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date: 18 October 2021

Schoenberg [Schönberg], Arnold (Franz Walter)free

Schoenberg [Schönberg], Arnold (Franz Walter)free

  • O.W. Neighbour

(b Vienna, Sept 13, 1874; d Los Angeles, July 13, 1951). Austro-Hungarian composer.

1. Life up to World War I.

His father Samuel (1838–89) was born in Szécsény, his mother (née Nachod, 1848–1921) in Prague. They came to Vienna from Pressburg (Bratislava). Schoenberg accordingly inherited Hungarian nationality, which was converted to Czech on the formation of the state of Czechoslovakia in 1918. He became an American citizen in 1941. The family was Jewish, and the three children, Arnold, Ottilie and Heinrich, were brought up in the orthodox faith. Neither parent was particularly musical; Schoenberg remembered his uncle Fritz Nachod, who wrote poetry and taught him French, as the main cultural influence of his childhood. But his sister and brother showed musical talent, and the latter, like their cousin Hans Nachod, became a professional singer. Schoenberg’s musical education began when he was eight with violin lessons, and he very soon began composing by the light of nature, imitating the violin duets by such composers as Pleyel and Viotti that he was given to learn, and arranging anything that came his way – operatic melodies or military band music – for the same combination. Somewhat later, having met a schoolfellow who played the viola, he was able to spread his wings to the point of writing trios for two violins and viola.

The family was not well off. In the year after the death of his father, who had kept a shoe shop, Schoenberg was obliged to leave school and take employment as a clerk in a small private bank, where he remained for about five years. Meanwhile he pursued music, literature and philosophy in the evenings, his interest fired by two friends of his own age, David Josef Bach and Oskar Adler. According to his own account Bach taught him the courage to keep his artistic ideals high. Adler was in effect his first music teacher. He was a good violinist, and Schoenberg taught himself the cello, at first using a large viola adapted with zither strings, and then a proper cello which he began by playing with violin fingering. Together they formed an amateur ensemble which permitted Schoenberg to explore the Classical chamber music repertory from the inside and to compose quartets. Adler helped him to educate his ear through playing, and taught him some elementary harmony. For the musical forms he turned to articles in a popular encyclopedia.

Schoenberg and his friends heard very little music except what they could play themselves. Concerts were beyond their means, though they would sometimes stand outside café enclosures to eavesdrop on the band. While he was still working in the bank Schoenberg joined an amateur orchestra, really no more than a handful of string players, conducted by Alexander von Zemlinsky, and the two soon became firm friends. Zemlinsky, the elder by three years, had attended the Vienna Conservatory, where he had distinguished himself. His compositions had attracted Brahms’s notice. He was therefore in a position to help Schoenberg with the formal instruction that he had so far missed. Although Schoenberg received encouragement from Josef Labor, to whom he submitted a movement from a string quartet in C in about 1894, and from Richard Heuberger, Zemlinsky was the only regular teacher he ever had. The importance of Zemlinsky’s influence is hard to assess. In later life Schoenberg ascribed to him most of his knowledge of the problems and techniques of composing, whereas Zemlinsky merely said that they had shown each other their works. It is difficult to believe that Schoenberg ever needed to be prompted twice about a general principle of composition, but he certainly respected Zemlinsky’s advice, and the pattern of their early relationship persisted. At a time when misunderstanding had taught him to hold himself aloof, he still treated Zemlinsky as an equal both as man and musician.

In the autumn of 1897 Schoenberg wrote a string quartet in D major, making various changes in the course of composition in response to Zemlinsky’s criticisms. When it was done both felt that it marked a new stage in his work, and Zemlinsky, who was on the committee of the Wiener Tonkünstlerverein, proposed it for performance. It was accepted, played at a concert for members only the following March, and well enough received to be repeated in the next season. It was many years before a new work of Schoenberg’s was to meet with comparable success. The Verein turned down his string sextet Verklärte Nacht in 1899, and there were protests when songs from opp.1–3 were sung in public in December 1900. From that time on, in his own words, the scandal never stopped. In these early works he had already taken the first steps in the development of chromaticism that was to lead him to abandon triadic harmony and tonality itself by 1908, and each stage in his progress aroused fresh hostility. For the moment, however, little was heard of him. He kept the wolf from the door by conducting workers’ choral societies associated with the Social Democratic Party and orchestrating operettas, and managed between March 1900 and April 1901 to compose the vast Gurre-Lieder.

In October 1901 Schoenberg married Zemlinsky’s sister Mathilde (1877–1923). There were two children of the marriage: Gertrud (1902–47), who married Schoenberg’s pupil Felix Greissle in 1921 and emigrated to the USA in 1938, and Georg (1906–74). In December the young couple moved to Berlin, where Schoenberg had got a job on the musical side of Überbrettl, a kind of cabaret that formed part of Ernst von Wolzogen’s Buntes Theater. The idea behind Überbrettl was to use the popular mode to serious ends. Various well-known men of letters, such as Wedekind, Morgenstern and Dehmel, were interested in it. In the summer Schoenberg had tried his hand at setting verses of the Überbrettl type, and at least one song, Nachtwandler, was subsequently performed in Berlin, though only once. Schoenberg’s employment there lasted only until the following summer, after which he was obliged to interrupt the orchestration of the Gurre-Lieder in order to score operettas. He was saved from further drudgery of this kind by Richard Strauss, to whom he had shown parts of the Gurre-Lieder and his new symphonic poem Pelleas und Melisande. Strauss was impressed, and used his influence to obtain for him the Liszt Stipendium and a post as composition teacher at the Stern Conservatory. So he stayed on in Berlin for another year and returned to Vienna in July 1903 with the completed score of Pelleas.

That autumn various musical classes were organized in rooms made available at a girls’ school founded by Dr Eugenie Schwarzwald. Schoenberg taught harmony and counterpoint there for a single season, and Zemlinsky, in whose house he was living at the time, taught form and orchestration. When Schoenberg gave up his class some of its members continued to study composition and theory with him privately, among them a number of students of music history under Mahler’s friend Guido Adler at the University of Vienna. In the autumn of 1904 this nucleus was joined by two new recruits, Webern (an Adler pupil) and Berg, who were to fulfil their promise as composers through acceptance and individual reinterpretation of the successive steps in their master’s development, and bring him the support of their lifelong personal and artistic loyalty.

If private teaching was scarcely lucrative for Schoenberg – he taught Berg free for the first year because his family was not in a position to pay fees – composition was still less so. The Viennese public was conservative in its tastes and reluctant to support new work in any of the arts. Special societies attempted to remedy this situation. To one of them, the Ansorge Verein, Schoenberg owed various early performances, starting with some of his songs early in 1904. At this time he and Zemlinsky were already planning a society of their own, which they launched successfully under the title Vereinigung Schaffender Tonkünstler. For their honorary president they managed to secure Mahler, whose brother-in-law Arnold Rosé had invited him to rehearsals of Verklärte Nacht the previous year when Rosé was preparing the quartet that he led for a performance of it. Mahler was deeply impressed and became a staunch supporter of Schoenberg, even though he did not always see eye to eye with him over artistic matters. The new society survived only for the season 1904–5 but succeeded in putting on sizable works by Mahler, Strauss, Zemlinsky and others, and in January the first performance of Pelleas und Melisande, conducted by the composer. The orchestra was ill at ease and the reception cool.

The pattern of Schoenberg’s life for the next few years was now set. A heavy teaching programme did not save him and his family from material hardship; as late as 1910 he was obliged to borrow from Mahler to pay the rent, and the following year Berg launched an appeal on his behalf, though without his knowledge. The style of his music, which he composed largely in the slacker summer months, became increasingly dissonant; each new work raised a storm. The Rosé quartet gave the first performances of the first quartet and Kammersymphonie early in 1907. Mahler stood up for both works in public, and although he privately confessed that he could not fully understand Schoenberg’s development he never lost faith in him. His removal from Vienna that spring deprived Schoenberg of a valuable ally, though in the four years that remained to him his concern for Schoenberg’s well-being and interest in his work never faltered. Uproar predictably greeted Rosé’s first performance of the Second Quartet in December 1908, and when the first freely dissonant works, Das Buch der hängenden Gärten and the op.11 piano pieces, were presented in January 1910 they met with almost universal incomprehension.

These were years of crisis not only for Schoenberg’s musical style but in his domestic life. He had made the acquaintance of the Viennese painters Oskar Kokoschka and Richard Gerstl, and in 1908 took up painting seriously. Gerstl, who had become a family friend, gave lessons to both him and his wife. During that summer he discovered that she was having an affair with Gerstl, with whom she then went to live. Later she was persuaded to return for the sake of the children; in November Gerstl committed suicide.

In October 1910 Schoenberg mounted a one-man exhibition. The following January he received a letter from the expressionist painter Kandinsky, whose sympathy for his work extended beyond his painting to his music and ideas. This initiated a lasting friendship. Schoenberg exhibited with the group Der Blaue Reiter founded by Kandinsky, and contributed an essay and a facsimile of Herzgewächse to the first and only number of the periodical that bore its name. He showed pictures elsewhere, but, although he continued to paint and draw occasionally in later years, visual means of expression quickly lost the importance that they had briefly held for him.

For some years Schoenberg had kept up a fairly steady output of music, culminating in the extraordinary works of 1909: the op.11 piano pieces, the Fünf Orchesterstücke op.16 and Erwartung. But now the pace slackened. His spare time in the years 1910–11 was largely devoted to writing the Harmonielehre and completing the long-delayed orchestration of the Gurre-Lieder. In 1910 he offered his services to the Kaiserliche-Königliche Akademie für Musik und Darstellende Kunst as an external lecturer in theory and composition. His application was successful, but his hopes that this might lead to a professorship were thwarted. A question was asked in parliament, and he was subjected to virulent attacks on racial grounds. By the end of the academic year his circumstances had so far deteriorated that he decided to try his luck once again in Berlin, and moved there with his family in the autumn of 1911.

His arrival was greeted with some extremely unpleasant comment in the press, and his winter lectures at the Stern Conservatory were poorly attended. Nevertheless his fortunes at last began to improve a little. His name at least was now internationally familiar, audiences were beginning to find his earlier music more accessible, and his later work was arousing curiosity. Pierrot lunaire, composed in the summer of 1912, was given with considerable success under the composer’s direction in October, and then went on tour to 11 German and Austrian cities. Sir Henry Wood had given the first performance of the op.16 orchestral pieces in London the previous month, and that of the Gurre-Lieder took place in Vienna the following February under Schreker. This was an overwhelming success, but the composer, smarting under years of very different treatment from the Viennese public, refused to acknowledge its applause. Five weeks later it took its revenge by bringing a concert of music by Schoenberg and his associates to a halt. Meanwhile Schoenberg, relieved of immediate financial worries by the generosity of a rich patron, determined to make a secondary career as a conductor. He lacked experience, but Zemlinsky arranged for him to conduct, early in 1912, a concert including Pelleas und Melisande. This set him on the road. By the outbreak of war he had conducted Pelleas, the Gurre-Lieder and the Fünf Orchesterstücke in a number of European cities.

2. World War I and after.

The war put an end to these developments. Concerts, especially of new music, were less in demand. Many of Schoenberg’s pupils were called up, and his teaching ceased entirely. In May 1915 he was himself medically examined in Vienna for the reserve, but to his surprise he was rejected on account of goitre. In September he moved his family back to Vienna, having accepted after some hesitation the offer of a rent-free house from his patron Frau Lieser. Then, after a second medical examination had reversed the decision of the earlier one, he finally joined up in December as a one-year volunteer. Schoenberg’s health had, however, never been strong; under the strain of a course of training at Bruck an der Leitha he began to suffer from asthma, to which he was subject all his life, and other ailments. Friends tried to secure his release, which came through quite unexpectedly in October 1916. In the last four years he had written very little music, apart from finishing Die glückliche Hand in 1913 and composing the op.22 orchestral songs at intervals between that year and 1916. But he had been constantly preoccupied with plans for a large-scale religious work. After his return to civilian life he finally decided to embody his ideas in an oratorio. By May 1917 the text of Die Jakobsleiter was ready.

In June he began to compose the music. The time could scarcely have been less favourable. Food and the coal necessary to cook it were becoming desperately short in Vienna; money, at least in the Schoenberg household, was shorter still. Yet in the space of three months Schoenberg set the whole of the first part of the oratorio, though without fully working out the orchestration. During the same period he made known plans for a seminar in composition which would avoid any set course of instruction unrelated to the individual needs of the pupil, and for which each pupil would pay only what he could afford. September brought further difficulties. Schoenberg found himself obliged to leave his house. Potential landlords showed themselves suspicious of his prospects, and for many weeks the family endured the acute discomfort of cheap boarding-houses. On 17 September he was called up again. This time he was given C grading, and, although a transfer away from Vienna remained a possibility until his final discharge in December, his duties were much lighter than before and he was often at home. Consequently he was able to go forward with his seminar at the Schwarzwald school. It prospered, and after his move to Mödling the following April he continued to hold classes there until 1920. But to the oratorio the short spell of military service proved fatal. Despite constant efforts to pick up the thread, he had managed by 1922 to compose only about half of the interlude intended to link the two halves of the work, after which he added nothing more.

