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Writer on music and leading music critic, strong supporter of Wagner and Bruckner.

Grunsky published his influential Musikästhetik in 1907, which went through many editions, also Musikgeschichte des 19. Jahrhunderts (Leipzig, G. J. Göschen, 1902, 2/1908, 4/1923), and Musikgeschichte des 17. Jahrhunderts (Leipzig; Göschen, 1905, 3/1925); and a number of articles on the music dramas of Wagner in 1906‒08, e.g. "Die Rhythmik im Parsifal," Richard Wagner-Jahrbuch (1908), 276‒370. See also his contributions to Bruckner's Symphonien erläutert mit Notenbeispielen (Berlin: Schlesinger, n.d.). Federhofer speaks of "a dispute between Schenker and Grunsky" in 1908.

Grunsky and Schenker

The first contact between the two men appears to have been indirect: Grunsky wrote to the publisher J. G. Cotta (OJ 12/27, [10], December 12, 1907) to inquire the identity of the author of Harmonielehre , since he was writing a review of the work and wished to have "an exchange of ideas" with him. Schenker ‒ suspicious that Grunsky wanted to extract his name merely out of curiosity ‒ instructed Cotta not to divulge his name (see CA 71 and OJ 9/31, [17], December 16, 18). But when Schenker received a copy of the review (OC 2/p. 20, [4]) from Cotta on January 6, 1908 he was evidently pleased, because he recorded in his diary: "So I have harbored unfounded suspicions of this person." Two weeks later, Schenker wrote to Grunsky (OJ 5/15, [1]), by which time Schenker's anonymity seems already to have been dispensed with. The two men then engaged in an epistolary exchange lasting through to December 1908, centred on the music of Bruckner and raising general issues of form and technique, and esthetic matters, on many of which the two men courteously disagreed.

Correspondence with Schenker

Correspondence between Grunsky and Schenker survives at OJ 5/15 (1908 and undated; 5 items), OJ 11/29 (1908, 1910: 5 items), and OJ 59/6 (transcripts by Oswald Jonas).


  • Federhofer, Hellmut, Heinrich Schenker nach Tagebüchern und Briefen ... (Hildesheim: Georg Olms, 1985), p. 134.


  • Lee Rothfarb and Ian Bent

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