Heinrich Schenker: Selected Correspondence

Heinrich Schenker: Selected Correspondence

Edited by Ian Bent, David Bretherton, William Drabkin


Boydell Press



Brings together in one volume the full text of some 450 letters in first-time English translation, organized into sections each prefaced by an introduction. All the letters are fully annotated and they yield information about Viennese society, culture and politics of the time.
The work of Heinrich Schenker (1868-1935), widely regarded as the most important music theorist of the twentieth century, has shaped the teaching of music theory in the United States profoundly and influenced theorists there, in Europe, and throughout the world. Living and working in Vienna, Schenker maintained a vigorous correspondence with a large circle of professional musicians, writers, music critics, institutions, administrators, patrons, friends, and pupils. A large part of his correspondence was preserved after his death: some 7,000 letters, postcards, telegrams, etc., to and from 400 correspondents. His diaries record the fabric of his personal life and his activities as a private music teacher and writer; they also provide a detailed commentary on historical and political events and offer a window on to the conditions of life in Vienna. Taken together, these documents contribute vividly to the picture of cultural life in Vienna, and elsewhere, from the perspective of a Jewish intellectual and his circle of musical and artistic friends.
Heinrich Schenker: Selected Correspondence represents a concise edition of some of the theorist's most important and revelatory letters and diary entries. It offers the full text of some 450 letters in English translation, organized into sections devoted to various aspects of his professional life: teaching, writing, administration, and maintaining contact with an ever widening circle including Ferruccio Busoni, Julius Röntgen, Otto Erich Deutsch, Alphons von Rothschild, Paul von Klenau, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Paul Hindemith, Moriz Violin, John Petrie Dunn, and Hans Weisse. Extracts from the diaries provide a summary of important parts of the correspondence that do not survive. The volume includes a detailed exposition of the editorial method, biographical notes on correspondents, and a substantial general introduction. Each of the sections is prefaced by an introduction which provides essential historical context, and the letters and diary entries are fully annotated.

IAN BENT is Emeritus Professor of Music at Columbia University in New York, and lives in the United Kingdom.

DAVID BRETHERTON is Lecturer in Music at the University of Southampton.

WILLIAM DRABKIN is Professor of Music at the University of Southampton.

CONTRIBUTORS: Marko Deisinger, Martin Eybl, Christoph Hust, Kevin C. Karnes, John Koslovsky, Lee Rothfarb, John Rothgeb, Hedi Siegel, Arnold Whittall


October 2014
43 black and white, 46 line illustrations
584 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
ISBN: 9781843839644
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Boydell Press
BISAC MUS041000, BIO004000
Share on Facebook   Share on Twitter   Pin it   Share by Email

Related Titles

Table of Contents

General Introduction
Schenker as Composer
Schoenberg and Schenker's Syrian Dances
Johannes Messchaert and Performance
The Society for Creative Musicians and Schoenberg's Music
Julius Röntgen : Editing and Ornamentation
Cotta and the New Musical Theories and Fantasies
Otto Erich Deutsch and the "Moonlight" Sonata Facsimile
Universal Edition and the Tonwille Dispute
Drei Masken Verlag and The Masterwork in Music
The Sofie Deutsch Bequest and the Vienna Academy
Invitations to Serve: Guido Adler
The Photogram Archive
Professorial Sorties: Ludwig Karpath and Wilhelm Furtwängler
Genesis of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony
Paul von Klenau and Beethoven
Georg Dohrn and the Ninth Symphony
Expedient Mutuality: Schenker and August Halm
Expectations Unfulfilled: Schenker and Furtwängler
Open Disagreement: Schenker and Paul Hindemith
Fighting the Propaganda War: Walter Dahms
Hamburg and Moriz Violin
Further Inroads into Germany: Felix-Eberhard von Cube
Collecting Sources: Anthony van Hoboken
Edinburgh Outpost: John Petrie Dunn
The Seminar Years: Felix Salzer
Letters from America: Hans Weisse
Select Bibliography
Transcription and Translation Credits


(T)he gathering and translation of Schenker's correspondence, in addition to explanations of his various contacts, is impressive . (and) could be a starting point for researchers interested in Schenker's biography and cultural milieu. CHOICE