A direct outcome of the seminar was the foundation of the Verein für musikalische Privataufführungen, the object of which was to give properly rehearsed performances of modern works to a genuinely interested membership. For one class of seat members paid only according to their means. The press was excluded. Details of programmes were not available in advance, and many works were repeated as a point of policy. Orchestral works were given in arrangements for piano or chamber ensemble. In the three years between February 1919 and the end of 1921, when inflation put an end to the society’s activities, 353 performances of 154 works were given in 117 concerts. A number of Schoenberg’s pupils and ex-pupils helped with the organization of this vast enterprise, but he rehearsed and directed a considerable proportion of the performances himself. Meanwhile peace brought a renewal of international interest in his music. Conducting engagements took him abroad. In Amsterdam he was made president of the International Mahler League, and he returned there for the winter of 1920–21 to take part in a festival of his own works and give a series of lectures on music theory. This was the time of the formulation of serialism. The first three serial works, the op.23 piano pieces, the Serenade and the Suite for piano op.25, were written between 1920 and 1923. The Wind Quintet was completed the next year, which saw the first performances not only of the Serenade and Quintet, but of Erwartung (in Prague) and Die glückliche Hand (in Vienna).

In October 1923 Mathilde Schoenberg died. Despite the unhappy events of 1908, from which the marriage had never fully recovered, Schoenberg’s letters written at the time of her death leave no doubt of the depth of his attachment to her. A month later he completed his text entitled Requiem, a meditation on death the first section of which had been drafted somewhat earlier; he never set it to music. His widowerhood did not, however, last long: at the end of the following August, about a fortnight before his 50th birthday, he married Gertrud Kolisch (1898–1967), the sister of his pupil Rudolf Kolisch. (Kolisch was a violinist and the leader of a string quartet which became the leading exponent of Schoenberg’s chamber music in the 1920s and 1930s.) There were three children of this marriage: Dorothea Nuria (b Barcelona, 1932), who married the Italian composer Luigi Nono, Rudolf Ronald (b 1937) and Lawrence Adam (b 1941).

In 1925 Schoenberg was invited to take charge of the masterclass in composition at the Akademie der Künste in Berlin, in succession to Busoni, who had died the year before. He accepted, signed the contract in September, and after some delay because of an appendix operation moved in January 1926 from Vienna to Berlin for the third and last time. Some of his pupils, notably Gerhard and Zillig, moved with him, and Eisler, though no longer his pupil, did so independently at about the same time; Skalkottas was to join the class a little later. For the next seven years Schoenberg enjoyed better conditions of work than at any time in his life. He had a say in general questions of policy and administration in the academy, and absolute responsibility for his own courses. Moreover he was required to teach for an average of only six months in the year, and could choose his own times. His creative output increased correspondingly. The Suite op.29, largely written in Vienna, was followed by the Variationen für Orchester, the play Der biblische Weg, the Third Quartet, Von heute auf morgen, the Begleitungsmusik zu einer Lichtspielszene, Moses und Aron, the Cello Concerto after Monn, and various smaller pieces. His earlier works continued to gain ground with audiences, and his more recent ones were at least assured of a hearing, if not of approval: the orchestral variations, for instance, had a very mixed reception when Furtwängler introduced them in 1928.

Given that Schoenberg could never hope to make a living from composition, his job at the academy was well adapted to his needs. Perhaps in the long run he would not have stood the climate of Berlin, for in the winter of 1930–31 his asthma grew much worse, and he made so little progress in the summer that he was strongly advised not to risk the next winter in the north. So in October the Schoenbergs went to Barcelona to stay near Gerhard and his wife; various circumstances kept them there until May. However, it was not Schoenberg’s health but politics that robbed him of any sense of security in Berlin. Anti-Semitism had contributed considerably to the hostility towards him in Vienna even before the war. In the early 1920s, when he experienced the grossly insulting behaviour towards Jews that Hitler’s agitation was helping to make commonplace, he already foresaw violence as the probable outcome. By 1933 the realization of his fears had begun. It was no surprise when the government’s intention to remove Jewish elements from the academy was announced at a meeting of the senate on 1 March, at which Schoenberg was present. He left abruptly, and treated the announcement as his dismissal. This took effect officially from the end of October, in breach of his contract, which should have protected him for another 23 months.

The Schoenbergs left Berlin in May and spent the summer in France. The only work composed at this time was the String Quartet Concerto after Handel. On 24 July Schoenberg returned to the Jewish faith, which he had rejected in favour of Lutheranism in 1898. His Christian beliefs had not lasted, but by his own account he was at no time unreligious, let alone anti-religious. By the war years religion had become his sole support. At first he did not attempt to reconcile his beliefs with those of any recognized faith, but with the increase of anti-Semitism after the war he realized that the faith in which he had been brought up must eventually claim him, and he began to work his way towards his own not entirely orthodox version of it. The ceremony in Paris merely made his reconversion official.

3. America.

Schoenberg’s search for employment ended with his acceptance of a teaching post until the next May at the Malkin Conservatory in Boston. The family arrived in the USA at the end of October. The work proved to be on a more elementary level than he had realized. Some of the classes were held in New York, which meant a tiring weekly journey there. As soon as the weather became bad in December his health deteriorated; he fell seriously ill in January and again in March. The summer put him right, but he dared not stay another winter on the east coast and, after two months at the Chautauqua Institution, a centre for religion, education and the arts in New York State, he moved to Los Angeles in September 1934 for the sake of the climate – a decision that probably added several years to his life. He first settled in Hollywood, where he completed the Suite for string orchestra by the end of the year. Private pupils soon began to come to him, and in the academic year 1935–6 he gave lectures at the University of Southern California. In 1936 he accepted a professorship in the University of California at Los Angeles, and moved to a house in Brentwood Park where he lived for the rest of his life. That year saw the composition of the Fourth Quartet and the completion of the Violin Concerto, begun the previous spring or summer.

Though more fortunately placed in his country of exile than many of his fellow refugees, Schoenberg enjoyed little peace of mind. He found much in his alien surroundings hard to accept; few of his pupils were well enough grounded to benefit at all fully from his knowledge and experience; there was no audience for such music as he might write; above all there was the appalling news from Europe and the growing threat to relatives and friends there. His constant efforts on behalf of individual victims of persecution could not ease the sense of helplessness of one who was accustomed to take remedies into his own hands. For once he admitted to depression. In due course, however, he made some kind of truce with his situation. The war disposed in its own way of certain issues. His domestic happiness was a source of strength, and his young American children gave him a certain stake in the country. In the four years after 1936 his only original works had been Kol nidre, intended for synagogue use, and the completion of the Kammersymphonie no.2, partly composed between 1906 and 1916; but in 1941 he composed the Organ Variations in response to a commission, and three more works had followed by 1943. He also set about recasting material from various unfinished theoretical works in the form of a series of more strictly practical textbooks suitable for his American pupils. Nevertheless, in 1944 he was still thinking of emigrating.

This year was a turning-point in two respects. In February his health began to deteriorate sharply. Diabetes was diagnosed, he suffered from giddiness and fainting, and his asthma grew worse, as did the optical disturbances that had troubled him for some time. On reaching his 70th birthday in September he had to give up his professorship. As he had taught in the university for only eight years his pension was very small. Consequently he was obliged to continue giving private lessons, and in 1946 held a course of lectures at the University of Chicago. In August that year he had a heart attack which caused his heart to stop beating; he was resuscitated only by an injection directly into the heart. This experience is in some sense reflected in the String Trio which he completed shortly after his recovery. Although he was well enough in the summer of 1948 to give classes at Santa Barbara, for most of his remaining five years he led the withdrawn existence of an invalid. But he had the satisfaction of seeing the emergence of the state of Israel (he was elected honorary president of the Israel Academy of Music in 1951), and also the upsurge of interest in his music that marked the postwar years. At this time he revised a small selection from his vast accumulation of largely unpublished essays and articles, and published it under the title Style and Idea. The few short compositions that he managed to complete were nearly all religious in inspiration. During the last year of his life he worked on a series of meditations which he originally called Moderne Psalmen, and later Psalmen, Gebete und Gespräche mit und über Gott; his last composition was an incomplete setting of the first of these.

4. Personality and beliefs.

The scanty recollections of those who knew Schoenberg in early years stress his enthusiasm and resilience. Although such qualities are only to be expected in a young man just finding scope for uncommon gifts, one circumstance behind Schoenberg’s growing confidence during the decade before Verklärte Nacht claims attention for its fundamental influence on his later outlook and thinking: the fact that he was in all essentials self-taught. Fortune had endowed him not only with prodigious musical aptitude but with the intellectual energy and force of personality to ensure that it triumphed over his very considerable social and educational disadvantages. Naturally he took what steps he could to make up for his lack of formal musical training, but neither his haphazard reading, nor other odd crumbs of instruction (he is known, for instance, to have heard Bruckner lecture at the academy), nor even Zemlinsky’s constant help, could alter his feeling that he never profited from what he was taught unless he had already discovered it for himself; tuition could at best only awaken him to his own knowledge. The process of independent discovery shaped his habits of mind and his spiritual life. His approach to composition, whether in the context of a single work or of his wider development, remained exploratory; he saw life as synonymous with change and religion as a quest.

His early experience is most closely reflected in, and so partly deducible from, his teaching methods. He refused to teach the codified knowledge that he had never learnt, mistrusting mere knowledge as the enemy of understanding. From the earliest stages his pupils were required to create, to derive their simplest exercise from an expressive intention and to remain true to the implications of the initial idea. Their teacher let no inconsequence pass, just as at a deeper level he would detect any transgression against the promptings of their musicality. For many of Schoenberg’s pupils, particularly in the earlier years, the kind of moral obligation that he taught them to feel towards the demands of their art found an echo in their whole attitude to life, and they grouped themselves round him like a band of disciples. Their master benefited from the relationship too, for the origin of his lifelong interest in teaching lay in the need constantly to re-enact his own exploration of the resources of music. Just as many composers, himself among them, might exercise their contrapuntal skill in canonic problems, Schoenberg, who habitually thought in terms of processes rather than systems, practised the ability to reach outwards from a given starting-point by helping each pupil to work out his own salvation in accordance with his own personality and musical disposition.

It might be supposed that this approach to teaching would have led to great stylistic freedom, especially in view of his condemnation in the Harmonielehre of all academic rules as meaningless abstractions from the practice of a past era. However, he taught strictly within the confines of tonality, and made the principles of traditional grammar live again by demonstrating their functional value for his pupils’ work as for that of the great Austrian and German composers, whom he constantly called to witness. His points of departure for technical instruction – Sechter in the Harmonielehre and Structural Functions of Harmony, Fux in Preliminary Exercises in Counterpoint, Classical forms in Models for Beginners in Composition and Fundamentals of Musical Composition – were relatively unimportant: everything depended on reinterpretation, on exploration through trial and error. His primary aim was to teach logical thinking, and that was best done in a context where theory, which must necessarily lag behind practice, could aid elucidation. Here again his teaching reflects his own position as a composer, which he was at pains to clarify in the Harmonielehre. He was convinced that the recent developments in his style, although reached intuitively, were a logical outcome of tradition, and that, while taking no account of rules, they observed fundamental laws which would eventually prove definable. Meanwhile the pupil who felt drawn to similar modes of expression must find his own intuitive path with the aid of self-reliance learnt in better-charted territory, and the listener would need faith.

In the crucial years preceding the Harmonielehre Schoenberg’s music rarely met with faith or even the modicum of goodwill without which no artistic perception is possible. On the contrary, it was opposed with almost unbelievable persistence and venom. Perhaps no music before or since has encountered such a reception; to the end of his life its author, though internationally famous, had to accept very widespread incomprehension. The price he paid for artistic integrity was proportionately high. It should be remembered that the sense of outrage that even such a work as Pelleas und Melisande aroused at first in the majority of listeners arose not only from unthinking conservatism but from the more positive instinct that its premonitions of a radical disruption in the agreed basis of musical language carried a threat to precision of meaning. Schoenberg, who shared his audience’s background and many of its assumptions, understood its fears and so experienced its attack with something like the force of an inner doubt, requiring all the more courage to parry. He felt himself impelled towards the break with tonality almost despite himself, and accomplished it only after considerable hesitation. Since its systematic justification in theory eluded him he looked for some other authority to protect his intuition. He found it eventually in religion.

