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WSLB 81 : 9-14-11

Handwritten letter from Schenker to Hertzka (UE), dated September 14, 1911

Sehr geehrter Herr Director!1

Da ich noch vor Eröffnung meiner kleinen Hochschule für (wirkliche) Musik2 geschäftlich, d.h. verlagsgeschäftlich nach Leipzig u. Stuttgart reise,3 so erbitte ich mir ein paar Zeilen darüber, was Gegenstand meines letzten Briefes an Sie gewesen, u. was Sie mit der Karte vom 27. Juli nach Ihrer Rückkehr vom Urlaub zu erledigen versprachen. Um Ihnen aber die Mühe der Recherchen zu ersparen, frage ich noch einmal: reflectieren Sie auf meine Beethoven-Ausgabe der letzten 5 Sonaten oder nicht?4

Von Ihrer mir oft genug bewiesenen Coulance warte ich umgehend „ein lautes, vernehmliches Ja” oder „Nein.”

Und was ists mit den Korrekturen zur “IX. Symph.” ? ?5

Es wird Sie interessieren zu erfahren, daß von meinem “Kontrapunkt,” trotzdem nur erst der erste Halbband erschienen u. dieser überdies 10 MK kostet, im Laufe von 6 Wochen nicht weniger als 114 Exemplare|6 abgesetzt wurden! So darf ich mich denn doch unter {2} die stark gelesenen Autoren rechnen, trotzdem Stoff u. Darstellung gewiß einige Sammlung der Leser voraussetzen.

Mit ausgezeichneter Hochachtung
Ir ergeb.
[ sign’d: ] H Schenker
14. September 1911

© In the public domain.
© Transcription Ian Bent 2006.

Handwritten letter from Schenker to Hertzka (UE), dated September 14, 1911

Dear Director,1

Since before the opening of my little Hochschule for (real) music2 I am traveling on business, i.e. publishing business, to Leipzig and Stuttgart,3 I ask you to drop me a line or two about that which was the subject of my last letter to you, and with which you, in your postcard of July 27, promised to deal upon your return from holiday. And to save you the trouble of looking this up, let me ask you yet again: are you, or are you not, interested in my Beethoven edition of the last five sonatas?4

In view of your obligingness, often accorded me, I expect by return a loud, clear “Yes” or “No.”

And what is going on with the proofs for the Ninth Symphony ? ?5

It will interest you to know that my Counterpoint, despite the fact that so far only the first half-volume has appeared, and moreover that this costs 10 Marks, has in the course of six weeks sold no fewer than 114 copies!6 So I may surely count myself among {2} the much-read authors, although substance and presentation certainly assume a certain collection of readers.

With kind regards,
Yours truly,
[ sign’d: ] H. Schenker
September 14, 1911

© Translation Ian Bent 2006.

Format: 2-p letter, recto and verso, holograph message and signature
Sender address: --
Recipient address: --


1 WSLB 80 and 81 have been numbered in reverse chronological order, presumably as a result of the difficulty of reading the date and postmarks of WSLB 80.

2 i.e. his private piano studio, lessons for which would begin in early October.

3 This refers back to WSLB 78, July 23, 1911, in which S suggests “punishing” the President and Director of the Conservatory by publishing the Bach/Beethoven project in Germany. Hence this remark is a scarcely veiled threat to UE. See also WSLB 80, September 20. For H’s full response, see OC 52/492, September 19, 1911.

4 Reference is to the plan, first mooted by H at a meeting with S on October 14, 1910, to publish the last five Beethoven sonatas in conjunction with Book II of the Well-tempered Clavier (the latter a residue of an earlier plan dating from December 1908, which Schenker had declined) in alternate years; mentioned in OC 52/325 of the same day, and WSLB 68, October 21, 1910 (when S had discussed it direct with Bopp). Recent letters include WSLB 75, May 17, 1911; WSLB 77, June 22; WSLB 78, July 23. Significantly, S drops reference to the Bach component in the present letter, which exhibits signs of his losing patience, its sarcastic tone marking a sharp change of mood. The plan (as H reminds him in OC 52/492, September 19) was dependent on a subvention from the Austrian Ministry of Education that was never forthcoming.

5 The manuscript of the Ninth Symphony monograph had been handed over to UE on May 18, 1911 (OJ 1/10, p.126).

6 S is quoting here from Cotta’s annual sales report for 1910, which shows 114 copies sold and 61 review and complimentary copies sent out (OJ 9/32, [26]).

Demands an immediate response to his planned edition of the Beethoven last five sonatas, and inquires as to the status of the proofs of his Ninth Symphony monograph. — Reports sales figures for Kontrapunkt 1.

© Commentary, Footnotes, Summary Ian Bent 2006.

Bent, Ian
Schenker, Heinrich
Cambridge University Faculty of Music-Ian Bent
Schenker, Heinrich; Hertzka, Emil; UE; piano studio; Beethoven; Die letzten fünf Sonaten; last five sonatas; Ninth Symphony; Beethovens Neunte Sinfonie; Kontrapunkt 1; Counterpoint 1; sales figures; price
Handwritten letter from Schenker to Hertzka (UE), dated September 14, 1911
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 schenkercorrespondence@mus.cam.ac.uk.
Universal Edition Archive (1911-1976)—on permanent loan to the Stadt- und Landesbibliothek Wien (1976-)
IPR: In the public domain; Image: Universal Edition, A.G.; Transcription, Translation, Commentary, Footnotes, and Summary: Ian Bent.


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