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OJ 5/18, 49 : 8-2-34

Handwritten letter from Schenker to Jonas, dated August 2, 1934

2.8.34

Geehrter, lieber Herr Dr Jonas!1

Nun will ich Ihnen meinen Dank2 sozusagen in summa u. in Form aussprechen! Für die schöne Liebe, Mühe, Sachlichkeit, treueste Hingabe an den Stoff. Ich weiß keinen, der eine solche Leistung vollbracht hätte!

Nun steht Ihnen eine Welt von Stoffen offen, uns erscheint eben die Musikschöpfung neu, jung, und da gibt es zu bestaunen, zu bejubeln wohl über unser Vermögen: uns erscheint diese geht es [deletion] wie dem Bibelschreiber, der das erste Staunen über Gottes Schöpfung aussprach. {2} Stünde uns nur Hilfe zu Gebote! Verleger können nicht Mäzene sein,3 den Reichen, die es sein könnten, sagt sozusagen ein Vordergrundstück4 des besser zu denn unser Hintergrundstück, das an das Genie, an Gott, an Jenseitigkeiten rührt. Die Erfahrung mit Hob.5 hat Ihnen wohl genug gesagt. Nun erst was werden Sie aus der Aufnahme Ihres Buches zu lernen haben!

Im Grunde wäre unsere Sache eine des heutigen Judentums als Rasse u. religiöser Gemeinschaft[.] Einmal haben die Völker von den Juden gelernt: an Gott denken, dichten, warum sollten die Juden nicht umgekehrt von den anderen Völkern Musik lernen u. sie durch die Zeiten voran- {3} tragen, da die anderen Völker wohl für immer ihr gegenüber versagten? Der Jude gesellte so zu seinem religiösen Monotheismus den Glauben auch an[corr] eine musikalische Ur-Sache! Aber wie bekehrt man die Juden dazu? Viel, viel wäre noch zu tun. —

Kalmus6 erwiderte mir, Ihr Verlag hätte für das Inserat zu viel gefordert, ihm wäre eben lieber gewesen, daß der Verlag ihm bezahlt.7 Der ehemalige “Kunstwart” (Deutsche Zeitschrift, München) bringt im Augustheft einen Aufsatz von mir, dem “fr. S.”8 entnommen, der schon lange im Satz stand.

Erfüllen die Subskribenten ihre Pflicht?

{4} H. Willfort u. Frl. Kraus9 habe ich doch aufgeben müssen, Sie haben das 2. Heft “Urlinie-Tafeln”10 (Beeth. Son. cism [ganz],11 Moz. Fant dm, Chop. Et. 10III usw.) verraten, durch Unfleiß im Stich gelassen, trotzdem oder gerade weil ich sie unentgeltlich lehrte! Das Heft ist in 2 Jahren nicht fertig geworden, trotzdem ich die Hauptarbeit doch selbst leistete. Ich hatte viel Verdruß mit ihnen (nicht mit Dr. Salzer|12).

Mit besten Grüßen an Sie von mir u. meiner Frau
Ihr
[ sign’d: ] H Schenker

© In the public domain.
© Transcription John Rothgeb 2006.

Handwritten letter from Schenker to Jonas, dated August 2, 1934

August 2, 1934

Dear Dr. Jonas,1

Now I want to express my thanks to you2 in the utmost and with all propriety, so to speak! For the beautiful love, effort, objectivity, truest dedication to the material. I know of no other who could have accomplished such a thing!

Now a world of materials stands open to you; the very musical creation appears new to us, young, and there we can but marvel, yea rejoice beyond our capability: we feel like the writer of the bible, who uttered the first astonishment over God’s creation. {2} If only help were at our disposal! Publishers cannot be patrons;3 the rich, who could be, are more impressed so to speak by a “foreground lot”4 than by our “background lot” which touches the genius, God, and transcendental things. The experience with Hoboken5 has probably taught you enough. Now you’ll have plenty to learn from the reception of your book!

Fundamentally our project is one of present-day Jewry as race and religious community. There was a time when the peoples learned from the Jews: contemplate God, write poetry; why should the Jews not on the contrary learn music from the other peoples and propagate it through the ages, {3} since the other peoples have probably abandoned it for good? That way the Jew would join to his religious monotheism the belief in one musical Ursache! But how does one motivate the Jews to do this? Very, very much would remain to be done.