In the year after Mahler’s death in 1911 Schoenberg wrote about him in terms that indicate clearly his preoccupations at that time. He attacked with great bitterness those whose ceaseless denigration of Mahler almost led him to lose faith in his own work, and apostrophized him as saint and martyr. He saw all great music as expressing the longing of the soul for God, and genius as representing man’s more spiritual future, so that the uncomprehending present must inevitably persecute the good and promote the bad. His quotation of Mahler’s remark that the Eighth Symphony was composed at great speed, almost as though from dictation, is especially significant, for he too composed very quickly, often with the feeling that however much effort he put into his work something more was given that he could not account for, just as his stylistic development seemed to have been taken out of his hands. It was not only Mahler and his great predecessors whom he had come to see as divinely inspired: his admission that the role of the ‘chosen one’ in Die Jakobsleiter was based on his own experience removes any doubt that he placed himself in their company. (However, Mahler’s music never influenced his own at all deeply, and his sympathy for it sometimes wavered – to his discomfort, because he linked entitlement to respect with the ability to accord it.)

Schoenberg’s need to understand his artistic role can scarcely have been the only factor in the spiritual crisis that led to his rediscovery of religious faith: it is merely the one to which his work and writings give access. Similarly the ideas embodied in the prose drama Der biblische Weg and in Moses und Aron cannot fully document the return to Judaism as a result of which religion became his support in racial as in artistic persecution. The decision to make this return official proved a difficult one because it seemed to set the seal on his divorce from the Western tradition which had nurtured him and to which he had contributed so powerfully. In reaction he even spoke at the time of giving up composition and devoting himself to the Jewish national cause. That did not happen, but for more than a decade he continued to urge the claims of Der biblische Weg as an instrument of propaganda, and to promote the idea of a militant United Jewish Party of which he would be leader on the model of the chief protagonist in his play, Max Aruns. His personal and racial idealism remained closely intertwined to the end of his life, as a letter written within three months of his death to the Israel Academy of Music shows:

Those who issue from such an institution must be truly priests of art, approaching art in the same spirit of consecration as the priest approaches God’s altar. For just as God chose Israel to be the people whose task it is to maintain the pure, true, Mosaic monotheism despite all persecution, despite all affliction, so too it is the task of Israeli musicians to set the world an example of the old kind that can make our souls function again as they must if mankind is to evolve any higher.

The idea of the artist as priest or prophet is often deprecated as inflated, complacent, arrogant or presumptuous. But no reader of Die Jakobsleiter and Moses und Aron will imagine that Schoenberg looked for cheap self-justification or easy solutions to spiritual or artistic problems. The path that had been pointed out to him was unmarked, to be followed blindfold and often with anguish, in the knowledge that it would be lost the moment faith faltered. Moreover the need to protect the supremacy of faith came into conflict with the urge to rationalize and justify: faith must fear conscious constraints yet needed the support of discipline, which must accordingly in some sense cross the divide between the rational and the intuitive. This ultimately irresoluble tension ran all through Schoenberg’s thinking and showed itself in many guises. It lies, for instance, at the heart of the 12-note method, where every note is brought within the law, but in such a way that intuition retains its freedom. And an analogous dichotomy provides the subject of Moses und Aron, which concerns the simultaneous duty and impossibility of giving expression to inexpressible truths.

Unhappily Schoenberg’s struggle to realize his ideals dominated not only his spiritual but his social life, where the humility belonging to the former too often deserted him. He could not ignore misunderstanding, but fought back. As he said himself in a letter of 1924:

Unfortunately the better sort of people become enemies faster than friends because everything is so serious and important to them that they are perpetually in a defensive position. They are driven to this by the great, indeed ruthless honesty with which they treat themselves and which makes them adopt the same attitude to other people as well. It is very wrong, really, for we human beings are far too much in need of tolerance for any thoroughgoing honesty to he helpful to us. If only we could manage to be wise enough to put people on probation instead of condemning them, if we could only give proven friends such extended credit! – I am speaking of my own defects, knowing very well why I have often been more lonely than could well be pleasant.

Even here he seems to miss the implication of his habitual insistence on his place among ‘better’ people: to expect respect is to discourage it even in those who recognize that it is due. He did not make life easy for his adherents, regarding interest in modern music beyond that of his own circle as betrayal. No doubt it was true that the contemporary listeners or performers prepared to devote themselves wholeheartedly to Schoenberg’s music would have found it almost as difficult as the composer himself to sympathize with other modes of thought, but he must sometimes have driven away genuine well-wishers along with the opportunists. His enjoyment of his months in Barcelona in 1931–2 arose partly from relief at escaping from the pedestal that he had built for himself in Berlin, and being accepted as an equal by people who knew little about him.

Readers of Schoenberg’s posthumously published correspondence, however, discover not only his less accommodating side but much that only the more fortunate of his contemporaries could know: his absolute honesty in all his dealings, his generosity of mind wherever he sensed integrity, his delicacy of feeling where he saw the need to temper his customary directness, his energy in expressing sympathy through practical help, his capacity for gratitude, his loyalty. His critical and aesthetic writings, turning as they invariably do on matters that concern him deeply, reveal his personality no less vividly, displaying the same rather lofty yet compelling idealism, the same irascible pride, the same flashes of humour and warmth, the same justice within the framework of strongly held convictions. His thinking here is at all times a creator’s, never that of the historian concerned to give everything its place. He is content to speak as an individual, with a more selfconscious view of his relation to tradition than his predecessors enjoyed, but still with the confidence of one who knows where he stands. Integrity of personality enables limitations in his historical sympathies, and even inconsistencies in the logic on which he naively though not unjustifiably prided himself, to fall into place beside his unique insights into the music that he valued and the musical crisis in which he found himself involved. The special perceptions that distinguish his writing arise directly out of his experience in composition, and so, it would seem, despite a debt to Karl Kraus, does his manner of presentation, at once direct and cogent yet unexpected and elliptical. And that is hardly surprising, since it is in music that his mind and spirit found their fullest expression.

5. Early tonal works.

Schoenberg’s music may be divided into four periods, the second and third of which were inaugurated by crises in compositional technique that had important consequences not only for the composer’s own work but for music in general. The music of the first period is tonal, or at least employs a tonality as a central point of reference. In 1908 Schoenberg abandoned tonality; he was the first composer to do so. The music of the ensuing second period is often called ‘atonal’. Schoenberg considered this term nonsensical, preferring ‘pantonal’. Since either term properly embraces his serial music as well, the period will be referred to here as ‘expressionist’. From his work of this time he gradually evolved the principle of serialism, which he first used consistently in 1920; the serial music written between that date and 1936 constitutes the third period. The fourth, less well defined phase may be said to emerge during the 1930s. It is marked by greater stylistic diversity, including occasional returns to tonal composition.

Of the considerable quantity of music that Schoenberg is known to have composed from childhood to his early 20s relatively little survives, and some of that is fragmentary. Unfinished pieces remained with the composer, whereas completed ones were played with friends and lost: for instance only one movement from the four or five string quartets that he remembered having composed before the D major work of 1897 is known. The songs have fared better, but as Schoenberg had not yet acquired the habit of dating his manuscripts the course of his early development can be traced only in outline. Youthful attempts at violin duets and a more ambitious Lied ohne Worte for piano give ample evidence of his lack of instruction and severely limited musical background. Indeed, if the piano piece is the one he mentioned as new in 1891, as seems possible, it is extraordinarily crude for a 16-year old, though to cover the immense distance to the two songs securely dated 1893 in only two years would not have been untypical of him. Not that these show outstanding promise, but they establish a mode of fairly conventional, and as time went on increasingly Brahmsian, songwriting which he cultivated intensely during the next four years and gradually mastered. Initially his attempts to give point to the conventional sentiments of the mostly amorous verses sometimes resulted in awkward harmonic shifts and modulations; his formal sense developed sooner, typically in three-stanza settings, in which straightforward ternary structures with some modification at the close are often well handled.

The three piano pieces of 1894 are also ternary structures, though more elaborate ones presumably inspired by Brahms’s sets published in the previous two years. They show a good grasp of the possibilities offered at the lead-back and coda, but clumsy execution not helped by uncertain feeling for piano textures. Attempts at more original effects – the links between the coda of each piece and the beginning of its successor, the metrical experiments in the first piece and the diminution in the last – sound distinctly forced. In the roughly contemporaneous string quartet Presto in C quite different strengths begin to appear. Despite the relatively plain and stiffly foursquare melody and harmony the long spans of the big sonata-rondo are sketched out easily and naturally with considerable motivic skill.

Heuberger, however, to whom Schoenberg showed some songs at about this time, advised him to write some short pieces in the style of Schubert. Schoenberg clearly took the point that he must learn complete control by testing his every step, and composed the six little pieces for piano duet. He subjugated himself here to the same discipline that half a century later he was still advocating in Models for Beginners in Composition and Fundamentals of Musical Composition. Each melody progresses by drawing on its own motivic resources, which also permeate the accompaniment, and the consequences of every harmony are carefully weighed. The pieces (except no.5) are arranged in ascending order of formal development. The first consists simply of two repeated eight-bar strains. In each subsequent piece there is a little more expansion after the double bar, culminating in tiny contrasting episodes in nos.4 and 6. Only in these two pieces is the slightest deviation from four-bar phraseology admitted. Throughout his life, and especially after 1920, Schoenberg’s music drew strength from his acute sensitivity to phrase structure, shifts of emphasis within a regular rhythmic framework and the tensions arising from asymmetry. In the duets he set about sharpening a faculty that some of the solo piano pieces and songs show to have been innate.

From 1896 Schoenberg began composing for rather larger ensembles. A Notturno for solo violin and strings, presumably identifiable with the extant Adagio for that combination, was conducted by Zemlinsky at a ‘Polyhymnia’ concert in March. In September Schoenberg completed the short first movement of a Serenade for small orchestra, and the following March wrote a Gavotte and Musette for strings in which his liking for strettos and inversions is already apparent. This year, 1897, may be said to mark the end of Schoenberg’s apprenticeship in vocal and instrumental composition alike. Two settings of Heyse belong to it (almost certainly), and two of Dehmel. They are very accomplished essays broadly in Brahms’s manner, though overstepping it a little in both declamation and tonal procedure where Dehmel’s less regular verse invites freer treatment. Brahms is likewise still the dominant influence in the D major String Quartet (and its rejected F major scherzo), composed in the summer and autumn. But this work represents a huge stride forward, even over the recent Serenade movement. The composer himself recognized it as a turning-point and remembered it with affection. It owes its Classical four-movement layout to Brahms’s mediation, its structural cogency and clarity derive from him, and so to a large extent does the style, though certain themes speak with a strong Czech accent. Yet there is a freedom of movement, a deftly guided fluency, that does not belong to the older master’s closely considered manner, and it is here that Schoenberg’s musical personality asserts itself most strikingly. His sheer zest in the making of music is one of his most persistent characteristics: it accounts for the feeling of resilience that accompanies his exploration of even the darkest regions of experience and tempers his findings. If the D major Quartet, delightful though it is, does not seem fully typical of him it is due less to the eclectic idiom than to the absence of another constant factor in his music: the sense of urgency in communicating a particular conception.

This quality, however, begins to make itself felt in the pair of lengthy songs which Schoenberg wrote in the following year and eventually selected as his op.1. The effort to match the magniloquent sentiments of the verses called forth better things from the young composer than they deserved. True, the naivety that prompted the choice of text comes through, rather endearingly, in the setting. But although the Wagnerian influence that was to loom so large in the next few years is already perceptible, there is no close model for the firm sonata-influenced forms, the wealth of independent contrapuntal development in the accompaniments or the distinctive breadth and warmth of the asymmetrical melodic lines. The impact of Wagner is still more obvious in the contemporary Frühlings Tod, an unfinished symphonic poem in much of which the Schoenberg of the early orchestral works that were soon to follow is clearly audible.

Schoenberg found inspiration for several compositions of 1899 in poems by Dehmel: the songs Mannesbangen, which he did not publish, Warnung (in its first version), Erwartung, Schenk mir deinen goldenen Kamm and Erhebung, and the string sextet Verklärte Nacht. (The charming Waldsonne of about this time is not a Dehmel song and stands apart.) The desire to give expression to the feelings aroused in him by Dehmel’s work considerably influenced the development of his style, as he later confessed to the poet. The songs, to more overtly erotic texts than he had set before, revert to a more succinct style of word-setting than that of op.1. Their concentration of mood and means shows one kind of advance, the expansive textures of Verklärte Nacht, in which Wagnerian and Brahmsian modes of thought meet in harmonious accord, a contrasting one. In the Dehmel poem that served as the basis for this symphonic poem a woman confesses to her lover that she is already pregnant by another man, and he replies that through their love the child will be born his own. A knowledge of this unlikely tale is of secondary importance to the listener because the lack of action enables the work to be understood as a single-movement abstract composition. No composer understood better than Schoenberg that music serves its subject best when claiming for itself the greatest possible autonomy.

