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Viennese patron of Schenker's over many years, up to 1909.

A member of the Eißler family, owners of larger timber businesses, she was the daughter of Adolf Baruch Weiss and Evan Kanitz, and the wife of Moriz Eissler, mother of Else Mautner, Alfred Eissler, Margarete von Scily and Georg Eissler.

Jenny Eissler and Schenker

The Eissler family is first mentioned in Schenker's diary on June 3, 1906 ("To Heiligenkreuz with the Eissler family") (OJ 1/5, p. 13). Thereafter, Schenker visited her home on many occasions, often with lunch or dinner; on at least one occasion music was played ("Dec 16[, 1906] Evening with Mrs Eissler, with Bartholomey (clarinet) quintets by Mozart and Brahms played; jolly evening": OJ 1/5, p. 30); and on another went with Mr and Mrs Eissler to a performance of Bernard Shaw's Man and Superman (of which he provides a lengthy critique) (OJ 1/6, p. 39).

On other occasions, money was either received or discussed, including a request for 250 Florins for Schenker's friend Moriz Violin (OJ 1/6, p. 40). Mrs Eissler gave Schenker presents, not always welcome: "Friday, Dec 21[, 1906] Christmas present from Mrs Eissler: Brahms Correspondence and wine: on both accounts very agreeable" (OJ 1/5, p. 31); "Dec 25[, 1907] Christmas. A picture of C. P. E. Bach (from Mrs Deutsch) gives me profound pleasure. By contrast, displeasure at another gift (Massenet autograph) from Mrs Eissler" (OJ 1/6, p. 54).

The last recorded diary entry seems to mark the break-down of relations: July 1[, 1909] First signs of bad behavior on Mrs Eissler's part. The extraordinary audacity of the filthy rich. The lady voluntarily offers financial help. She is importunate with it in front of witnesses and in front of me myself, but no sooner do I work out the sum of my counterproposal ‒ the figure of 1,200 Florins, representing a payment that, when divided up over the many, many years of our acquaintance would barely have amounted to 10 Florins a month (1,200 ÷ 10 = 120 ÷ 12) ‒ than she straightway makes herself scarce as if it were indeed I who had actually asked her for help. (OJ 1/8, p. 100)

In his marginal calculation, Schenker first writes "1,200 ÷ 15," then changes it to "1,200 ÷ 10," as if he were uncertain as to whether their acquaintance went back fifteen years (to 1894) or ten (to 1899).

Contributor:

  • Ian Bent

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Diaries