Preface to Volume 27, 1 B

This volume contains those works of Schoenberg which are connected with his activities as a contributor to the Denkmäler der Tonkunst in Österreich series.

In response to a commission from Guido Adler, the general editor of the Denkmäler series, Schoenberg provided Thorough-Bass Realizations for the following works in the volume Wiener Instrumentalmusik im 18. Jahrhundert (Year XIX, 2, Vol. 39, 1912): the Symphonia a Quattro in A major, the Concerto per Violoncello o Cembalo in G minor and the Concerto per Clavicembalo in D major by Matthias Georg Monn, as well as the Divertimento in D major by Johann Christoph Mann. Because of their lesser importance among the extraneous compositions the Thorough-Bass Realizations are not included in the Complete Edition.

In 1913, Schoenberg completed an edition of the Concerto per Violoncello o Cembalo in G minor for violoncello with pianoforte accompaniment which, together with the Thorough-Bass Realization of the same work, he described as an artistic experiment (ein künstlerisches Experiment) (cf. also the documents in Vol. 27, 2 of Series B). Its finely-wrought harmonic, rhythmic and, not least, motivic working, as well as the performance directions which were not included in the Denkmäler edition, reveal it to be an entirely original version.

The hitherto unpublished four cadenzas have only recently come to light from Schoenberg’s estate. They were written before the arrangement for ’cello and piano, and were intended by Schoenberg to form an appendix to a separate edition of the Violoncello Concerto in G minor with his own Thorough-Bass Realization. The Universal Edition score of the work, which is a reproduction of the Denkmäler volume, does not include the cadenzas.

Twenty years later, in 1933, Schoenberg freely arranged Monn’s Concerto per Clavicembalo in D major; it is published in Volume 27 of Series A in the version for violoncello and orchestra. The version for violoncello with piano accompaniment, with which this volume begins, is closely related to the orchestral version. The expression “free adaptation” (“freie Umgestaltung”), which Schoenberg used for both versions, alludes to those alterations made in the structure and harmony of the original. As the sole aim of the edition for violoncello and piano was to provide a score for rehearsal purposes, it cannot therefore be considered as an independent version in its own right.

Nikos Kokkinis
(Translated by A. C. Howie)