In March 1900 Schoenberg began setting Jens Peter Jacobsen’s Gurre-Lieder as a song cycle for voice and piano, for entry in a competition. In accordance with the ballad-like tone of the verse he built the vocal lines from relatively simple rhythmic elements, a style shared by the songs Hochzeitslied and Freihold of about the same time, and perhaps suggested by some of Zemlinsky’s early songs. However, Schoenberg soon saw wider possibilities in the text. Having fallen under Wagner’s spell he felt the need for subjects that transcended common experience, his first thought being to wring something more from such well-worn themes as love, death and transfiguration. The way lay through mastery and reinterpretation of Wagnerian style, and the Gurre-Lieder offered a far more expansive arena for this important confrontation than Verklärte Nacht had done. He therefore decided to connect the songs he had already composed (those in the first two parts of the finished work) with symphonic interludes and set the whole poem as a vast cantata employing several soloists and a huge chorus and orchestra.

The work depicts the love of King Waldemar and Tove under the Tristanesque imminence of death, Waldemar’s blasphemous defiance of God after Tove’s death, the nightly ride at the head of a ghostly retinue to which the king’s restless spirit is subsequently condemned, and its dismissal by the summer wind at the approach of day. Schoenberg encompassed all this in a series of tableaux of extraordinary magnificence. But the poem deals with dramatic events in an undramatic form and so required some kind of interpretative emphasis to bring the great musical design clearly into focus. The opportunity was there, for at some level Schoenberg’s choice of the poem must surely have been influenced by Waldemar’s rebellion against God and the renewal brought about as the summer wind sweeps away the aftermath of human passion – both themes that border on his religious concerns of a few years later. Yet neither emerges with unifying force, whether because he was unable to commit himself fully to the text or through inexperience in dramatic matters. As late as 1913 he could still write to Zemlinsky that he did not consider himself a dramatic composer in the ordinary sense. In the Gurre-Lieder he tended to fall back on direct reminiscence of Wagner’s later operas, especially Götterdämmerung, to evoke atmosphere or characterize events. It is significant that after considering an opera on Maeterlinck’s Pelléas et Mélisande for his next work (he knew nothing of Debussy’s opera), he rejected the idea in favour of a symphonic poem on the same subject.

Schoenberg later said that it was Maeterlinck’s ability to lend timelessness to perennial human problems that had attracted him to the play. Certainly it was precisely the moments least involved with the action that inspired him to step furthest outside his own chronology towards his stylistic future, for instance in the music associated with Mélisande’s first mysterious appearance heard at the outset and again before her death. But such music as Golaud’s, and that of the main love scene, is less advanced; it is capable of traditional extension, notably through Wagnerian sequence, and therefore well adapted to carry the narrative. The contrapuntal virtuosity surpasses even that of the Gurre-Lieder, constantly changing the expressive colour of the thematic material in a manner that is entirely individual while paying tribute to Wagner – rather than to Strauss, whose influence appears sporadically on a more superficial level. Yet for all its riches the work contains a structural conflict. The Mélisande and Pelléas themes lose something of their essence as they are drawn into the larger contrapuntal development, a process that may fit the symbolism of the work but also suggests that the composer had not yet mastered the potentialities of his more striking inventions.

Schoenberg now returned to songwriting. The songs of the next three years fall into three groups. Those of the first group, dating from 1903 and the earlier months of 1904, explore various subjects. Wie Georg von Frundsberg and Das Wappenschild, a fiery showpiece with orchestra, follow the lead of Freihold as songs of defiance. They must surely contain the composer’s reaction to hostility; perhaps the gloomy Verlassen does so too in a different way. Die Aufgeregten reflects ironically on human passion, though love remains the theme of some of the most beautiful of these songs. Geübtes Herz, Traumleben and the orchestral Natur cultivate the intense lyrical style first heard in Schenk mir deinen goldenen Kamm. Ghasel continues this line, but with a change of emphasis in the accompaniment, which involves the voice part in imitation and adopts its even flow. The three Petrarch sonnets from op.8, composed in the later part of 1904 when the D minor String Quartet was already under way, form a distinct group set a little apart from Schoenberg’s other songs. Their contrapuntal style derives directly from Ghasel, but takes a far more complex form made possible by the orchestral setting.

In the third group, dating from 1905, the vocal lines regain their independence, relying on motifs rather than imitation to relate them to their accompaniments. Except for the slightly earlier orchestral Sehnsucht all these songs, which are based on a curious assortment of serious and trivial verses, were composed about the time of the completion of the D minor Quartet, and already show the characteristics of Schoenberg’s tonal thinking in its last stages. His early liking for chromatic approaches to diatonic notes, strikingly manifested as early as Erwartung (1899), had led to ever-increasing chromatic substitution, especially in the melodic field. This in turn required clarification by correspondingly elaborate harmonization, employing so wide a range of primary and altered degrees within the tonality that modulation lost its force. So his music, which had at no time inclined to constant modulation, became increasingly monotonal. This tendency appears in all the songs, but in two contrasting forms: in Der Wanderer, Am Wegrand (later quoted in the monodrama Erwartung) and Mädchenlied, as in Verlassen of 1903, the tonal centre is strongly, sometimes almost obsessively stressed, whereas in Sehnsucht, Alles and Lockung it is scarcely touched on.

The D minor Quartet, Schoenberg’s first wholly characteristic and assured large-scale masterpiece, consists, like Pelleas und Melisande, of a single vast movement, but naturally without illustrative interludes. A scherzo, slow movement and rondo are interspersed at various points between the first part of the development and the coda of what would normally have been the first movement, and absorbed into it by the use of common material. The general idea for such a form originates in Liszt, whose novel formal concepts Schoenberg admired while finding his attempts to put them into practice schematic and unfelt. But the quartet arose more directly from Schoenberg’s fundamental preference for abstract composition, or at least unspoken programmes, reasserting itself and acting upon his recent cultivation of the Straussian symphonic poem. The twin formative influences of Wagner and Brahms once again find an even balance, as they had in Verklärte Nacht, but now completely and finally assimilated. Perhaps the most striking single quality of this work is its extraordinary melodic breadth. As the melodies move away from their initial, firmly tonal contexts, develop, and combine contrapuntally, they form what Schoenberg called vagrant harmonies; the music, though not very dissonant, loses tonal definition. Thus the structure cannot be understood entirely in tonal terms. Its powerful sense of direction is maintained through the composer’s exceptional capacity to shape his material in relation to its formal purpose, a capacity that after his abandonment of tonality was to prove strong enough to carry a far heavier structural burden. Late in life he remarked that he had never been content to introduce an idea for structural reasons alone: it must always make a positive contribution to the substance of the work. The D minor Quartet already displays the typical Schoenbergian richness fostered by this habit of mind.

The Kammersymphonie no.1, completed in July 1906, adopts the quartet’s single-movement layout, but in a more concise form; though in no way a slighter work it is barely half as long. Schoenberg aimed here at concentration rather than expansiveness and, as he was so often to do in solving the problems posed by a particular conception, opened up possibilities for the future remote from his immediate artistic concern. In the first place he increased his instrumental forces from four to 15 in order to accommodate the simultaneous presentation of a greater concentration of ideas. Viewed from another angle, however, the increase appears as a reduction: it established the soloistic orchestral writing already found here and there in the Gurre-Lieder and Pelleas, and opened the way for the small, strongly differentiated instrumental ensembles appropriate to Schoenberg’s later style – and that of many younger composers. But the urge towards concentration affected deeper levels in his musical thought. The two opening themes are based respectively on superimposed perfect 4ths and the whole-tone scale, both of which readily form chordal structures. The distinction between the melodic and harmonic dimensions thus becomes blurred, a process closely bound up with the loss of tonality in Schoenberg’s music. However, for the moment the E major frame held.

Although the imminence of change may seem obvious to the listener with hindsight, it was not so to the composer. On completing this exuberant work he felt that he had now arrived at a settled style. The music of the next year or so reflects this conviction. In neither the eight-part chorus Friede auf Erden, which he later described as an illusion written when he still thought harmony among men conceivable, nor in the Zwei Balladen op.12, does the threat to tonality grow appreciably. Schoenberg always regretted that he had not had time to follow up all the implications of the style of this period, and 30 years later returned to the task. For the present, however, some inner crisis urged him towards new realms of expression and hastened the inevitable revolution. A change of mood had made itself felt earlier. The songs of 1905, for instance, provide an uneasy, questioning interlude between the confident first quartet and Kammersymphonie, and the second Kammersymphonie, begun immediately after the first, opens in a new spirit of sombre resignation. Despite repeated attempts he was unable to finish this work at the time, perhaps because he could not reconcile the more carefree spirit in which the second movement opens with his changing preoccupations. At all events it was a very intimate, elusive piece, the contemporary first movement of the Second Quartet, that spoke for him now and demanded to be followed up.

6. Expressionist works.

The new quartet did not, however, occupy his whole attention; it was not finished until the later months of 1908. At the same time he wrote songs and developed an interest in painting. By far the greater part of his work in this sphere belongs to the years 1908–10, when his music underwent its first great crisis. The pictures are mostly portraits or strange, imaginary heads – ‘visions’ as he called some of them. They are amateurish in execution yet sufficiently skilful to convey the intensity of his imagination, and it seems likely that their importance to him lay in this very opposition. This was a time when artists and writers who were later to be called Expressionists sought to obey the promptings of the spirit ever more directly, in some sense bypassing the machinery of artistic tradition in order to reach deeper levels of experience. The relation to tradition remained, of course, the crucial factor: as a painter Schoenberg’s amateur status severely limited the scope and quality of his achievement, but allowed him to feel that his hand was guided without his conscious intervention, whereas in music he had to pay for the benefits of mastery by reckoning with its censorship. So for a time his method of painting represented the ideal towards which his real work of composition aspired.

In the winter of 1907–8 Schoenberg interrupted work on the scherzo of the Second Quartet to compose the Zwei Lieder op.14. They are highly imitative pieces, the second reminiscent of Ghasel in texture. As in some of the songs of 1905 tonic harmony scarcely appears until the close and now exerts still less gravitational force. Certain dissonances, notably perfect and altered 4th chords, resolve so tardily and so variously as to weaken expectation of their doing so at all. This process reached its logical conclusion shortly afterwards in songs from Das Buch der hängenden Gärten, at least five of which (nos.4, 5, 3, 8, 7) are known to date from March and April 1908. Here dissonance is finally emancipated, that is, it no longer seeks the justification of resolution. Consequently structural harmony disappears, along with its need for measured periods and consistent textures, and so does tonality itself as a central point of reference. By way of compensation motivic work and the tendency to equate the horizontal and vertical dimensions – in fact the essential elements later codified in the serial method – assume greater responsibility. The poems by George that led Schoenberg to explore the untried expressive possibilities of free dissonance describe in rather indirect language the growth of a passion in an exotic setting and the subsequent parting. Neither poet nor composer wishes to arouse sympathy or evoke ecstasy. The songs are predominantly slow and quiet, the lack of tonal or rhythmic propulsion placing them outside time. Each one captures with peculiar vividness the shifts of feeling at a particular moment, but distanced, as though enshrined in the limbo of past experience. There is nothing of Waldemar and Tove here: the summer wind will assuredly soon sweep all before it. What will be left? Schoenberg gave his answer in the Second Quartet, one of the most personal of all his works.

This quartet consists of four thematically related movements which successively reflect the transformation of his style, but do not further it. The third movement is later but less advanced than the op.14 songs, and the finale, though tonal only in parts, stands in the same relation to the earlier songs of Das Buch der hängenden Gärten. The reason for this lies not only in the technical consideration that the later movements could not overstep certain limits set by the enigmatic first movement, which is in F♯ minor: the composer may have needed to step back in order to see the crisis that had overtaken him clearly. For even though the sequence of events in his wife’s liaison with Gerstl cannot be exactly dated, so that its precise relation to the quartet’s composition cannot be established, the crisis appears to be the subject of the work. The incorporation in the trio of the scherzo of the popular melody O du lieber Augustin, the words of which end with the tag ‘Alles ist hin’, would fit this interpretation, as would the George poems set for soprano voice in the two later movements, the first a prayer for divine solace after earthly struggles, the second a vision of the spirit’s journey to ethereal realms. Although Schoenberg’s choice of subject for his next vocal works was to be directed towards human insights, he evidently recognized already that his ultimate aim was religious.

