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The second volume of Schenker's yearbook Das Meisterwerk in der Musik (1925–30), the full title of which is:

  • Das Meisterwerk in der Musik: ein Jahrbuch von Heinrich Schenker
  • The Masterwork in Music: a Yearbook by Heinrich Schenker


Volume II is like its predecessor in having 220 printed pages (16 gatherings: 224pp) but differs from it in comprising only nine articles, of which four are theoretical studies and four analytical, plus a new "Miscellanea."

The contents of this second volume forge links back to the first (and further back to Der Tonwille ) and also forward to the third. Besides the continuity established by the reprinting of "Elucidations" and the extension of the "Miscellanea" series (which concludes in vol. III, thus spanning 1921 to 1930), the analysis of the Bach cello movement rounds off a self-contained group of three studies of Bach solo string works; and "Further Considerations of the Urlinie" forms a sequel to that in volume I. Most importantly, the 50-page study of Mozart's G-minor Symphony links back to the 71-page study of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony serialized in Der Tonwille and forward to the latter's reissue as a monograph in 1927 and to the 72-page study of Beethoven's Third Symphony in Meisterwerk III .

The analysis of Reger's Variations and Fugue, Op. 81 turns Schenker's analytical motivation on its head: rather than demonstrating compositional mastery and the secret workings of genius it exposes poor technique and formal confusion. In its polemical purpose it allies itself with the "Miscellanea," and also with the final part of "Further Considerations," which presents a diatribe against Schoenberg and an analytical critique of Stravinsky's Piano Concerto as "bad, inartistic and unmusical." The second and third articles form a pair: "On Organicism in Sonata Form" and "The Organic Nature of Fugue." Both demolish a conventional view ‒ the 19th-century reading of sonata form as organic, and the 18th/19th-century view of fugue as a succession of phases and technical devices ‒ and replace them with a single concept of coherence that stems from the prolongation of the primary tone (Kopfton) and the inter-related unfoldings of linear progressions (Züge); and each does this not by abstraction but by analysis, especially that of the C-minor Fugue from the Well-tempered Clavier Book I in the latter article.

Production Chronology

Several of the articles in this volume have their beginnings in the latter part of 1924 (even before the contents of volume I were started). Schenker worked on Haydn's Creation in mid-August 1924, returning to it between July 31 and August 15, 1925, and finishing the work in May 1926. Likewise, he had got far enough with Schubert waltzes ‒ analyzed in "Further Considerations of the Urlinie" ‒ in October 1924 to write out a fair copy, then after a 17-month break consolidated the first part of the article in late March 1926, worked up each section separately in April, and completed it on May 23.

Analytical work on Beethoven's Piano Sonata, Op. 10, No. 2 ‒ destined for "On Organicism in Sonata Form" ‒ was underway in mid-December 1924, then after a year's hiatus the article (provisionally titled "The Sonata and the Act of Improvisation") was restarted on January 15‒17, 1926 and concluded between May 3 and 25. Analytical work on the C-minor Fugue for "The Organic Nature of Fugue" began in late December 1924, resumed in late August 1925 and was picked up again in October, the secondary literature study conducted in November 1925 and January 1926, and the work completed in late May. The Reger counter-analysis was written concentratedly between March 19 and April 26, 1925, then lay fallow for a year until finishing touches were put in May 1926.

The remaining three articles, on the other hand, were all confined to 1926. The study of the Bach cello movement and "Miscellanea" were written in March, April, and May. Schenker worked on the Urlinie of the Sarabande from the Bach C-major Cello Suite on March 5, 1926 knowing that he and Hans Weisse would be hearing Pablo Casals perform that suite at the Konzerthaus on March 12 ("I was afraid that Casals could [...] misinterpret Bach; I was all the more agreeably surprised to see that he had arrived at a synthesis by his own routes!"), and had produced a full draft by the 24th. The Mozart Symphony study occupied five-and-a-half months of intensive work, from January 2 to June 10, 1926, the first movement finished on March 28, the Andante on June 3, the Minuet on June 7, and the Finale on June 9.

The complete contents were packed up for delivery to Drei Masken Verlag on June 11, 1926 ‒ the day that Schenker received his first published copy of Meisterwerk I . In July the publisher put off the decision to go into production until the early Fall (OC 54/95), and again deferred the decision in December, at which point legal proceedings were mooted (OC 54/109). By mid-January 1927 Schenker spoke of seeking compensation for breach of contract (OC 54/116), and only the intervention of Otto Erich Deutsch and an undertaking from "a circle of pupils ... to facilitate matters financially" made the publisher relent and agree to proceed to publication (OC 54/117). First galley-proofs started circulating about February 3, 1927 and correction of these was completed on April 19, though some correcting, perhaps of the engraving, was already occurring by around January 27 (OC 54/126); second galleys circulated between May 2 and 24. First page-proofs were received between June 13 and July 18, Schenker correcting them while on vacation in Galtür; final page-proofs arrived around August 20 and were mailed back on August 22 (OC 54/186) with Schenker's imprimatur. Bound complimentary copies were dispatched to Schenker on September 27, and the volume was released in the first or second week of October.


  • English translation: Drabkin, William, ed., The Masterwork in Music: A Yearbook [team-translated] (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994–97): vol. II (1996)

Contents List

  • "Fortsetzung der Urlinie-Betrachtungen" [Further Considerations of the Urlinie], 9‒42 [1‒22]
  • "Vom Organischen der Sonatenform" [On Organicism in Sonata Form], 43‒54 [23‒30]
  • "Das Organische der Fuge aufgezeigt an der I. C-Moll-Fuge aus dem Wohltemperierten Klavier von Joh. Seb. Bach" [The Organic Nature of Fugue as demonstrated in the C-minor Fugue from Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I], 55‒95 [31‒54]
  • "Joh. Seb. Bach: Suite III C-Dur für Violoncello-Solo, Sarabande" [J. S. Bach: Suite III in C major for Solo Cello: Sarabande], 97‒104 [55‒58]
  • "Mozart: Sinfonie G-Moll" [Mozart: Symphony in G minor], 105‒57 [59‒96]
  • "Haydn: Die Schöpfung: Die Vorstellung des Chaos" [The Representation of Chaos from Haydn's Creation], 159‒69 [97‒105]
  • "Ein Gegenbeispiel: Max Reger, op. 81: Variationen und Fuge über ein Thema von Joh. Seb. Bach für Klavier" [A Counter-example: Max Reger's Variations and Fugue on a Theme by J. S. Bach, Op. 81, for piano], 171‒92 [106‒17]
  • "Erläuterungen" [Elucidations], 193‒97 [118‒20]
  • "Vermischtes: Gedanken über die Kunst und ihre Zusammenhänge im Allgemeinen" [Miscellanea: Thoughts on Art and its Relationships to the General Scheme of Things], 199‒216 [121‒31]
  • Advertisement for Der Tonwille, issues 1‒10
  • "Urlinientafeln und Figuren im Anhang" [Voice-leading Graphs and Music Examples in the Appendix]


  • Ian Bent and William Drabkin

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