Preface to the Complete Edition (Volume 1 A / Volume 4 A)

This Complete Edition contains all the musical compositions of Arnold Schönberg. In addition to the completed and unfinished works it includes the sketches and any earlier versions as well as all Schönberg’s arrangements and orchestrations of works by other composers. The Complete Edition is published for the use of performers, students of composition, and musicologists. It is divided into the following categories:

I. Songs and Canons
II. Piano and Organ music
III. Stage works
IV. Orchestral works
V. Choral works
VI. Instrumental concertos
VII. Chamber music
VIII. Orchestrations
IX. Parerga

In view of the abundant material it appeared desirable to divide the contents of each volume into two parts and thus issue two series: Series A containing the musical text derived from the original or first editions and from the other sources; Series B, issued separately, the complementary volume containing early versions and sketches, where they exist, together with any unfinished compositions and finally the editorial report.
Four works, although unfinished, have been included among the completed works on account of the significance and position they occupy in Schönberg’s work. These are the opera “Moses und Aron”, the oratorio “Die Jakobsleiter”, the Psalm op. 50 C, and the three short pieces for various instruments.
The sources available are as follows: the original editions, which were either engraved under Schönberg’s own supervision or are facsimiles of his fair copies;
Schönberg’s own copies of original editions with corrections in his own hand;
the first complete manuscripts and fair copies;
sketchbooks and loose sketches;
recordings of works rehearsed and conducted by Schönberg.
All volumes of Series A, and in certain cases those of Series B, include, in the form of a connecting commentary, any written or orally transmitted remarks which Schonberg made concerning the works in question or about his composing in general; also dates and references that throw light on their creation, special features of development or connections within his works as a whole.

In the textual part of the Complete Edition all quotations, dates etc. from Schönberg are printed in italics in the original orthography. Interpolations of the editor appear in Roman type and between square brackets. Unavoidable alterations in the authentic text are indicated in the editorial report.
In the musical part all words of texts, letters and figures that are authentic appear in Roman type, notes of the editor in italics. To the musical text belong also the directions for performance placed by Schönberg at the beginning of a work. Song-texts have been adapted, without special mention, to modern orthography and punctuation. References to deviations altering the meaning of the text of a source are given in the editorial report.
Titles of works, names of authors and Copyright-notices generally follow, regardless of the type-setting, the typography used in the sources. But they are, however, occasionally modified, for example for reasons of conformity. Indications – in full and abbreviated – of scoring, placed before the staves, are in all cases standardized. The original wording of these texts is always given in the editorial report.
Notes and rests in small print added by the editor are in all cases indicated in a footnote as additions. All other additions of the editor are distinguished as follows: a) in small print: clefs, time signatures, accidentals before principal notes, dots, the sign
' , signs indicating accentuations (>, ^ , ´ , u ) and tenuto or portato ( – ), fermati, Luftpausen ( v ) and wavy lines indicating arpeggio, glissando, or after trill signs;
b) in dotted lines: ties and slurs, Schweller ( < > ), signs for crescendo and decrescendo and for principal and secondary parts ( H, N );
c) in square brackets: appoggiaturas and Nachschlagsnoten, accidentals before these and before trill signs;
d) in italics: directions for tempo and performance, indications of scoring placed before the staves, dynamics (f, p), trill signs, words of texts, numbers before instruments (à 2, 1. Trombone, etc.), numbering of bars.
Whole-bar rests, numbers above triplets etc., slurs over appoggiaturas and principal note and between it and Nachschlagsnoten which were left out in the sources, have been filled in without special mention. If in special cases deviations from these editorial principles are necessary, they are indicated in the commentary and editorial report of the respective volume.
As a result of practical experience Schönberg later modified the traditional notation of his scores to the extent required for the realisation of his musical conceptions to bring out their meaning most faithfully. These modifications are so characteristic of the organic process in the development of Schönberg’s music that they are reproduced, in their chronological sequence, in the Complete Edition with as much accuracy as appeared necessary from the points of view of science and practice.
They apply in particular to the following:
Schönberg’s explanations and directions concerning the new signs which he introduced to indicate the manner of performance;
the notation of transposing instruments which in all non-tonal and twelve-tone compositions from op. 22 onwards is given as sounded, while in all tonal compositions and also partly in those written later during the twelve-tone period it is transposed in the usual way;
the practice of numbering each bar, which from op. 26 onwards was maintained without exception. In the Complete Edition this has also been adopted, for the sake of uniformity, in all earlier works. In such cases, however, it is treated as an addition of the editor and accordingly appears in italics. Moreover, it facilitates the tracing of references between the musical text and the editorial report.
Already in his early years Schönberg used to write orchestral works in the form of a Particell. Where he adopted this method in later works also in printed editions – as well as in all works which he did not publish himself – the Complete Edition follows the original copies.
For the notation of accidentals the Complete Edition follows Schönberg’s own principles which he formulated in two treatises: “Zur Notenschrift” (1923) and “Notierung (Vorzeichen)” (1931):
1. The rule, that an accidental applies to the whole bar, is not suspended, but it is employed very sparingly.
2. The natural sign is in general always used for the notes C D E F G A B (without pedantic exaggeration: also when it is otherwise clear the simpler procedure is chosen), since it is difficult in modern music to remember in long bars whether the note has already occurred with a sharp or a flat.
3. The notes C sharp, D flat, D sharp, E flat, F sharp etc., however often they occur, and in most cases when repeated, always carry the sharp or flat sign (also without pedantry!) except when the intention is otherwise clear.
From “Zur Notenschrift”.
… My general principle has been none other than to add each accidental as often as seemed necessary in order to rule out any doubt, a procedure which in no way differs from the old method. From “Notierung (Vorzeichen)”.
In the Complete Edition only in works composed before 1906, for the sake of greater readability, the number of accidentals is reduced where there is no danger of doubt. After 1906, Schönberg’s development is clearly revealed also in the notation of accidentals from the periods of extended and suspended tonality to non-tonal and twelve-tone composition.
The new visual aspect of Schönberg’s scores is altogether an unmistakable, characteristic reflection of his music. The Complete Edition adopts it, since it would not otherwise have respected the justified intentions of the composer; also for the sake of scholarship, since failing to do so would have represented a non-fulfilment of the rightful demand of the latter for an exhaustive and authentic edition of Schönberg’s music which would otherwise have been given a falsified appearance.

Berlin, May 1966
Josef Rufer
General Editor

The work undertaken by Gertrud Schönberg, in whose possession the posthumous material rests, was of major importance for the Complete Edition. The publishers and the editors wish to acknowledge their great debt to her. The publishers, B. Schott’s Söhne, Mainz, and Universal Edition, Vienna, express their deep gratitude and warmly thank the Volkswagen-Foundation, Wolfsburg, and the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Vienna, for their financial assistance towards the publishing of this Complete Edition.