Early in 1909 Schoenberg composed the first two piano pieces of op.11, before completing Das Buch der hängenden Gärten. The Fünf Orchesterstücke op.16 and the third piece of op.11 followed in the summer. The strange note of resignation that had sounded through the song cycle is still heard in op.11 nos.1 and 2 and op.16 no.2, but the unfamiliar territory of the new style now takes in the explosive turmoil of op.16 nos.1 and 4 and op.11 no.3, and the unique calm of op.16 no.3. Formal expansion does not accompany the extension of expressive range: as Schoenberg later observed, brevity and intensity of expression are interdependent in these pieces. The disintegration of functional harmony appeared at the time to have destroyed the conditions for large-scale form. But other features with roots in traditional practice, in particular fixed points of reference of various kinds (some of them reminiscent of tonality) and thematic or motivic development, survived to assume not only greater responsibility but new guises. These made possible swifter transformations and more abrupt contrasts than music had hitherto known. Moreover dissonance’s new independence permitted, at least in an orchestral context, unprecedented simultaneous contrasts. It is not only novelty of expression in itself but the power to bring seemingly irreconcilable elements into relation that gives the music its visionary quality, far beyond that of the painted ‘visions’.

For a time Schoenberg believed that by following the dictates of expression he would be able to renounce motivic features as well as tonality. The last two pieces in opp.11 and 16 to be written, the final piece in each set, show the direction of his thinking. The orchestral piece centres on a continuously evolving melodic line with no clear expository stage; the piano piece relies for coherence as much on dynamics and texture as on pattern. From this point two possibilities suggested themselves. One was to devise ideas that were complete in themselves and required no development. This held no lasting attraction for a composer of Schoenberg’s imaginative fecundity. He composed two tiny pieces for chamber ensemble and part of a third early in 1910, and the next year six equally minute piano pieces which he published as op.19; thereafter he left this line of thought to Webern. For Schoenberg the way forward lay in the construction of large forms on the basis of a text. This allowed him scope to build on the experience of opp.11 and 16. Immediately after the instrumental pieces he composed in the astonishingly short time of 17 days the half-hour monodrama Erwartung.

The single character in this piece is an unnamed woman. Full of fear and apprehension, she is wandering through a forest at night in search of her lover. The only dramatic event, her discovery of his murdered body, occurs at a fairly early stage; the rest of her monologue passes from recollection of their love, through jealousy to a sense of reconciliation born of exhaustion. As the composer remarked, the whole drama may be understood as a nightmare, but the point is immaterial because the reality explored is purely psychological. There is no realistic time scale: past and present co-exist and merge in the woman’s mind as terror, desire, jealousy and tenderness cut across one another in confused association. Traditional tonal order could scarcely have met the demands of such a subject: Schoenberg’s extraordinary score depends to a considerable extent upon a rationality beyond conscious control. True, various unifying factors are observable, such as fixed pitch elements that turn upon a vestigial D minor (his favourite key throughout his life, whether in tonal, freely pantonal or serial composition) and a number of motivic figures that recur time and again, especially at the beginning of phrases. But since these are short, widely scattered and quickly submerged in the stream of continuous development their contribution to coherence at surface level is small; the music can scarcely be called athematic, but it goes further in that direction than any other work of Schoenberg. The monologue falls into several lengthy paragraphs which provide the clearest structural feature, but even here divisions are blurred and larger changes of mood disrupted by innumerable contradictory emotions. Beyond a certain point nothing can impinge upon the dreamlike continuum of musical images.

The next year, 1910, Schoenberg wrote the text of Die glückliche Hand, and began the music soon after, though he did not finish it for three years. It is a companion-piece to Erwartung, in effect another monodrama, centring on an unnamed man. Though shorter it requires more elaborate staging, including an intricate play of coloured lighting synchronized with the action. The subsidiary roles – a woman, a gentleman and some workers – are mimed, since they are merely projections of the man’s psyche, but the chorus of 12 soloists, whose commentary opens and closes the drama, reveals through its pity of him that it represents an independent, presumably divine order of existence. At the beginning the chorus asks why he constantly betrays his capacity for the supermundane in a vain quest for earthly happiness. The main action symbolizes this situation. The man loves a woman who deserts him for a rival, but seems to return to him. In the mistaken belief that he has won her he finds strength to withstand his enemies and inspiration for artistic creation. His resulting work is symbolized by a trinket; it excites envy, but he recognizes it as meretricious. The woman plays him false and the cycle is complete. Although the style of the music is close to that of Erwartung, Schoenberg reintroduces features that he had temporarily set aside, to meet the more varied action and the wider implications of the text. Clear formal divisions reassert themselves: recapitulatory reminiscence plays an important part in the later stages of the action and there are correspondences between the flanking choral scenes, where exact imitation reappears. There is also a new element, barely hinted at in the works of 1909: the use of parody to characterize such situations as the metal working and the woman’s fickleness.

Parody assumes a very important role in Pierrot lunaire. This work, composed in 1912, before the framing choral scenes of Die glückliche Hand, consists of 21 poems set for speaker and chamber ensemble. Schoenberg had employed melodrama before in the summer wind narrative of the Gurre-Lieder. His highly stylized use of the speaking voice, for which he notated relative pitches as well as exact rhythms, proved an ideal vehicle for the Pierrot settings, which were conceived in what he described as a light, ironic–satirical tone. The rather modish verses, by turns grotesque, macabre or consciously sentimental, provide the occasion for presenting, with the detachment that the protagonist in Die glückliche Hand failed to achieve, human activity as a shadow play in which menace and absurdity are on a level. The focus shifts at random, as in a dream, between the lunatic activities of the clown, impersonal scenes, the poet in the first person and the self-absorbed artist, who is not spared. Within his new style Schoenberg parodies the characteristics of a great range of genre pieces, very often retaining the ghost of their formal layout as well. In music the lines dividing ironic from direct reference are often hard to detect. The peculiar fascination of Pierrot lunaire lies in this ambiguity. The nightmare imagery of some of the poems might scarcely be admissible without ironic distancing, yet the music often strikes with authentic horror. Mockery constantly shades into good humour, exaggerated pathos into the genuinely touching. A decade later Schoenberg was to rediscover his sympathy for the world that he was now determined to leave behind him. For the moment, however, he was set on other things.

After Pierrot Schoenberg contemplated writing an oratorio based on the vision of Swedenborg’s heaven at the end of Balzac’s novel Séraphita. This idea was superseded during 1914 by plans for a vast, partly choral symphony of a religious nature, incorporating texts from Dehmel, Tagore and the Old Testament. Early in 1915 he wrote words for a new final section consisting of two movements entitled Totentanz der Prinzipien and Die Jakobsleiter, but although he made extensive sketches nothing came to fruition until he decided to make his own statement of faith by turning Die Jakobsleiter into an independent oratorio. He began to revise the text in 1916 and composed the first half the next year. At the beginning of the allegory, which owes a good deal to Balzac’s Séraphita, a host of people approaching death come before the archangel Gabriel, who admonishes and advises them. Six representatives of various philosophical standpoints then come forward to recount their earthly experiences and aspirations, and receive his comments. There is no doubt something of Schoenberg in all of them, and in Gabriel too, but he avowedly identified himself with the ‘chosen one’, whose spiritual understanding sets him apart and whose word seems doomed to misunderstanding. A central symphonic interlude symbolizing the transition from this world to the hereafter leads to the uncomposed second part in which souls are prepared for reincarnation as the next step in their long spiritual pilgrimage towards ultimate perfection. The chosen one is reluctant to face the world again, once more to stand alone and find himself involuntarily compelled, though receiving no support, to speak and do what he would never have dared to think or take responsibility for. But he is told to remember all that he has in common with the rest of humanity and to accept his prophetic role. At the close Gabriel calls on every soul to seek unity with God through prayer.

The faith and the view of his mission to which Schoenberg gave expression in Die Jakobsleiter were to influence the whole course of his later development as a composer. The short score of the first part, however, is more easily seen as a potential culmination to the music composed since 1908 than as a foretaste of that of the 1920s. The closing section of Die glückliche Hand provided a model for the big, partly sung, partly spoken choruses. The long paragraphs sung or spoken by the soloists required a more sustained style of writing than that, for instance, of Erwartung, where the varying intensity of dissonance breaks continuity of pace and texture. For this Schoenberg was able to turn to the four orchestral songs of op.22 (1913–16) and their forerunner Herzgewächse (1911), where he had already devised more even textures by maintaining a rather high level of dissonance in six or more parts, with very little octave doubling and a tendency towards symmetrically built chords. Except for Seraphita (op.22 no.1) all these songs anticipate the religious preoccupation of Die Jakobsleiter. The very high soprano voice that symbolizes prayer in Herzgewächse reappears as the soul that ascends heavenward just before the central interlude. In January 1915 Schoenberg wrote to Zemlinsky that his new symphony would be ‘worked’ (‘ein gearbeitetes Werk’) in contrast to his many ‘purely impressionistic’ recent works. He carried this resolve over into the oratorio. His brief exploration of the dream world of free association had permanently enriched his musical language and vision, but he now needed to regain greater formal elaboration and density of meaning. Although Die Jakobsleiter, like the monodramas before it, relies primarily on the text for its structure, it employs recurrent themes and melodies, often in contrapuntal combination. Many of these are related through permutations of a hexachord heard at the outset.

At one point in the unfinished central interlude Schoenberg directed that groups of instruments placed at a distance should enter in ‘floating’ (‘schwebend’) rhythm not exactly synchronized with that of the main orchestra. The suspension of rhythmic propulsion symbolizes the dissolution of earthly ties on the threshold of the hereafter. How far Schoenberg would have been able to pass beyond this extraordinary conception into the Swedenborgian heaven of his text had he not been interrupted, it is impossible to say, though the history of Moses und Aron suggests that he would not have reached the end. But the 12-note serial method that increasingly occupied him from 1921 provided a continuation of another sort. The omnipresent series sought to establish as principles the equation of the horizontal and vertical aspects of music, and the unity of all ideas in a composition with each other and with their context. Schoenberg expressly compared the unity of musical space to Swedenborg’s concept of heaven where ‘there is no absolute down, no right or left, forward or backward’. In a different sense from the symphonic interlude the music must ‘float’. The dodecaphonic aspect counteracted the pull of tonal gravity; the only quasi-tonal music in Die Jakobsleiter belongs to ‘one of the called’, who is roundly rebuked for preferring beauty to truth. In June 1922, shortly before he gave up trying to continue the oratorio, but when his foot was already firmly on the serial path, Schoenberg started a new sketchbook by inscribing the cover with the words ‘Mit Gott’.

7. Serial and tonal works, 1920–36.

Since serialism is a method of composition and does not dictate style, Schoenberg might have been expected to find in it the means, if not of completing Die Jakobsleiter, at least of continuing in some direction suggested by that work. Instead he evolved a form of neo-classicism. This may not have been his original intention. The Klavierstücke op.23 nos.1, 2 and 4, written or begun in July 1920, are descendants of the pre-war instrumental pieces, and exactly a year later he began the Suite op.25, also for piano, with the only two movements (the Prelude and Intermezzo) that are not dance movements, thinking of the work simply as a second set of pieces. However, the Variations and Tanzszene from the Serenade op.24 had been begun in the later months of 1920, the March followed in September 1921, and by the time all three works were finished in the early part of 1923 movements based on Classical forms predominated. Although every piece in opp.23 and 24 involves serial procedures, only one in each work uses a 12-note series. Both of these postdate the earliest movements of the Suite, which, like nearly everything that Schoenberg was to compose in the next ten years, is dodecaphonic throughout.

The reason for Schoenberg’s return to Classical forms must be sought in his need to find new scope for his inherently developmental cast of thought. Paradoxically, developing variation had brought about, above all in the later works of 1909, a reduction in the conditions for its own exercise. Where every motif is transformed before it can gather associations for the listener there can be no intensification of meaning through development; where no pattern establishes itself only extreme contrasts cheat expectation, and then not for long. If Schoenberg’s art of development was to develop further it needed a basis in relative stability, especially in the rhythmic sphere. For him technical needs were inseparable from philosophical ones. It seems likely that he saw his music at this time as initiating a new incarnation analogous to that required of the ‘chosen one’ in the second part of Die Jakobsleiter. In the second turn of the spiral of his musical existence his task was evidently to reinterpret, in accordance with the ‘higher and better order’ to which he aspired, not his own previous experience, but the course of musical history as he knew and understood it best. His real interest began with Bach. He later declared his teachers to have been in the first place Bach and Mozart, and in the second Beethoven, Wagner and Brahms. Although the last two had appeared as the dominant influences in his tonal music, at least on the surface, the earlier ones now came to the fore. Despite the reluctance of the ‘chosen one’, like Moses after him, to return to the world and prophesy, Schoenberg was able to write to Hauer in December 1923 that after a 15-year search he had discovered a method of composition that allowed him to compose with a freedom and fantasy such as he had only known in his youth. The next 13 years were remarkably fruitful.