Kalmus6 replied that your publisher has demanded too much for the advertisement; he would have preferred that the publisher pay him.7 The former Kunstwart (Deutsche Zeitschrift, Munich) is publishing in the August issue an essay by me, extracted from Free Composition,8 which was already printed long ago.

Are the subscribers doing their duty?

{4} I have had to give up Mr. Willfort and Miss Kraus;9 they have, by negligence, betrayed the second volume of the “Urlinie-Tafeln”10 (Beethoven, Sonata in C-sharp Minor [complete],11 Mozart Fantasy in D Minor, Chopin Etude Op. 10 No. 3 etc.), left it in the lurch, despite the fact (or precisely because) I taught them free of charge. The volume has not been finished after two years, even though I did the primary work myself. I had much aggravation with them (not with Dr. Salzer12).

With best greetings to you from my wife and me.
Yours,
[ sign’d: ] H. Schenker

© Translation John Rothgeb, 2006.

COMMENTARY:
Format: 4p letter, oblong format, holograph message and signature
Sender address: --
Recipient address: --

FOOTNOTES:

1 This letter appears to have been mislaid at OJMC; the present edition is made from a photocopy supplied previously to the editor by J; the document number was assigned by J himself.

2 For Jonas’s Das Wesen des musikalischen Kunstwerks: Eine Einführung in die Lehre Heinrich Schenkers (Vienna: Saturn-Verlag, 1934).

3 Cf. “Niemals also ist der Verleger ein ‘Mäzen’ des Künstlers“ (Thus the publisher is never a "patron" of the artist), WSLB 113 : Schenker to Hertzka (UE), January 18, 1915.

4 A portmanteau of Vordergrund (foreground) and Grundstück (parcel of land, lot); likewise for the subsequent Hintergrundstück.

5 Click on Anthony van Hoboken.

6 Alfred Kalmus [create biogfile and link].

7 See 12/6, [33]. Apparently Saturn-Verlag, Jonas’s publisher, had proposed that Universal Edition place an advertisement in Jonas’s forthcoming book and had been turned down.

8 Der freie Satz = Neue Musikalische Theorien und Phantasien III.

9 Manfred Willfort and Greta Kraus: members of a group, elsewhere called the “seminar” by both Schenker and Jonas, including also Trude Krall and Felix Salzer; the published result of their studies had been Fünf Urlinie-Tafeln (New York: David Mannes Music School, 1932).

10 A planned continuation of Schenker’s Fünf Urlinie-Tafeln (New York: David Mannes Music School, 1932). The volume was never published. See Felix Salzer's Introduction to Schenker, Five Graphic Music Analyses (New York: Dover Publications, 1969), pp. 17-21.

11 The square brackets are in the original.

12 Click on Felix Salzer.

SUMMARY:
S expresses heartfelt thanks to J for his book; their project is fundamentally one of "present-day Jewry." —An excerpt from freier Satz is to appear in Der Kunstwart. —S has had to give up Willfort and Kraus because of their negligence regarding the planned Urlinie-Tafeln II.

© Commentary, Footnotes, Summary John Rothgeb 2006.

Rothgeb, John
Schenker, Heinrich
DE
Cambridge University Faculty of Music-Ian Bent
Schenker, Heinrich; Jonas, Oswald; Wesen des musikalischen Kunstwerks; Einführung in die Lehre Heinrich Schenkers; publishers; patrons; Hoboken, Anthony van; Jewry; Kalmus, Alfred; Kunstwart, Die; Deutsche Zeitschrift; Freier Satz; Free Composition; Willfort, Manfred; Kraus, Greta; Fünf Urlinie-Tafeln; Beethoven; Mozart; Chopin; Salzer, Felix
Handwritten letter from Schenker to Jonas, dated August 2, 1934
OJ 5/18, 49
1934-08-02
2006-09-19
Jonas
This document is deemed to be in the public domain as of January 1, 2006. Any claim to intellectual rights should be addressed to the Schenker Correspondence Project, Faculty of Music, University of Cambridge, at [email protected].
Oswald Jonas (1934-1978)—Special Collections, University of California, Riverside (1978-)
IPR: In the public domain; Image: Special Collections, University of California, Riverside; Transcription, Translation, Commentary, Footnotes, and Summary: John Rothgeb.
Vienna
1934

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