« OJ 5/18, [B] : 11-12-18 | Main | OJ 11/35, 9[c] : 12-13-18 »

DLA 69.930/4 : 12-9-18

Handwritten letter from Schenker to Halm, dated December 9, 1918

Sehr geehrter Herr Professor !

Vor zwei Jahren ist eine Schülerin von mir verstorben,1 eine ältere Dame, die etwa 16 Jahre hindurch meinen Unterricht genoß. Sie hinterließ ein Testament, in dem sie einen Verein zum Haupterben einsetzte, daneben aber auch 2 Stipendien für Künstler errichtete, über die zu verfügen sie ausschließlich mir allein auftrug. Wäre die musikalische Gegenwart nicht so trostlos, welche Freude müßte es da einem2 bereiten, vom Vertrauen der Erblasserin getragen, überall dort beizuspringen, wo Hindernisse (Verleger!) diesen oder jenen Plan lähmen! So aber hatte ich wenig Neigung, das schöne Amt mich zu nehmen, wie ich auch in einem anderen Falle es abgelehnt habe, mit unserem Musikhistoriker Prof. Guido Adler das Jury-Amt zu teilen.3 Doch gelang es dem Bruder der Erblasserin4 sowie dem Testamentsexecutor mich zumindest zu einem Versuch zu überreden. Ich faßte nun[?] dies[?] Künstler ins Auge u. harrte der ersten Gelder der Verlassenschaft5, um zur Tat zu schreiten. Da kamen aber allerhand (mir fremd gebliebene) Verwicklungen in die Verlassenschaftsabhandlung, die bewirkten, daß diese noch bis zur Stunde das Gericht beschäftigt, u. daß auch die Stiftung der Stipendien {2} überhaupt ganz ins Wasser gefallen. Obzwar der Bruder der verstorbenen Dame einer der reichsten Großindustriellen Österreichs ist, fiel es ihm dennoch nicht ein, die Konsequenz aus seiner ersten Geltung zu ziehen.6 Glücklicherweise hat mich eine andere reiche Schülerin,7 die zu mir nun über 18 Jahre kommt, in die Lage versetzt, mir selbst Wort zu halten in jenen ...[?] Fällen, die ich im Auge hatte.

Am 5. Januar als am Todestage der Erblasserin soll der Betrag zur Auszahlung kommen. Und da frage ich Sie nun, ob es Ihnen angenehm wäre, wenn ich Ihnen um diese Zeit den Betrag von 1600 Kronen für Ihre Zwecke überweisen würde? Im Vorjahre hat das noch über 1000 Mk. ausgemacht; ob bei dem niedrigen Kurse der Kronen auch heuer8 derselbe Betrag in Mk. sich ergeben wird, weiß ich nicht.

Indem ich Sie um Ihre frdl. Zustimmung bitte, erbitte ich zugleich Auskunft, auf welche Weise ich Ihnen die Summe zukommen lassen könnte. Haben Sie vielleicht hier in Wien einen Vertrauensmann? Wenn nicht, würde ich den Versuch machen, durch eine Bank die Erlaubnis (eine solche ist nämlich unter allen Umständen nötig) von der maß[?]gebenden Stelle zu erlangen.

Ich frage, wie Sie sehen, schon heute an, um, Ihre Zustimmung vorausgesetzt, sobald als möglich die Sache in Angriff zu nehmen. Der Sicherheit halber bitte ich Sie auch Ihre Antwort an {3} mich eingeschrieben zu senden.

Sind Sie in Ihren Arbeiten doch die Verhältnisse sehr gehemmt, oder gewinnen Sie Oberhand über die unsäglich traurige Verwirrung in politischen Dingen, die meines Erachtens, wie die musikalische auf R. Wagner, lediglich auf K. Marx zurückzuführen ist?9

Mit bestem Gruß
Ihr sehr ergebener
[ sign’d: ] H. Schenker
Wien, 9. Dezember 1918

© In the public domain; reproduced here with kind permission of the heirs of August Halm.
© Transcription Ian Bent & Lee Rothfarb, 2006.

Handwritten letter from Schenker to Halm, dated December 9, 1918

Dear Professor!

Two years ago a female student of mine died,1 an older women who had the benefit of my instruction for 16 years. She left a will in which she designated an association as primary beneficiary, as well as established two stipends for artists, the disposition of which she assigned exclusively to me. If the present circumstances in music were not so hopeless, what happiness it would have to bring for someone,2 supported by the trust of the deceased, to jump to aid wherever obstacles (publishers!) foil this or that plan! However, I had little desire to take on the pleasant duty, just as in another case I declined to share jury duty with our music historian, Professor Guido Adler.3 But the brother of the deceased4 and the executor of the will succeeded at least in coaxing me into a trial. I had some artists in mind and awaited the first distribution of money5 from the bequest in order to take action. However, all manner of complications (external to me) came up in the handling of the bequest, such that it still occupies the court up to this moment, and such that the endowment of the stipends {2} has fallen through all together. Even though the brother of the deceased woman is one of Austria’s richest big industrialists, it nevertheless did not occur to him to take advantage of his high rank in
society.6 Fortunately, another rich female student,7 who has been coming to me for over eighteen years, has put me in the position of keeping my word in those cases [?] that I had in mind.