Most of the movements in the Serenade and the Suite draw on late Baroque dance characteristics much as Pierrot lunaire had borrowed from the subjects that it parodied. But although the detail of the Serenade often recalls Pierrot, as does its humour, six of its seven movements are built on an altogether larger scale, even without the lengthy repeats that Schoenberg adopted from his models. The repeats, here and in the Suite, are the first of any size and almost the last in the whole of his published work. They set him the special problem of canalizing his transforming imagination sufficiently within a given mood and character for a repetition to make sense. The exercise was no doubt an essential step towards establishing strongly differentiated developing characters in the great instrumental and operatic structures of the coming years. But that was incidental: Schoenberg said that he never knew what lay ahead, and his zigzag course towards the crises of 1908 and 1920 bears him out. There is nothing merely preparatory about the early serial masterpieces: his concern was, as ever, with the unique work in hand.

Thus in the marvellous series of instrumental works composed between 1920 and 1936 individuality is not of the limited kind associated with stepping-stones in a stylistic or technical evolution. In each one vigorous expansion within the terms of a particular premise builds a self-sufficient statement of very wide range, yet entirely singular. The next two works, the Wind Quintet and the Suite op.29 for seven instruments, illustrate the point very clearly. Schoenberg turned here to the thematic contrast required by Classical forms and to the traditional four-movement pattern. The first movement of the Quintet follows standard sonata layout, and the finale is a rondo. The first movement of the Suite lacks a regular development section, but despite the dance character of the second and fourth movements consistent symphonic treatment allies it with the Quintet rather than the Serenade. Yet the two works differ radically. The persistent contrapuntal texture of the Quintet looks back to the First String Quartet and the Kammersymphonie no.1 (and the emphasis on whole-tone and quartal sonorities is reminiscent of the latter work); the Suite is rooted in a harmonic idea which pervades texture and melody throughout. The divergence affects the music at every level.

In the Variationen für Orchester (1926–8) and the Third String Quartet (1927), which are also modelled on Classical forms, Schoenberg avoided these contrapuntal and harmonic extremes for the most part, and finally established the main stylistic characteristics of his serial music; these were to remain fairly constant to the end of his life. The transformations of the series as such cannot, of course, be followed consistently by the ear, and he strongly deprecated any attempt to do so. Although for him the series functioned in the manner of a motif, his themes consist primarily of rhythmic patterns which may carry any serial derivation. The thematic rhythms themselves are not fixed: he showed remarkable skill in varying them without endangering their identity. The interplay of melodic and rhythmic motif is responsible to a very large extent for the extraordinary richness of the music, bringing about in the course of a work the gradual accumulation of a mass of affinities between disparate elements. It also affects the bar-to-bar texture in an important way. The prodigious contrapuntal combinations so typical of the tonal works lose ground to relatively simple textures in which one or two salient lines predominate. But the rhythmic articulation of accompaniments fashioned out of serial forms in balanced succession or combination produces a wealth of motivic reference, as well as the play of rhythmic wit that is such a notable feature of Schoenberg’s later scores. Thus the superimposition of ideas, with its accompanying risk of overloading, gives way to a finely graduated perspective in which listeners discover with increasing familiarity ever more layers of meaning beyond the clearcut foreground, as their hearing travels towards the inaudible vanishing-point of ultimate serial connection.

At the end of 1928 Schoenberg drafted the first version of the text of Moses und Aron (in the form of an oratorio) and composed the one-act comic opera Von heute auf morgen. The subjects of both works had been anticipated three years earlier in the two sets of short choral pieces opp.27 and 28. Most of these make considerable use of strict canonic or fugal writing, a feature that is taken up on a greatly expanded scale in the ensembles and choruses of the operas. The Drei Satiren op.28 deride the irresponsibility of modish modernity in music (especially Stravinsky’s neo-classicism); Von heute auf morgen attacks the same thing in life. This is a comedy of marital strife and reconciliation involving a symmetrical quartet of characters: a wife brings her husband to heel when he takes an interest in an emancipated ‘woman of today’ by showing that she could play the same game if she wished. The little incident, which Gertrud Schoenberg with her husband’s assistance turned into a very serviceable libretto, was suggested by the domestic life of the Greissles, according to documents among the Greissle papers, although the librettist told Leopoldina Gerhard that the Schrekers were the model. The text makes its points bluntly, like most that Schoenberg had a hand in or wrote himself: his musical style is not primarily illustrative and prefers a simple basis for the wealth of comment and interpretation that it provides in its own terms. The opera adopts Classical procedures, but handles them rather freely. Recitative and arioso break into the set pieces, expanding them to accommodate great flexibility of pace and feeling as the bickering characters waver between good sense and self-indulgence. Schoenberg finds no broad comedy in the commonplace and absurd situations, but endless nuances of humour and sentiment which, no less than the extremes of spirituality and depravity in Moses und Aron, relate to perennial components in his expressive range.

It was another 18 months before Schoenberg finally began to compose Moses und Aron. In the meantime he produced several smaller works in which the relation to Classical form becomes looser. The first piano piece of op.33 and its slightly later companion (1931) each employ a pair of contrasting themes, but the first, at least, recalls the concentrated manner of op.23. At this time he became interested in the problem of film music. Unwilling to subordinate his music to the requirements of a real film he chose instead to illustrate in his Begleitungsmusik zu einer Lichtspielszene an imaginary and unfilmable sequence of emotions: threatening danger, fear, catastrophe. He employed a kind of free variation form, and thinned out his recent style considerably to suit the programmatic nature of the undertaking. Since 1916 Schoenberg had now and then used tonality in fragmentary sketches and occasional pieces (notably the beautiful Weihnachtsmusik of 1921 based on Es ist ein’ Ros’ entsprungen), but never in published works. In 1929, however, he made some folksong settings for a commission, and followed them up with two non-dodecaphonic male choruses, Glück and Verbundenheit, the second of which centres on D minor. Although the other four choruses that make up op.35 are dodecaphonic, the exceptions show that the urge to return to tonal composition was beginning to gain ground.

Moses und Aron, composed between 1930 and 1932, is Schoenberg’s second great profession of faith, a sequel to Die Jakobsleiter dealing with the predicament of the chosen one in carrying out his prophetic task. Unlike the oratorio, however, the work is in no real sense unfinished, even though the short third act was never set to music. The reason for this lies in the subject itself. At the beginning of Act 1 God, speaking from the burning bush, assigns to Moses the role of prophet. Schoenberg had summed up the problems of revelation without distortion in the second chorus from op.27: ‘You shall not make an image. For an image confines, limits, grasps what should remain limitless and unimaginable. An image demands a name which you can take only from what is little. You shall not worship the little! You must believe in the spirit, directly, without emotion, selflessly’. Moses complains that he lacks eloquence to express what he understands of God, who accordingly appoints Aaron as his spokesman. Aaron comes to meet Moses; he echoes Moses’s thoughts in less uncompromising terms, and this is underlined by the casting of Moses as a speaker and Aaron as a lyric tenor. They return together to bring the demoralized but expectant Israelites news of the new god who is to deliver them from Egyptian bondage. Moses tells them flatly that the one almighty, invisible and unimaginable God requires no sacrifices of them but complete devotion, and meets with a derision that Aaron can quell only by performing a series of three miracles, thereby substituting an image for the truth.

In Act 2 Aaron is obliged to still the people’s doubt when Moses is away praying on the mountain by setting up a real image for them to worship in the form of the golden calf. The healing benefits of a faith so shallowly grounded are soon swept away by an orgy culminating in human sacrifice, suicide, lust and wholesale destruction. When Moses returns the calf vanishes at his word, but Aaron is able to defend his actions by pointing out that he is Moses’s interpreter, and not an independent agent. The people are seen following yet another image, this time the pillar of fire, and Moses is left in despair. The uncomposed third act consists of another exchange between the brothers. This time Moses prevails. Aaron, who has been under arrest, is freed but falls dead; with all barriers to spiritual understanding removed the people will at length achieve unity with God. Schoenberg once suggested that Beethoven, Bruckner and Mahler had not been permitted to compose tenth symphonies because they might have revealed something that we are not permitted to know; a ninth seemed to represent a limit beyond which the composer must pass into the hereafter. To have composed music adequate to the idea of unity with God would have been to write a tenth symphony. At some level Schoenberg must have felt this from the outset, for the first two acts of the opera are dramatically and musically complete in themselves. But to remain true to his mission he could not admit that: it was his duty to continue to strive towards the expression of the inexpressible. To the end of his life he still spoke of finishing the work.

In its formal procedures Moses und Aron follows Von heute auf morgen in striking a balance between Classical number opera and Wagner’s continuous symphonic manner, but on a far larger scale incorporating very big choral or orchestral movements. Schoenberg draws on every aspect of his music of the previous decade, and in the partly spoken texture of much of the choral writing looks back further. It is in every way his most comprehensive masterpiece, encompassing the stillness of the purely spiritual glimpsed momentarily in the opening bars, Moses’s bitterness and resignation, Aaron’s ecstatic eloquence and occasional weakness, and the people’s jubilation, instability, mockery, violence and outright savagery. And it is noteworthy that the music interprets the stern morality of the libretto with a breadth of sympathy lacking in the neutral words.

That Schoenberg should now have sought relaxation in a less monumental task is not so surprising as his choice, which took the form of a pair of concertos for cello and for string quartet, based respectively on a keyboard concerto by M.G. Monn for which he had provided a continuo part some 20 years earlier, and Handel’s Concerto grosso op.6 no.7 (the only one of the set that lacks separate concertino parts throughout). These works are often mistakenly classified as arrangements. However, whereas in his orchestrations of Bach and Brahms Schoenberg added nothing substantial to the original and never overstepped the style, the concertos are new compositions to almost the same degree as a set of variations on another composer’s theme. Thus in each movement of the Cello Concerto he overlaid Monn’s exposition with additional counterpoints and harmonies reaching as far forward as Brahms, or even later, and then continued independently in the same style. In the Quartet Concerto he preserved the complete outline of the original first movement and scarcely changed the second; on the other hand he radically recomposed the two remaining movements, taking only a few phrases from Handel in the third. In 1934 he crowned this group of works with a Suite in G for string orchestra in a similar style but based entirely on his own material. By way of indicating their secondary status he did not confer an opus number on any of them, yet they are brilliant compositions that he could certainly not have written earlier. The pressures towards the dissolution of tonality that haunt his older tonal works are entirely absent; the late works accept their terms of reference, and the clarity with which their abundant invention is projected derives directly from the serial works of the previous decade.

The one aspect of Schoenberg’s serial music for which Moses und Aron had given only restricted opportunity was its abstract symphonic thought. This now became his chief concern again. After his tonal excursion he composed in 1935–6 the Violin Concerto and the Fourth String Quartet, his first 12-note works (apart from the three songs of op.48) since the opera, and with it the culminating productions of this period of his work. They are cast in the respective three- and four-movement moulds traditional in such works, but the individual movements abandon strict Classical layout. The first-movement recapitulations no longer correspond to the measure of the expositions, but are engulfed in the development, which continues unchecked to the close. The forward urge that marks all Schoenberg’s music asserts itself so forcefully here that a return to single-movement structure through the breakdown of the divisions between movements might have been foretold. Such a return did indeed take place, but the transition was not a straightforward one.

8. Later works.

Schoenberg’s music was once again reaching a turning-point, even if a less acute one than in 1908 or 1920. Since the latter date his progressive reinterpretation of earlier musical principles had led him from Baroque and Classical models to a more fluid formal approach analogous to that of the later 19th century. The next step could only bring him to his own work – not merely to single-movement form but beyond that to the achievement of his expressionist years. But this very achievement was to a considerable degree the basis for his reinterpretation. As though to understand his situation better he took up, in 1939, the sketches for the Kammersymphonie no.2, begun in 1906 on the threshold of the crisis that now, though in a different way, confronted him for the second time. He completed the work in two movements, adding the last 20 bars of the first and about half of the second (from bar 309), but he also rescored and revised the remainder. In the process he increased the emphasis on a technical trait already prominent in the contemporary songs of opp.12 and 14. Whereas the harmony of the first Kammersymphonie had been characterized by an abundance of complex suspensions and appoggiaturas, that of the second tends to progress by stepwise movement in all parts. Schoenberg combined this technique with frequent 4th chords and similar combinations to very austere effect; indeed, the final coda strikes an unequivocally tragic note such as his later style would scarcely have countenanced. Perhaps recognition of this possibility in the material was an additional reason for his returning to it at this difficult period of his life.

