« OC 52/33 : 1-7-09 | Main | WSLB 35 (Excpt) 1-8-09 »

WSLB 35 : 1-8-09

Handwritten letter from Schenker to Hertzka (UE), dated January 8, 1909

[ UE stamp:] 0159
Eingegangen: ...................
Beantwortet: 11/II. 09 P

Sehr geehrter Herr Direktor !

Trotz größter Arbeitslast will ich Sie, da Sie nach Leipzig reisen, noch daran erinnern, daß Sie in Leipzig ja Prof. Dr. Max Reger|1 [?]en. Das ist der Mann, dem Sie das “Wohltemp. Klv.2 antragen sollten. Er gilt [ corr ] als “S. Bach’s Nachfolger,” wird von der gesammten Welt als “Meister der Komposition” gefeiert, insonderheit “der Fugen Komposition.” Ich bin überzeugt, daß er mit unendlicher Freude den Auftrag annehmen wird, u. daß dann H. Dir. Bopp seine Arbeit höher einschätzen wird, als die von mir, da ich keinen Weltruhm genieße, steht für mich außer allem Zweifel! Außerdem können Sie von Reger diese Arbeit sicher [ corr ] binnen kürzester Zeit e[rw]arten, sie wird ihm keine Mühe h machen, – er arbeitet sehr rasch; (Reger hat bereits Theoretisches bei Kahnt|3 publiziert, u. dem Verlag den größten Erfolg wenigstens nach außen hin eingetragen, u. für Lauterbach & Kuhn|4 ja sogar ”Wolffarrangements besorgt.) Sie sind, als Regers Verlag,5 doch auch in der Lage, seine günstige materielle Wirkung abzuschätzen, u. wenn er auch, seiner Weltmarke entsprechend, ein paar 100 Gulden mehr zu kriegen hätte, {2} als ich, so kriegen Sie selbst das höchste Honorar bei der Schätzung[?] deren sich Reger in der ganzen Musikwelt erfreut, tausendfältig herein, von der Ehre noch abgesehen, seine Arbeit in Ihrem Verlage publizieren zu können. H. Dir. Bopp wird kaum anderer Meinung sein. (Freilich meine Meinung ist eine sehr andere !!)

Außer Reger aber sind noch Wolfrum in Heidelberg|6 u. Schweitzer in Paris|7 als “Bachautoritäten” von der Presse der Welt anerkannt. [Doc]h diese beiden Herren werden mit Vergnügen die Gelegenheit ergreifen, ihre Kunst an S. Bach zu erproben. Und dachten Sie nicht an Prof. Dr. Mandyczewsky|8 bei uns?