On January 5, as the death date of the deceased, the amount is to be paid out. I therefore ask you whether it would be agreeable if around that time I were to transfer the sum of 1,600 Kronen to you for your purposes? Last year, that still amounted to over 1,000 Marks. With the low exchange rate of Kronen, I do not know whether this year the same amount in Marks would result.

In asking for your friendly consent, I also request information as to what manner I could convey the sum to you. Do you perhaps have a representative here in Vienna? If not, I would make an attempt to secure permission from the regulatory agency (such is of course necessary in all circumstances).

As you see, assuming your consent, I am inquiring today in order to undertake the matter as soon as possible. To be safe, I ask that you send your reply to me {3} by registered mail.

Are the circumstances of your activities very constrained, or are you getting the upper hand on the untold woeful confusion in political matters, which in my opinion is to be traced solely to Karl Marx, just as the musical confusion is to be traced to Richard Wagner.9

With cordial greetings,
Respectfully,
[ sign'd: ] H. Schenker
© Translation Lee Rothfarb, 2006.

COMMENTARY:
Format: 3-p letter, oblong format, holograph message and signature
Sender address: --
Recipient address: --

FOOTNOTES:

1 Sophie Deutsch, a pupil of his from early days who died in a Vienna sanatorium in January 1917. Federhofer, Nach Tagebüchern, p.38, reports: “Mrs. Deutsch left Schenker a yearly legacy of 3,000 Marks, which was to make possible the publishing of the second half-volume of Counterpoint (diary January 28, 1916), and in addition a foundation for needy artists, whom Schenker had the exclusive authority to name (diary January 13 and April 12, 1917).” [Footnote 58: ... “Schenker gave up the office of juror as soon as two years later (diary December 28, 1919). From this foundation, he caused higher payments to be made to A. Halm and the German Legation in Vienna of German Aid in favor of Penurious Composers. ...”]

2 "einem“: i.e. Schenker, using the impersonal pronoun to refer to himself.

3 The Rothschild Artists’ Foundation had written to S on December 3, 1916, inviting him to join its panel of jury members along with Guido Adler and Alfred Grünfeld (OJ 12/26, [2]). S declined. The President of the Jewish Community wrote to S regretting his decision (Federhofer, Nach Tagebüchern, p.54, n.8).

4 Fritz Mendel.

5 Verlassenschaft: Austrian for Hinterlassenschaft.

6 The translation of this last clause is admittedly interpretive; its literal meaning is more like: "it still did not occur to him [i.e. Mendel] to draw the consequence from his initial importance."

7 Presumably his pupil and assistant Angi Elias.

8 „heuer“: S. German and Austria usage.

9 This paragraph is quoted in Federhofer, Nach Tagebüchern,p.139, saying. S's antipathy to Wagner, latent in Harmonielehre (1906), emerged clearly first in the unpublished Über den Niedergang der Kompositionskunst (c. 1906-09), and his critique of Wagner continued in the Ninth Symphony monograph and Der Tonwille; Wagner is brought into conjunction with Marx in the latter: "In shattering the Urlinie and destroying musical truth, Wagner readied a fate for music similar to that which Karl Marx readied for society by demolishing every tradition and the truths that rested therein ..." (Tw1, p.25; trans., I, p.24). Halm, on the other hand, while considering Bruckner to be the epitome of high romanticism, held Wagner in high regard. This is a matter on which S and H held sharply differing opinions.

SUMMARY:
S recounts to H how Sophie Deutsch had set up a trust for needy artists, leaving S to identify beneficiaries. S offers to transfer 1,600 Kroner to him from this trust.

© Commentary, Footnotes, Summary Lee Rothfarb 2006.

Rothfarb, Lee
Schenker, Heinrich
S recounts to H how Sophie Deutsch had set up a trust for needy artists, leaving S to identify beneficiaries. S offers to transfer 1,600 Kroner to him from this trust.
DE
Cambridge University Faculty of Music-Ian Bent
IPR: in public domain; Transcription, Translation, Commentary, Footnotes, and Summary: Ian D. Bent and Lee Rothfarb 2006.
Schenker, Heinrich; Halm, August; Deutsch, Sophie; will; testament; trust; foundation; needy artists; Adler, Guido; Elias, Angelika; Angi; Mendel, Fritz; stipend; exchange rate; transfer; bank; Marx, Karl; Wagner, Richard
Handwritten letter from Schenker to Halm, dated December 9, 1918
letter
academic; musicology; music theory
DLA 69.930/4
1918-12-09
2006-05-13
Halm
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].
letter; holograph message and signature
August Halm (1918-19??)—Deutsches Literaturarchiv(19??-)
IPR: In the public domain, published with the kind permission of the Deutsches Literaturarchiv??; Image: Deutsches Literaturarchiv; Transcription Ian D. Bent and Lee Rothfarb, Translation, Commentary, Footnotes, and Summary Lee Rothfarb.
Vienna
1918

About

This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 9, 1918 1:00 AM.

The previous post in this blog was OJ 5/18, [B] : 11-12-18.

The next post in this blog is OJ 11/35, 9[c] : 12-13-18.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Powered by
Movable Type 3.34