In the previous year he had composed a setting of the Kol nidre in a tonal style which he hoped would prove acceptable in the synagogue. However, the work was found unsuitable for liturgical use because he had added an introduction and altered the traditional text in an attempt to strengthen its spiritual content. In order to give the main declaration of repentance and dedication ‘the dignity of law’, in his own phrase, he set it in march-like fashion and reinforced the effect with a harmonic severity that anticipates, in simpler terms, that of the Kammersymphonie no.2. After finishing the latter work he still felt that his harmonic style just before his first pantonal works offered unused possibilities. He set about exploring them further in the D minor Variations on a Recitative for organ. Here, as in several pieces of the earlier time, harmonic complexity is controlled by unremitting reference to the tonic; there are also, however, serial features. In many ways this work and the next, the setting of Byron’s Ode to Napoleon, form a complementary pair of opposites. Each is rooted in a special harmonic procedure that gives it a peculiarly individual sound. The d minor work borrows from serialism; the dodecaphonic Ode ends in E♭. The Variations respect the integrity of their melodic theme; the series of the Ode is freely permuted. The sequence of extraordinarily heterogeneous works starting with the Kol nidre, each employing a different technique for a particular end, shows the composer once again moving as though inadvertently towards a definite point, in this case the resumption of serial composition from a rather different angle.

The Piano Concerto of 1942 consists of one movement, less a conflation of several movements like the First Quartet and Kammersymphonie no.1 than an expansion of a single sonata movement to embrace four symphonic characters in traditional sequence. As in the serial works up to 1936 all essential elements derive from the unpermuted series, but there are also strong affinities with the Ode to Napoleon. In the first place the music shares to some extent the quasi-tonal leanings of the Ode. This leads to more stable textures than are common in the earlier serial works, let alone the expressionist ones, and to symmetrical formal schemes, at least in outline. None of this suggests that Schoenberg was more closely engaged with the crisis of 1908 than he had been in 1936 – rather the reverse. But another legacy from the Ode changes the picture. At the very opening the serial melody is supported by free permutations of itself, its unusual tonal stability achieved through an unstable element. The consequences emerge later: chaos lies in wait at transitional points, above all at the end of each of the middle sections, where the chromatic totality becomes an undifferentiated stack of 4ths which momentarily endanger the work’s identity. The abyss had opened before in Schoenberg’s music, for instance in Erwartung, but never beneath so serene a surface. The effect is correspondingly disturbing.

The following year at the request of his publishers he composed a set of variations in G minor for band. It was intended for wide circulation and so couched in a straightforward tonal idiom, like the G major Suite for strings, which had been written for college orchestras. It has all the vigour and ebullience of the earlier work, and as there his personality marks every bar no less firmly than in his more dissonant style. After this he wrote nothing for two years owing to deterioration in his health. When he resumed composing approximately one work a year, as he had done fairly regularly since his arrival in America, his bad eyesight obliged him to restrict his scale of activity. He wrote the first work of this last group in response to another commission. He was asked to compose the prelude to a suite for chorus and orchestra by various composers based on selections from the book of Genesis. Schoenberg evidently thought of God as creating the world out of divine order rather than primordial chaos, for the core of his compact piece consists of an eight-part double canon followed by two strettos that draw into their orbit the more amorphous elements from the opening. In the works of this last phase (except, of course, the folksong settings op.49), the tonal influence that had still been perceptible in the Piano Concerto recedes, and the language moves somewhat closer to that of the serial works up to 1936.

The longest and most wide-ranging of these late works is the String Trio of 1946. It is cast in a single movement expanded from within by the pressure of continuous and multifarious development. The different musical characters do not group themselves into clear subsidiary sections, as in the Piano Concerto, but alternate with a degree and frequency of contrast that Schoenberg had avoided since his expressionist period. Indeed, with this work he finally overtook his own earlier achievement and absorbed it into his later mode of thought. He divided the score into three ‘parts’ separated by two ‘episodes’ of different serial construction. The first part and episode correspond to an exposition, and the second part and episode to a development; the third part contains a truncated but unusually exact recapitulation and a coda. The structure recalls the first movement of the Fourth Quartet in the return early in the development to the codetta of the exposition, before the emergence of an important new melody.

The outpouring of elusive, visionary music held within this framework arose directly from the special circumstances of composition: Schoenberg had just recovered from an almost fatal heart attack, and he confessed that the experience was reflected in the Trio. It is not difficult to guess the direction of his thoughts. Having stood nearer than ever before to the truths that lay beyond man’s reach in this world he was under the obligation to reveal what he could. The reinterpretation of expressionism towards which he had been moving suddenly took on a new urgency. Just as, nearly 40 years before, the attempt to lift all constraints from intuition had led to him placing his art in the service of faith, and eventually to a new order in composition, so he might now, from his present level, reach further still. But if the work contains intimations of the hereafter it is also concerned with this world: the melody heard in the second part and again in the coda recalls the music for the woman healed by faith, even though faith in an image, in Act 2 of Moses und Aron, and would seem to refer to his precarious recovery. There can be little doubt that the work was intended as a personal and spiritual testament, and it could have closed his life-work worthily.

In the event Schoenberg lived another five years and was able to compose a second testament in 1950. His first work in the interim, A Survivor from Warsaw, was wrung from him by a report of an occasion when Jews on their way to the gas chamber found courage in singing the Shema Yisrael, the command to love God, who is one lord. Though a short piece it made large demands. The orchestral accompaniment to the witness’s spoken narration illustrates a reality more horrible than anything that Schoenberg could have imagined when he wrote his Begleitungsmusik, and his original melody for the Hebrew cantillation is an extraordinary conception, expressing a desperate tenacity that belongs very much to its author. The three folksongs op.49 are new settings of tunes that he had already arranged in 1929. The two choral settings of Es gingen zwei Gespielen gut, the most elaborate in their respective sets, show a revealing shift of emphasis: the 1929 version takes the form of a complex set of canonic variations, that of 1948 is less intricate but allows the original melody to dissolve in the general texture of variation. Schoenberg’s last instrumental work is entitled ‘Phantasy for violin with piano accompaniment’. The description is exact: the violin part leads throughout, having even been written separately before the accompaniment. Melody accordingly dominates, limiting a tendency towards the sharp contrasts characteristic of the String Trio and checking their more disruptive consequences. This is the key to the work’s special quality. It stands close to the Trio in many points of style, including melodic style, and in its subtlety of thematic continuity, but finds more consistent tranquillity.

The three religious choruses for mixed voices of op.50 were conceived at different times for different purposes and have little in common. However, at a time when he still hoped to finish the last one Schoenberg looked forward to their performance as a group. Dreimal tausend Jahre is a four-part setting of a short poem looking forward to God’s return among the faithful in the new Israel. The close-knit textures and full harmony ally it to the male choruses op.35, whereas the mixture of singing and speech in the more dramatic six-part De profundis recalls Moses und Aron and throws into relief the varied soloistic phrases expressing repentance and supplication. The third, unfinished piece employs a speaker and an orchestra with the chorus. The text is a meditation on prayer by the composer himself, the first of the series of ‘modern psalms’ that occupied the last months of his life. Towards the end it speaks of the feeling of unity with God experienced in prayer. The passage is first given to the speaker, and should then have been taken up by the chorus. But at this point the composition breaks off, for it presented Schoenberg with the same task, at once impossible to fulfil yet central to his beliefs, as the third act of Moses und Aron: that of revealing through his music what it is not given to man to know. Although he still entertained the notion of working on Die Jakobsleiter and Moses until shortly before his death he must really have known that it was out of the question, and that the withdrawal into silence manifested in his psalm represented his final testament.

Since the time of his death Schoenberg’s cardinal importance as an innovator has been very widely recognized. As a result most of his works are now assured of at least an occasional hearing. Yet although his idiom is no longer unfamiliar in a general sense, his music remains less easily accessible than that of his eminent pupils and contemporaries. One difficulty has been that musicians who shared his background and artistic assumptions, and might in principle have built up a tradition of performance – men such as Furtwängler, Walter, Kleiber and Klemperer, all of whom worked in Berlin when Schoenberg was there – failed to keep abreast of his development, while the more objective, uncommitted approach cultivated in the postwar years overlooked too much. But if the scarcity of good performances has not helped to dispel the wider public’s indifference, neither does it entirely account for it. There would appear to be more fundamental causes that affect specialist audiences as well.

In 1930 Berg drew attention to the close parallel between Schoenberg’s historical position and that of Bach (‘Credo’, Die Musik, xxii, 1929–30, pp.264–5). He showed that a few small changes could make the assessment of the latter in Riemann’s encyclopedia apply equally well to Schoenberg, who, like Bach, lived at a time of transition between two musical styles and succeeded in reconciling their opposing characteristics through his genius. Berg did not live to see his comparison further borne out by changes in taste after his teacher’s death. Just as Bach’s music held no interest for a generation preoccupied with the simpler language of early symphonic music, so the greater part of Schoenberg’s work has had limited appeal for ears attuned to the broader effects of new sound resources and aleatory procedures or, more recently, to minimalism and postmodernist eclecticism. Its Bach-like density, proliferation and order run counter to the spirit of the age, making exceptional demands on the interpretative discipline of the performer and the sensibility of the listener. In the long run, however, these very qualities are likely to tell no less powerfully in its favour. Perhaps no other composer of the time has so much to offer.



A. Schoenberg: Sämtliche Werke (Mainz, 1966–) [S]

Only a selection of the more considerable of Schoenberg’s numerous unfinished compositions is included here. Many more are listed in Rufer (1959), and those up to 1933 are catalogued in greater detail in Maegaard, i (1972). Some fragments are published in Maegaard, iii (1972) [M]

all will eventually be included in S. Works without opus numbers are unpublished unless otherwise stated. For more precise details of composition dates see Rufer (1959), Maegaard (1972) and S.




Erwartung (Monodram, 1, M. Pappenheim), Aug–Sept 1909; Prague, Neues Deutsches Theater, 6 June 1924; vocal score by Schoenberg


Die glückliche Hand (Drama mit Musik, 1, Schoenberg), 1910–Nov 1913; Vienna, Volksoper, 14 Oct 1924


Von heute auf morgen (op, 1, M. Blonda [G. Schoenberg]), Oct 1928–Jan 1929; Frankfurt, Opernhaus, 1 Feb 1930; vocal score by Schoenberg; S A/7

Moses und Aron (op, 3, Schoenberg), May 1930–March 1932, Act 3 not composed; Der Tanz um das goldene Kalb perf. in concert Darmstadt, 2 July 1951; Acts 1–2 perf. in concert, Hamburg, Nordwestdeutscher Rundfunk, 12 March 1954; Acts 1–2 staged, Zürich, Stadttheater, 6 June 1957, vs (1957), fs (1958); S A/8


Und Pippa tanzt (G. Hauptmann), Aug 1906–March 1907; prelude and recitative, short score, 68 bars


Ei du Lütte (K. Groth), partsong, early; S A/18

Friedlicher Abend senkt sich aufs Gefilde (N. Lenau), partsong in canon, early; S B/18, 3

Viel tausend Blümlein auf der Au (Siehst Du am Weg ein Blümlein blühn) (A. Traeger), partsong, early; S B/18, 3

Gurre-Lieder (J.P. Jacobsen, trans. R.F. Arnold), solo vv, choruses, orch, March 1900–March 1901, orchd Aug 1901–1903, July 1910–Nov 1911 (1912)


Friede auf Erden (C.F. Meyer), SSAATTBB, insts ad lib, Feb–March 1907, acc. Oct 1911; S A/18

Der deutsche Michel (O. Kernstock), male vv, 1914 or 1915; S A/18


Vier Stücke, SATB: Unentrinnbar (Schoenberg), Sept 1925; Du sollst nicht, du musst (Schoenberg), Oct 1925; Mond und Menschen (Tschan-Jo-Su, trans. H. Bethge), Oct 1925; Der Wunsch des Liebhabers (Hung-So-Fan, trans. Bethge), with cl, mand, vn, vc, Nov 1925; S A/18


Drei Satiren (Schoenberg), SATB: Am Scheideweg, Nov 1925; Vielseitigkeit, Nov–Dec 1925; Der neue Klassizismus, with va, vc, pf, Nov–Dec 1925; pubd with appendix of three canons (see Canons below); S A/18