Wie Sie sehen, bin ich neidlos genug, alle diese Quellen Ihnen zu verraten. Ich bin zu dieser Neidlosigkeit, wie gesagt, leider genötigt, da [ corr ] ich selbst die Arbeit ja nicht übernehmen kann. Außer dem II Band, – wäre es nur schon draußen! – schulde ich Cotta noch einen III. [u.] IV. Band, u. besonders ist es ja der III Band, der “Niedergang der Kompositionskunst”, der alle meine Kräfte fordert, da er die Pointe der Harmonie- u. der Kontrapunktslehre9 vorstellt. Da ich, wie Sie vielleicht wissen, vom Ertrag der Bänden lebe, u. keinerlei fixen Gagen habe [ corr ], wie sie eben [ corr ] z.B. Prof. Reger, oder Prof. Wolfrum, oder Dr. Mandyczewsky, zur Verfügung haben, {3} bin ich genötigt, mir selbst immerhin soviel Geschäftsrücksicht zu widmen, daß ich in erster Linie das große 4-bändige Werk absolviere. Als Kaufmann billigen Sie, hoffe [ corr ] ich, diesen Standpunkt. Nur wäre die Arbeit außer jedem Verhältnis zu dem Honorar; habe ich doch noch die Geld [ corr ]- u. Zeitverluste in allen Gliedern, die ich erst vor paar Monaten aus Anlaß der unseligen “Ornamentik” erlitten habe! U[nd?] da[?] fällt es mir ein: Sie haben leicht auch in der Tabellenfrage mit mir “einig” zu sein,10 wenn ich für die mühsame Arbeit nicht einmal so viel Gulden Honorar gesehen habe, als auch selbst der Kopist, der Buchbinder, u.s.w. gekostet haben, u. trotzdem wieder 1½ Wochen Arbeit leistete, als es um Vermehrung u. Verbesserung der Sache sich handelte. Ich fürchte fast, Sie haben Vorliebe für meine Art, wie ich als Fabrikant der Waere diese vergebe? Aber, ohne Spaß nun, ich bin [mü]de der Erfahrungen, die ich mit der “U.E.” gemacht habe, u. da fügt es sich glücklich, daß Sie nach Leipzig reisen, so ersparen Sie mir eine neuerliche Erfahrung. Die Anderen arbeiten anderes, aber ich tanze nicht für die “U.E.” Und daß die Anderen auch einträglicher sind dem Verlag, als ich, haben Sie sicher schon ausgerechnet. Also, prosit Reger! Glückliche Reise ! Mit ausgez. Hochachtung

Ir ergeb,
[ sign’d:] H Schenker
8. 1. 09

© Heirs of Heinrich Schenker.
© Transcription Ian D. Bent 2005.

Handwritten letter from Schenker to Hertzka (UE), dated January 8, 1909

[ UE stamp:] 0159
Received: ...................
Answered: 11/II. 09 P

Dear Director,

Despite the greatest load of work, I would still like to remind you, since you are off to Leipzig, that you [should visit?] Professor Max Reger in Leipzig.1 This is the man to whom you should offer the Well-tempered Clavier.2 He is regarded as “Bach’s successor,” [and] is extolled by the whole world as “master of composition,” especially “of fugal composition.” I am convinced that he will accept the commission with open arms, and there is not a shadow of doubt in my mind that Director Bopp will then rate his work more highly than mine, since I enjoy no worldly fame! Besides which, you can safely expect the work from Reger in no time at all: it will give him no trouble—he works very fast. (Reger has already published something theoretical with Kahnt,3 and has brought the greatest success to the publisher at least from the outside world, and has produced some arrangements of [Hugo] Wolf for Lauterbach & Kuhn.4) You, as Reger’s publisher,5 are in a good position to gauge his advantageous financial impact, and even if he, in keeping with his world renown, were to net a few hundred Guilders more {2} than me, then you would recover even the largest honorarium [that he might demand] a thousand times over, given the esteem that Reger enjoys throughout the entire musical world, quite apart from the honor of being able to publish his work with your publishing house. Mr. Bopp is hardly likely to think otherwise. (I, admittedly, take a very different view!!)

Other than Reger, however, Wolfrum in Heidelberg,6 and Schweitzer in Paris7 are also recognized by the world press as “Bach authorities.” These two gentlemen will certainly seize the opportunity with alacrity, so as to prove their skills with Bach. And have you thought about Prof. Mandyczewski8 here in Vienna?

