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Viennese society for the promotion of new music through performance, active 1904‒05.

The Vereinigung

The Society was launched in Vienna by Arnold Schoenberg and Alexander von Zemlinsky in 1904, with Gustav Mahler as its honorary president and Alban Berg and Anton von Webern as central figures. It was to some extent modeled on the Ansorge-Verein in literature and the Sezession in the visual arts. It lasted only one season, during which it put on performances of large-scale works by Mahler, Strauss, Zemlinsky, and others, notably a performance of Schoenberg's symphonic poem Pelleas und Melisande.

The Vereinigung and Schenker

Schenker was invited to a meeting on January 21, 1904 at which the establishment of the Society was to be discussed ‒ but did not attend (OJ 14/15, [8]). Schoenberg tried subsequently to get Schenker involved, stating that his participation was considered essential for its intellectual contribution (OJ 14/15, [10], [11], [12], and [13]). Although Schenker's adverse opinion of Schoenberg and his music was yet to harden, he declined to participate.

Other than the letters cited above, no correspondence is known to have occurred between the Society and Schenker.

The Vereinigung and Moriz Violin

Violin was evidently briefly a member of the Society, but indicated his intention to withdraw in March or April 1904. Schoenberg wrote to ask him for a written withdrawal notice on April 5, 1904 (OJ 70/35, [4]). Neither Violin's first indication, nor his written notice (if ever submitted) are known to survive.

Sources:

  • New Grove Online (Mahler; Schoenberg; Zemlinsky)

Contributor:

  • Ian Bent

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Correspondence