Preface to Volume 17, 1 B

The present volume contains the ‘Editorial Report’ for the music text of the fragmentary short score of the Jakobsleiter oratorio from the Schoenberg estate, published in series A, volume 17, together with a critical edition of its complete poetic text, including all concept and text drafts. Besides the extensive sketch material, the music sources (pp. 2ff.) constitute the first inscription [Erste Niederschrift] surviving in the form of a non-linear succession of various longer continuity drafts notated in sketchbook IV, the short-score’s inked autograph copy serving as main source and a shortscore fair copy of the first 44 bars in a significantly reduced orchestration prepared in 1944 by Schoenberg in his American exile. The first draft shows, in fact, two minor gaps, though it is 16 bars longer than the short score. Whereas these final 16 bars of the fragment are included for practical musical reasons in the full score version by Winfried Zillig, published in the Supplement volume to the Complete Edition edited by Rudolf Stephan (cf. GA series A, vol. 29), they will be printed in the present edition’s second volume in conjunction with the sketches and the accompanying commentary. Since owing to the short score’s oversize format,the variable page, accolade and stave distribution associated with this particular source type could not be retained in the GA text, all differences related to its layout are listed in a table following the source description (pp. 114ff.).

The source material for the Jakobsleiter literary text authored by Schoenberg himself is not only more extensive, but also more complex than that for the music (pp. 203 ff.). This is owing primarily to the fact that Schoenberg not only completed the poetry but went on immediately thereafter to prepare the definitive version for publication. Extant, accordingly, are sources from all stages of the text genesis: from the extensive preliminary work in forming the concept and text drafts, to the first inscription, partly assembled from preliminary drafts and repeatedly revised by means of deletions and pasteovers; the fair copy in ink and then the typescript, serving as the model for composition [Kompositionsvorlage], with two carbon copies, each showing its own corrections; the first print appearing in 1917, extant of which are various personal exemplars in the composer’s estate; up to the slightly revised reprint as part of the anthology Texte of 1926, including its associated galley proofs. The various readings of the text sources are disclosed in conjunction with the edition of the emended literary text (pp. 304 ff.). The numerous concept and text drafts (pp. 326ff.) are of interest not only for the genesis of the work, but above all, also as an intellectual and ideational background to the oratorio. They document not only Schoenberg’s striving for the hierarchy of figure types directly associated with the religious and moral-philosophical core of the poetry, but also the fact that the figures of the ‘rebellious’ and the ‘struggling’ emerged from a combined typology that only gradually began to breakdown, or that Schoenberg conceived the figure of the ‘chosen one’ as a prototype of genius with unmistakably autobiographical features. The order and the way the text drafts are presented does not attempt to reproduce their genesis chronology – an endeavour that would be doomed to fail anyway, owing to its structural complexity and the volatile nature of its connotation threads –, but strives to clarify the textual relationships in order thus to inspire continuing exploration of the conceptual content of the poetry also on a contextual level. In order to provide the most complete overview of the materials, the pasteovers within the preliminary and first drafts were either detached, or the covered earlier text layers were made visible with the aid of transparency scans and digital image processing. The volume is complemented by the reprint of the oratorio’s text in the GA version (pp. 363 ff.).

The editor gratefully thanks all those persons and institutions supporting the editorial work with expert advice, access to the sources and helpful answers to bibliographical questions:
Therese Muxeneder and Eike Feß (Arnold Schönberg Center, Vienna), Simon Obert (Paul Sacher Stiftung, Basel), Uta Schaumberg (Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Munich), Andrea Hoffmann (Deutsche Nationalbibliothek, Leipzig), Cornelia Branscheidt (Cobra Antiquariat, Oberursel), Martin Klaußner (Antiquariat Klaußner, Fürth), Thomas Krestan (Antiquariat Löcker, Vienna), Silke Mellin (Antiquariat Weinek, Salzburg), Martin Peche (Antiquariat Inlibris, Vienna).

Berlin, in May 2020
Ulrich Krämer