As you can see, I am ungrudging enough to divulge all these sources to you. I am, as I have said, sadly driven to this ungrudging state of mind in that I simply cannot take the work on myself. Apart from vol. II—Oh! if only it were already out!—, I still owe Cotta a vol. III and IV, and it is especially vol. III, the “Decline of the Art of Composition,” that is taking all my energy, since it represents the crux of my harmonic and contrapuntal theory.9 Since, as you perhaps know, I live by the proceeds from my volumes, and have no fixed salary, such as, e.g., Prof. Reger, or Prof. Wolfrum, or Dr. Mandyczewski have at their disposal, {3} I am obliged constantly to devote myself so much to business considerations that I am giving first priority to completing my great four-volume work. As a man of business, you will, I hope, approve of this position. If only the work were [not?] out of all proportion to the honorarium; I can still feel in all my limbs the loss of money and time that I suffered just a few months ago on account of the unhappy Contribution to Ornamentation! And so[?] it occurs to me: You [found it] easy to be “of one mind” with me10 even over the question of the Table, when, for the laborious work [that I undertook], I never even saw as much money in honorarium as the copyist, the bookbinder, etc. cost [you], and, again, despite the fact that I put in one-and-a-half weeks’ work when it was a question of enlarging and improving the content. I almost fear you have a predilection for the way in which I supply these latter as if I were the manufacturer of the goods? But, joking aside, I am tired of my encounters with UE, and it is fortunate that you are just off to Leipzig for you will spare me some new encounter. The others do things differently, but I will not dance to UE’s tune. And because the others are more profitable to the publishing house than am I, you will surely have worked it out already. So, cheers to Reger! Have a good journey!

With kind regards,
Yours truly,
[ sign’d:] H. Schenker
January 8, 1909

© Translation Ian D. Bent 2005.

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

FOOTNOTES:

1 Reger had been appointed professor of composition and director of Music at Leipzig in 1907. [ NGDM ]

2 Hertzka, in a letter of December 18, 1908 (OC52/399–401) to Schenker, transmitted an invitation from Wilhelm Bopp, Director of the Vienna Conservatory, to edit Book II of the Well-tempered Clavier for student use and publication by UE. The edition was to be modeled on Busoni’s edition of Book I. Schenker declined four days later (OJ 5/16, [5], draft December 21; WSLB 31, December 22), at first recommending (no doubt ironically) Richard Heuberger to perform the task along the lines of Riemann’s Katechismus der Fugen-Komposition (Leipzig: Hesse, 1990–94). The remark here is prompted by Hertzka’s paragraph in OJ 52/33, January 7, 1909: “The affair of the Well-tempered Clavier is, however, another matter. We must talk this through carefully and in detail someday.”

3 Beiträge zur Modulationslehre (Leipzig: C.F. Kahnt, 1903, 2/1904). The firm of C. F. Kahnt of Leipzig, founded in 1851, published the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik from 1857 to 1928, theory works by Riemann, Schering, and others, and also more forward-looking late-19th-century music. It was one of Max Reger’s principal publishers.

4 Lauterbach & Kuhn: German music publisher, founded 1902, purchased by Bote & Bock in 1908. From the first, associated with Max Reger, one of whose principal publishers it was. It began posthumous publication of works of Hugo Wolf in 1903, including small-orchestra and piano-duet arrangements of the Italian Serenade, a piano-duet arrangements of the opera Penthesilea and twelve of the Mörike Lieder, and choral arrangements of six of the Geistliche Lieder, all by Reger. The company used distinctive Jugendstil title-pages and outerwrappers (which would have been uncongenial to Schenker). [Nigel Simeone, NGDM2 (2001)]

5 UE had acquired many of Reger’s compositions from Joseph Aibl Verlag of Munich (piano music, chamber music, songs, organ works, choral works) in 1904, according to H. Heinsheimer and Stefan, P. eds.: 25 Jahre Neue Musik 1901–1906: Jahrbuch 1926 der Universal-Edition (Vienna: UE, 1906), p.10.

