your disposal my work, 3 which is concerned with the aesthetics of musical creativity, and in it I use the "Leonora" overtures in one of the chapters, together with other examples, as an illustration of the way in which an artist achieves style. 4 All I have to say about the "Leonora" overtures is so interconnected with other trains of thought that it is only in that context that it has value. As highly as the work of your student 5 will interest me, {2} when it comes to be published, it will be able to exert equally little influence on my trains of thought, since it is general concepts and opinions that are dealt with here, which are the fruit of many years' experience of art. But theorizing is pointless here. You will have occasion to see matters for yourself and to test them.


With my most cordial greetings,
yours very faithfully,
[signed:] Max Graf.

© Translation Geoffrey Chew, 2006

Footnotes

1 Receipt of this letter seems not to be recorded in Schenker's diary.

2 The precise context of this letter is unknown. In a letter, now lost, Schenker refused a meeting with Graf, possibly on account of misgivings in case Graf published Schenker's opinions as his own ideas. A few years later, Arnold Schoenberg also expressed similar fears, in connection with Graf's negative criticism of Schoenberg's continuo realization in volume 39 of the Denkmäler der Tonkunst in Österreich (Monn). In a letter to Guido Adler written on April 14, 1913 he suspected Schenker and Moriz Violin of being the experts orchestrating this attack: "At first I intended to respond, but I shall not do so because I do not intend to have anything more to do with people of Graf's type. Furthermore, it is obvious to me that Graf has 'behind the scenes' collaborators (I suspect Schenker and Violin, who have always had the honorable role of inciting critics against artists and of supplying them with their 'material'), since Graf is unable to distinguish between a continuo and a market report [footnote: "or, as Kraus would say: a counterpoint from a freckle"]. This I have been aware of since that time in the coffee-house when he stole my views on musical questions in order to claim them as his own in mutilated form in the newspaper." (Quoted from Egbert M. Ennulat, ed., Arnold Schoenberg Correspondence: A Collection of Translated and Annotated Letters exchanged with Guido Adler, Pablo Casals, Emanuel Feuermann and Olin Downes (Metuchen/London: Scarecrow Press 1991), in Ennulat's translation, pp. 104-05.) The article appeared on April 2, 1913. This, together with Adler's answer on April 16, yields a date of April 14, not March 14, 1913 as in the edition (see Ennulat, pp. 110–13, 282–86).

3 Max Graf, Die innere Werkstatt des Musikers (Stuttgart: Ferdinand Enke, 1910). When he examined this work, Schenker commented in his diary on November 26, 1910: "Dr. Max Graf's latest book, The Inner Workplace etc., cites my Theory of Harmony ‒ although in journalistic fashion, needless to say, not at one of the more important passages, where the theft of the main points occurs and would be bound to discredit the thief, but at a point in the material that is fundamentally entirely irrelevant, namely local modulation. As a result, the theft itself is very effectively masked, and the reader assumes that the central issue belongs to the author himself, the subordinate issue to another author who is merely cited. In actual fact, however, the analysis belongs to me, draws attention to both Brahms's editions of Op. 8 [and] Beethoven's "Leonora" overtures, about which I spoke with Dr. Graf for years in Café Frohner, and several other topics." (OJ 1/11, p. 119a).

4 Chap. XVI, "The High Style," pp. 228–46, discusses the modifications in Beethoven's "Leonora" Overture No. 2 compared with the "Leonora" Overture No. 1. Schenker is mentioned neither here nor in the Foreword. But there is indirect reference to him on p. 38, and at the corresponding point in the "Quellennachweis" ["Sources"] (p. 252) his Harmonielehre p. 441 (Eng. transl., p. 332) (on the classical use of enharmonicism) is cited.

5 It is unclear what planned publication, and which pupil, are being referred to here by Graf.