Preface to Volume 28B
The present volume contains the Editorial Report for the arrangements and occasional works for chamber ensemble in volume 28 of Series A, together with four pieces in the appendix belonging to Schoenberg's earliest extant compositions.
Most of the pieces dealt with here originated in a comparatively short time span between 1919 and 1922. Schoenberg's life at this time was determined to a great extent by his activity for the Verein für musikalische Privataufführungen that he initiated at the end of 1918. Between December 1918 and the end of 1921 this society organised so-called Vereinsabende in the form of over 100 concerts occurring once or twice a week, performing in them more recent chamber music as originally scored or orchestral works as arranged. Besides the concerts reserved exclusively for the members of the society, so-called Propaganda-Abende were also organised in which often heard were arrangements in somewhat larger settings. For these, Schoenberg contributed arrangements of Gustav Mahler's Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen as well as Rosen aus dem Süden and Lagunen-Walzer from the waltzes by Johann Strauss. He also started to arrange Max Reger's Eine romantische Suite, to be completed by Rudolf Kolisch.
The source situation varies for each of the four pieces: Schoenberg did not prepare a special score of the Mahler arrangement, but entered changes into the original score, which created problems in copying the parts. The score of the arrangement of Reger's Eine romantische Suite was begun by Schoenberg and continued by Kolisch who slightly expanded the setting. Presumably serving as models for the two waltz arrangements were not the original orchestral versions, but piano arrangements, so that inevitably a score of each arrangement had to be produced as a model for at least the parts. As the manuscript scores were auctioned off in conjunction with the concert (as of present knowledge, only Schoenberg's autograph score of Rosen aus dem Süden survived), copies of the scores in addition to the parts were presumably prepared in both cases. The copyist's copy of the Lagunen-Walzer is, though, the only one extant. In 1925 Schoenberg arranged the Kaiserwalzer by Johann Strauss. It was written for a concert tour to Barcelona, performed in the context of which were partly classical works, partly works of his own. One of the latter was Pierrot lunaire, the setting of which as mixed quintet had guided the selection of all the remaining works.
The rest of the mostly much shorter arrangements and occasional works of the present volume did not originate to be given in formal institutional performances as opposed to private or informal contexts, which is why a specific occasion can indeed be surmised, though only sadom documented without doubt. Owing to their setting and transmission the arrangements of Franz Schubert's Ständchen as well as the pieces Funiculi, funicula by Luigi Denza and Weil i a alter Drahrer bin by Johann Sioly constitute a certain unity. Thus, the scores written for the Denza and Sioly arrangements directly follow one another, and the Schubert arrangement is written down on the same type of music paper as the final page of the Sioly arrangement. Josef Rufer discloses that the Ständchen and several pieces indicated as orchestration exercises originated in the summer of 1921 (cf. Rufer, p. 111). This corresponds to the evidence that Schoenberg demonstrably used this music paper in September/October 1921 for the Serenade op. 24.
Concerning the generis of the march Die eiserne Brigade, incorporating military signals and song excerpts, Schoenberg commented on the title page of the extant copyist's copy that he composed the piece whilst stationed in Bruck an der Leitha in the spring of 1916, for a comradeship evening of the one-year volunteers. The two pieces Weihnachtsmusik and Gerpa were, on the other hand, meant for domestic use: The Weihnachtsmusik arose, as documented by die dating in the sources, for the Christmas Eve of 1921. The composition is based on the two Christmas songs Es ist ein Ros entsprungen and Stille Nacht (,Silent Night`) that are variously interwoven with each other contrapuntally. The composition Gerpa with the not entirely clear title, which Schoenberg did not finish, was begun in the autumn of 1922. Only two players are necessary for the five instruments intended, since with each variation die scoring changes, and one of the instrumentalists (presumably Schoenberg's son Georg as well as the composer himself) always switches instrument.
The four arrangements located at the end of the volume derive from a notebook that Schoenberg used in the 1880s. It contains small arrangements, later also the first of his own shorter compositions (in each case for two violins), that he then played with schoolmates. These pieces lead us to the very earliest beginnings of Schoenberg's musical socialisation that was initially far remote from works by the composers Wagner or Brahms, taking their point of departure from, amongst other things, Italian opera of the early 19' century and entertainment music.
The fact that all the pieces in this volume are arrangements and occasional works remaining unpublished in the composer's lifetime has consequences for the editorial treatment of the sources. The sources themselves as well as also a few testimonies from letters show that they were sometimes prepared under serious time pressure, which is why in not every case is there a completely notated music text, worked out in detail and consistent in all parameters. Hence, the final form of the work emerges – more so than with other works – only in the music making that by weighing and testing was also perhaps dependent on the impromptu music-making situation. Thus, for the edition a compromise had to be found in which, on the one hand, the genetic circumstances are not levelled by too rauch intervention, whilst offered on the other hand is a performable version. Especially in the case of the harmonium parts often contradictorily written down in sounding notation as well as with registration marks, the editor of the music volume was frequently forced to intervene in the music text transmitted (cf. the corresponding preliminary comments to the critical remarks).
The editor of the music volume as well as also the authors of the critical report presented here thank the numerous institutions and persons who were so helpful with the description, interpretation and evaluation of the sources. In customary professional and generous manner Therese Muxeneder and Eike Fess, the two archivists of the Arnold Schoenberg Center, supported the work on this volume. We also owe thanks to the Music Department of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz; to the Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Carl von Ossietzky in Hamburg ( Jürgen Neubacher); to the Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa (Alexandra McEwen); to the Houghton Library of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts; to the archives of Schott Music (Monika Motzko-Dollmann); finally, to the Library of the University of North Texas in Denton (Andrew Justice), as well as to Oliver Neighbour. Special thanks go, in conclusion, to Martin Schubert, Berlin, without whose expertise in the interpretation of the harmonium parts an edition of the respective pieces that bears in mind the requisites of musical practice would not have been possible. Many thanks to all of them.
Berlin, in September 2013
Martin Albrecht-Hohmaier, Ullrich Scheideler