Preface to Volume 23, 2 B
The present volume contains first of all the Editorial Report, the sketches and the genesis and work history, including the most important documents, for the Suite, op. 29, the Phantasy, op. 47, as well as for the compositions presented in the appendix to volume 23 of Series A, except for the fragmentary movement from the Serenade, op. 24, dealt with in the first sub-volume.
The Suite für kleine Klarinette, Klarinette, Baßklarinette, Geige, Bratsche, Violoncell und Klavier, op. 29, edited by Ulrich Krämer, was composed between February 1925 and May 1926, thus at a period when Schoenberg had already tested the method of composing with twelve tones related only to each other in view of its suitability for also realising larger musical forms. The source situation for the Suite is at first glance advantageous, for extant besides the first written draft and the fair copy of the score are also several of the composer’s personal exemplars of the first edition. It is problematic, however, that serving as engraver’s model was not the autograph score, but a copyist’s copy based on the two autograph sources, ‘set up’ by Schoenberg’s son-in-law Felix Greissle. So it came about that in the first print were numerous readings that had been at least partly superseded by the fair copy, which in turn meant that all the variant readings of the first edition had to be examined critically. The problems involved are thoroughly discussed in the Editorial Report.
The extremely extensive sketch material, including also drafts for a number of unimplemented movements, gives an insight into Schoenberg’s intention in the Suite to draw a musical portrait of his second wife Gertrud whom he had married in October 1924 and to whom the work is also dedicated. This circumstance explains the work’s light tone almost throughout as well as also the numerous tonal reminiscences. Interesting and highly revealing of Schoenberg’s way of working is the fact that the underlying row is not so much a pre-conceived positing, but a chance discovery. This can be seen particularly in the sketches for the 1st movement’s main theme, whose melodic contour must first go through several intermediate stages before taking final shape. First found with this then was also the row form binding for the whole work. This is all the more remarkable as it is a variant of a much later twelve-tone series termed by Schoenberg the ‘miracle row’, whose special characteristics as ‘allcombinatorial set’ he first recognised and exploited in the works composed during or after the Suite.
The work history traces the work’s genesis characterised by a number of interruptions and discusses the most important performances during Schoenberg’s lifetime. The composer himself no longer conducted the Suite after the highly successful première in Paris in December 1927, even though he was convinced that what he had composed was ‘a very good and, I believe, even appealing piece with melodies’.
The Phantasy, op. 47, the piece for violin and piano, the Stelldichein, the fragment of a piece for violin and piano, as well as the published fragments for chamber-music settings with piano or harmonium were edited by Martina Sichardt; the edition was concluded in 2007, parts of it already at the start of the 1990s. The urgent need of an historico-critical new edition of the Phantasy became more evident in the course of the source collation and review: The comparison of the complete first draft with the posthumously-published first edition and the corrected galley proofs disclosed that the numerous differences between the first edition and first draft are not the result of a revision by Schoenberg, but rather the consequence of the extremely error-ridden galley proofs litteredwith corrections as well as further entries; the galleys furthermore show massive interventions by the publishing-house editor in addition to discrepancies arising between score and violin part. An impression of this source, muddled and yet remarkable in its way – the corrected galleys contain numerous entries by Schoenberg, Stein, Hoffmann, Koldofsky, the publishing-house proof reader and, added in one exemplar to all this yet, a serial row analysis by Richard Hill – is conveyed by a facsimile illustration (see facsimile 6). Manifested then with the first edition’s errors is additionally the ‘rectification’ of the differences in the serial row in the first edition’s new issue of 1978 – the work’s presently current publication: all these concurring deviations handed down in all sources – altogether 17 pitches – were corrected in accordance with the row and hence against all sources. Before and during publication Schoenberg became aware of several
of these row deviations without his having made any correction; he explicitly confirmed one of them with his signature. The GA corrects only a single row deviation, an obvious copying error, and thereby gives priority to the sources over systematic thinking.
The constitution of the music text of the Phantasy presented in volume 23 of Series A proved then to be a special challenge: in fact, the most important sources besides the first draft – the composer’s personal exemplar and the dedication exemplar – are ostensibly photocopies of the first draft, but the addenda and corrigenda made later in both of these sources do not agree either with each other or with the later addenda in the first draft, indeed, are often enough even contradictory. Hence, the chronological sequence of the entries in all three sources must be reconstructed in every single case in order to establish the ‘definitive authorised version’; shown thereby for the first draft and the dedication exemplar can be two stages of correction, three for the personal exemplar.
The appendix to volume 23 of Series A contains one of the earliest of Schoenberg’s compositions, a piece for violin and piano, presumably composed around 1893. Also presented was the section extant in fair copy (bb. 1– 90) of the fragment Ein Stelldichein – a musical setting of a Dehmel poem from the year 1905; following now in the B volume is the print of the unfinished first draft of bars 91–135. Tonal and twelve-tone thought is combined in a remarkable way in the fragment of the movement of a sonata for violin and piano from the years 1927/28.
Lastly, published in the present volume are the fragments for chamber music with piano or harmonium. The drafts stem from the years 1896 to 1930; most of them are short incipits. Some of them originated in the preliminary stages of the genesis of the twelve-tone method and can hence give information about Schoenberg’s current state of musical thinking.
The editors’ special thanks are owed all persons and institutions supporting the editorial work by kindly providing sources aswell as by collegially exchanging thought and competent professional advice: Therese Muxeneder and Eike Fess (Arnold Schönberg Center, Vienna), the Peters publishers, New York, as well as the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin and the Staatliches Institut für Musikforschung Preußischer Kulturbesitz; also to be thanked are Richard Hoffmann for his information by telephone and correspondence on the genesis and publication history of the Phantasy; the undergraduates of the HMT Leipzig, Felicitas Förster and Hannah Grieger, for their meticulous collaboration in checking the Editorial Report for the Phantasy; as well as the ‘Spiritus Rector’ of the complete edition, Rudolf Stephan, who has followed the volume in all its phases with critical and gracious interest. Finally, deserving gratitude is also Henry Trantel who has sponsored the editorial work through a generous contribution in the name of Timothy Bond (†).
Berlin, in August 2016
Ulrich Krämer and Martina Sichardt
English translation Margit L. McCorkle