6 Philipp Wolfrum (1854–1919), friend of Max Reger, and German organist, pianist, conductor, etc., who had founded the Heidelberg Bachverein in 1885, revived many Bach works, including cantatas and oratorios. [ NGDM ]

7 Click on: Albert Schweitzer

8 Click on: Eusebius Mandyczewski

9 J. G. Cotta’sche Buchhandlung Nachfolger of Stuttgart published Parts I and II/1 of Schenker’s Neue Musikalische Theorien und Phantasien: Harmonielehre (1906), Kontrapunkt1 (1910), and was destined to publish Kontrapunkt2 (1922), but this was transferred to UE. First conceived in 1905, Schenker originally intended his Über den Niedergang der Kompositionskunst,—eine technisch-kritische Untersuchung as a “Nachwort” to the Harmonielehre, but it outgrew that purpose and was then planned as a separate publication, later as Part III (“the capstone”) of NMTP. The work remained unpublished but survives in a typescript draft with S’s corrections as OC 31/28–153. An edition with translation and commentary, by William Drabkin, appears in Music Analysis, vol. 24, Nos. 1–2 (March–July 2005). See CA 5–6, November 22, 1905; CA 25, May 29, 1906; OJ 9/31, [8], May 31, 1906; CA 27, June 4, 1906; OJ 9/31, [9], June 5, 1906; CA 41–42, October 1, 1906; CA 68, September 13, 1907; CA 87, October 13, 1908; WSLB 35, January 8, 1909; CA 96–98, May 26, 1909; CA 106–107, December 2, 1909; OJ 5/6, [5], September 10, 1910; CA 121–122, September 10, 1910.

10 i.e. in OC 52/33, January 7, 1909: “On the matter of the Instrumentation Tables, we are clearly of one mind”.

SUMMARY:
[Bach, J. S.: Well-tempered Clavier, Book II:] Advises H to invite Max Reger to edit; Director Bopp is sure to agree; alternatively Philipp Wolfrum or Albert Schweitzer or Eusebius Mandyczewski. S's obligations to Cotta for Parts III and IV of NMTP, and his need to put business considerations first, preclude his taking it on. Heavily ironic in tone.

© Commentary, Footnotes, Summary Ian D. Bent 2005.

Bent, Ian
Schenker, Heinrich
[Bach, J. S.: Well-tempered Clavier, Book II:] Advises H to invite Max Reger to edit; Director Bopp is sure to agree; alternatively Philipp Wolfrum or Albert Schweitzer or Eusebius Mandyczewski. S's obligations to Cotta for Parts III and IV of NMTP, and his need to put business considerations first, preclude his taking it on. Heavily ironic in tone.
DE
Cambridge University Faculty of Music-Ian Bent
IPR: Heirs of Heinrich Schenker; Transcription, Translation, Commentary, Footnotes, and Summary: Ian D. Bent 2005.
Schenker, Heinrich; Hertzka, Emil; UE; Bach, J. S.; Well-tempered Clavier; Book II; Reger, Max; Bopp, Wilhelm; Kahnt, C. F.; Wolf, Hugo; Lauterbach & Kuhn; Wolfrum, Philipp; Schweitzer, Albert; Mandyczewski, Eusebius; Cotta, J. G.; NMTP; Niedergang; Decline; Beitrag zur Ornamentik; Ornamentation; Niloff; Instrumentations-Tabelle; Table of Instrumentation; copyist; bookbinder
Handwritten letter from Schenker to Emil Hertzka (UE), dated January 8, 1909
letter
academic; musicology; music theory
WSLB 35
1909-01-08
2006-01-04
UE
Hertzka
All reasonable steps have been taken to locate the heirs of Heinrich Schenker. Any claim to intellectual rights on this document should be addressed to the Schenker Correspondence Project, Faculty of Music, University of Cambridge, at schenkercorrespondence@mus.cam.ac.uk.
letter; holograph message and signature
Universal Edition Archive (1909-1976)—on permanent loan to the Stadt- und Landesbibliothek Wien (1976-)
IPR: Heirs of Heinrich Schenker; Image: Universal Edition, A.G.; Transcription, Translation, Commentary, Footnotes, and Summary: Ian D. Bent.
Vienna
1909

About

This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 8, 1909 1:00 AM.

The previous post in this blog was OC 52/33 : 1-7-09.

The next post in this blog is WSLB 35 (Excpt) 1-8-09.

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

Powered by
Movable Type 3.34