Preface to Volume 11, 4 B
The present volume contains, first, the Critical Commentary on the works included in volume 11, 3 of series B. The edition of the Three Pieces for Chamber Ensemble of 1910 is based on a critical examination of the sole source, the autograph copies of the scores. In the case of the Chamber Symphony op. 9 in the version for orchestra of 1914 two sources, separated by a considerable period of time and constituting two distinct phases in the provenance of the work, have had to be taken into account.
The first of these sources is Schönberg’s second personal copy of the ‘Revised Edition’ that was published in May 1914, in which the composer entered the doublings in the wind and the consequent modifications to the dynamics. Using this copy-text, the publisher produced a few copies of the score that were made available, on loan, for performances by orchestra. The second source is the proofs of a planned fourth edition of the ‘Revised Edition’ of July 1922, which, contrary to its original purpose, later served as the engraver’s copy-text for the study score published in 1923. The publisher at first wanted the latter also to contain, in small print, the additions for the orchestral version entered into the copy-text for this purpose by Erwin Stein, but at the composer’s insistence this was not done.
The volume also includes an account of the genesis and the later history of op. 9. In doing so, it fills what has been a significant gap within Schönberg’s compositional biography, given that the Chamber Symphony was a work central to the composer’s artistic development. A study of the genesis of the work on the basis of the surviving sketches and drafts has made it possible to determine more precisely when the composition was begun, and also to establish that the actual process of composition, and the parallel preparation of the score, occupied about three or four months. The historical account, based on the surviving documents, traces the later career of the work, from its first performance in Vienna, through the protracted negotiations over publication and the delayed appearance in print, to the most important per-formances – such as the ten public rehearsals in May and June 1918 – and the various arrangements that were made both by Schönberg himself and by close associates. The concluding discussion assesses the key documents concerning the Chamber Symphony written by Schönberg and his pupils. Supplementing the account of the genesis and later history of the work is an extensive collection of documentary materials comprising nearly 500 individual items, most of them previously unpublished, relating to the work’s origins and publication, the different versions, and the most important performances.
The fragment of a work for chamber orchestra of 1913, reproduced in the appendix to this volume, perhaps still echoes the Chamber Symphony in its use of solistic winds, but its compositional language plainly looks forward to the Lieder op. 22 and the oratorio Die Jakobsleiter. The opening of a further chamber symphony in A minor has been previously published in volume 22 of series B.
As ever, the editor wishes to offer his warm thanks to the individuals and institutions that have supported him in his editorial work by kindly making sources available and providing authoritative specialist advice: in particular, the head of the music collection at the Wienbibliothek in the Rathaus, Vienna, Dr Thomas Aigner, the archivists of the Arnold Schönberg Center in Vienna, Therese Muxeneder and Eike Fess, and Professor Dr Giselher Schubert of Frankfurt am Main and Professor Dr Rudolf Stephan of Berlin, whose inexhaustible fund of knowledge and unerring feeling for historical contexts and connections have significantly enriched this volume.
Berlin, July 2010