Three folksongs, SATB, Jan 1929 (1930): Es gingen zwei Gespielen gut; Herzlieblich Lieb, durch Scheiden; Schein uns, du liebe Sonne; S A/18


Sechs Stücke (Schoenberg), male vv: Hemmung, Feb 1930; Gesetz, March 1930; Ausdrucksweise, March 1930; Glück, March 1929; Landsknechte, March 1930; Verbundenheit, April 1929; S A/18


Kol nidre (Jewish liturgy in Eng. with alterations and introduction), speaker, chorus, orch, Aug–Sept 1938; S A/19


Prelude ‘Genesis’ (textless), SATB, orch, Sept 1945; S A/19


A Survivor from Warsaw (Schoenberg), narr, male vv, orch, Aug 1947; S A/19


Three folksongs, SATB, June 1948: Es gingen zwei Gespielen gut (Two comely maidens); Der Mai tritt ein mit Freuden (Now May has come with gladness); Mein Herz in steten Treuen (To her I shall be faithful); S A/19


Dreimal tausend Jahre (D.D. Runes), SATB, April 1949; S A/19


De profundis (Ps cxxx in Heb.), SSATBB, June–July 1950; S A/19


Moderner Psalm (Schoenberg), speaker, chorus, orch, Oct 1950, inc.; S A/19


Wann weder Mond noch Stern am Himmel stehn (L. Pfau), male vv,wind ens, June 1897; 54 bars; S B/18, 3

Darthulas Grabgesang (J.W. von Goethe), 14vv, orch, April 1903; vocal score, 66 bars; S B/18, 3

Wie das Kriegsvolk von Georg von Fronsberg singt (Des Knaben Wunderhorn), male vv, summer 1905; 33 bars; S B/18, 3

Symphony with choral movements, 1914–15; sketches; M (extracts)

Die Jakobsleiter (orat, Schoenberg), solo vv, choruses, orch, June 1917–July 1922, rev. begun Oct 1944 and abandoned after bar 104; first half only composed in draft; text pubd 1917 and in A. Schönberg: Texte (Vienna, 1926); vocal score, arr. W. Zillig (1975); orchd by W. Zillig; S A/29

Israel Exists Again (Schoenberg), chorus, orch, March–June 1949; short score, 55 bars; S A/19


Adagio, v, harp, str, ?1896

Gavotte und Musette (im alten Style), str, March 1897


Verklärte Nacht, arr. str orch 1917, 2nd version 1943; S A/22


Pelleas und Melisande, sym. poem, after M. Maeterlinck, July 1902–Feb 1903


Kammersymphonie no.1, arr. full orch Nov 1922, 2nd version April 1935; S A/12


String Quartet no.2, arr. S, str orch. ?1919


Fünf Orchesterstücke: no.1 May 1909, nos.2–3 June 1909, no.4 July 1909, no.5 Aug 1909; S A/12; arr. reduced orch, Sept 1949; S A/14, 1


Variationen für Orchester, May 1926, July–Aug 1928; S A/13


Begleitungsmusik zu einer Lichtspielszene, Oct 1929–Feb 1930;S A/14, 1

Cello Concerto, Nov 1932–Jan 1933 (1935); S A/27; red. by Schoenberg for vc, pf; S B/27, 1 [after Monn: Clavicembalo Concerto in D, 1746]

Concerto, str qt, orch, May–Aug 1933 (1963); S A/27 [after Handel: Concerto grosso op.6 no.7]

Suite, G, str, Sept–Dec 1934 (1935)


Violin Concerto, 1935–Sept 1936; S A/15


Kammersymphonie no.2, Aug 1906–Dec 1916, Aug–Oct 1939; S A,B/11


Piano Concerto, July–Dec 1942; S A/I5


Theme and Variations, band, completed July 1943; S A/13; arr. orch as op.43b, summer 1943; S A/14, 1


Waltz, str, early; 10 sections completed

Serenade, small orch, 1896; 1st movt completed, the other three inc.

Frühlings Tod, sym. poem, after Lenau, 1898; 260 bars of which 137 fully scored

Symphony, G, Feb 1900; Introduction, g, pf score, 73 bars

Passacaglia, March 1926; sketches; M

Symphony, Jan–Feb 1937; short score, 30–50 bars of each of the 4 movts

untitled work, Oct–Nov 1946; short score, 28 bars

untitled work, April 1948; short score, 25 bars


‘Alliance’ Walzer, 2 vn, early

‘Sonnenschein’ Polka schnell, 2 vn, early

3 Lieder ohne Worte, 2 vn, early

untitled work, d, vn, pf, early

Presto, C, str qt, ?1894; S A/20

String Quartet, D, summer–autumn 1897 (1966); S A/20

Scherzo in F and Trio in a, str qt, July–Aug 1897; rejected 2nd movt of preceding; S A/20


Verklärte Nacht, after R. Dehmel, 2 vn, 2 va, 2 vc, completed Dec 1899; S A/22


String Quartet no.1, d, summer 1904–Sept 1905;S A/20


Kammersymphonie no.1, 15 insts, completed July 1906; S A,B/11


String Quartet no.2, with S in movts 3 ‘Litanei’ and 4 ‘Entrückung’ (S. George), March 1907–Aug 1908; S A/20


Fünf Orchesterstücke, arr. 11 insts, 1920; S A/13

Three untitled pieces, wind qnt, org/harmonium, cel, str qt, db, Feb 1910, no.3 inc. (c1965)

Die eiserne Brigade, march, pf qnt, 1916 (1978)


Serenade, cl, b cl, mand, gui, vn, va, vc, with B in movt 4 ‘O könnt’ ich je der Rach’ an ihr genesen’ (Petrarch, trans. K. Förster), Aug 1920–April 1923

Weihnachtsmusik, 2 vn, vc, harmonium, pf, Dec 1921 (1975)


Wind Quintet, April 1923–Aug 1924; S A/22


Suite, E♭-cl/fl, cl, b cl/bn, pf, vn, va, vc, Jan 1925–May 1926


String Quartet no.3, Jan–March 1927; S A/21


String Quartet no.4, April–July 1936; S A/21


String Trio, Aug–Sept 1946; S A/21


Phantasy, vn, pf, March 1949


Clarinet Quintet, d; 28 bars

Toter Winkel, after G. Falke, 2 vn, 2 va, 2 vc, ?before op.4; 34 bars; S A/22

String Quartet, d, summer 1901–summer 1904; fugue 80 bars, scherzo, 26 bars; S A, B/20

String Quintet, D, winter 1904–5; 22 bars

Ein Stelldichein, after Dehmel, ob, cl, pf, vn, vc, Oct 1905; 90 bars (1981)

Kammersymphonie, a, ? before op.9; 22 bars

String Septet, March 1918; 25 bars; S A/22

Tempo zwischen langsamen Walzer und Polacca, movt intended for op.24, Aug 1920; 40 bars; M

Gerpa, F, for Schoenberg’s son Georg (hn + vn + pf) and himself (vn + pf + harmonium), Nov 1922; theme and 3 variations completed

Sonata, vn, pf, Jan-Feb 1928; 43 bars

String Quartet, C, c1930; 51 bars; S B/21

String Quartet, June 1949; openings of all 4 movts; S B/21

Solo vocal

for 1v, pf unless otherwise stated

Songs, 1893–97, S A, B/2, listed in approximate chronological order suggested there: In hellen Träumen hab ich Dich oft geschaut (A. Gold), 1893

Drüben geht die Sonne scheiden (Schilflied) (N. Lenau), 1893

Einst hat vor deines Vaters Haus (Pfau); Ich hab’ zum Brunnen ein Krüglein gebracht (Das zerbrochene Krüglein) (M. Greif); Dass gestern eine Wespe Dich; Juble, schöne junge Rose; Warum bist du aufgewacht (Nachtblumen) (Pfau); War ein Blümlein wunderfein (Vergissmeinnicht) (Pfau); Lass deine Sichel rauschen (Lied der Schnitterin) (Pfau); Im Fliederbusch ein Vöglein sass (Zwiegesang) (R. Reinick); Dass schon die Maienzeit vorüber (Herbst) (A. Christen); Könnt ich zu dir, mein Licht (Erste Wünsche) (Pfau); Mein Schatz ist wie ein Schneck (Pfau); Gott grüss dich, Marie (Nach einem Tanzlied) (Pfau); Der Pflanze, die dort über dem Abgrund schwebt (Pfau); Einsam bin ich und alleine (Pfau); Nur das tut mir so bitterweh’ (O. von Redwitz); Du kleine bist so lieb und hold (Zweifler) (Pfau); Du kehrst mir den Rücken (Pfau); Ich grüne wie die Weide grünt (Die Trauerweide) (W. Wackernagel); Mein Herz, das ist ein tiefer Schacht; In meinem Garten die Nelken (Mädchenlied) (E. Geibel) 1896

Als mein Auge sie fand (Sehnsucht) (J. C. von Zedlitz) 1896

Duftreich ist die Erde (Ekloge) (J. Vrchlicky, trans. F. Adler), ?1895, rev. ?1897

Sang ein Bettlerpärlein (Mädchenlied) (P. Heyse), ?1897

Waldesnacht, du wunderkühle (Waldesnacht) (Heyse), ?1897

Aprilwind, alle Knospen (Mädchenfrühling) (Dehmel), Sept 1897

Mädel, lass das Stricken (Nicht doch!) (Dehmel), Sept 1897

Es ist ein Flüstern in der Nacht (T. Storm), T, str qt, ?1895–6

S A/24


Zwei Gesänge (K. von Levetzow), Bar, pf, 1898: Dank; Abschied; S A/1

Sie trug den Becher in der Hand (Die Beiden) (H. von Hofmannsthal), April 1899; S A/2

Du musst nicht meinen (Mannesbangen) (Dehmel), April/May 1899; S A/2

Zwischen Weizen und Korn (Mailied) (Goethe), May 1899, S A/2


Vier Lieder: Erwartung (Dehmel), Aug 1899; Schenk mir deinen goldenen Kamm (Dehmel), 1899; Erhebung (Dehmel), Nov 1899; Waldsonne (J. Schlaf), c1900; S A/1

Dunkelnd über den See (Gruss in die Ferne) (H. Lingg), Aug 1900; S A/2

Lied der Waldtaube [from Gurre-Lieder], arr. Mez, 17 insts, 1900, arr. Dec 1922 (1923); S A/3

Brettl-Lieder: Der genügsame Liebhaber (H. Salus), April 1901 (1975), S A/2; Einfältiges Lied (Salus), April 1901 (1975), S A/2; Nachtwandler (G. Falke), S, pic, F-tpt, side drum, pf, April 1901 (1969), S A/24; Jedem das Seine (Colly), June 1901 (1975), S A/2; Mahnung (G. Hochstetter), July 1901 (1975), S A/2; Galathea (F. Wedekind), Sept 1901 (1975), S A/2; Gigerlette (O. Bierbaum), 1901 (1975), S A/2; Seit ich so viele Weiber sah (Aus dem Spiegel von Arcadia) (E. Schikaneder), 1901 (1975), S A/2

Deinem Blick mich zu bequemen (Goethe), Jan 1903; S A, B/2


Sechs Lieder, Mez/Bar, pf: Wie Georg von Frundsberg von sich selber sang (Des Knaben Wunderhorn), March 1903; Die Aufgeregten (G. Keller), Nov 1903; Warnung (Dehmel), May 1899, autumn 1903; Hochzeitslied (Jacobsen, trans. Arnold), c1901; Geübtes Herz (Keller), Sept–Nov 1903; Freihold (H. Lingg), Nov 1900, autumn 1903; S A/1


Acht Lieder: Traumleben (J. Hart), Dec 1903; Alles (Dehmel), Sept 1905; Mädchenlied (P. Remer), Oct 1905; Verlassen (H. Conradi), Dec 1903; Ghasel (Keller), Jan 1904; Am Wegrand (J.H. Mackay), Oct 1905; Lockung (K. Aram), Oct 1905; Der Wanderer (F. Nietzsche), April–Oct 1905; S A/1


Sechs Orchester-Lieder: Natur (H. Hart), Dec 1903–March 1904; Das Wappenschild (Des Knaben Wunderhorn), Nov 1903–May 1904; Sehnsucht (Des Knaben Wunderhorn), completed April 1905; Nie ward ich, Herrin, müd’ (Petrarch, trans. Förster), June–July 1904; Voll jener Süsse (Petrarch, trans. Förster), completed Nov 1904; Wenn Vöglein klagen (Petrarch, trans. Förster), completed Nov 1904; S A/3


Zwei Balladen, March–April 1907: Jane Grey (H. Ammann), Der verlorene Haufen (V. Klemperer); S A/1


Zwei Lieder: Ich darf nicht dankend (George), Dec 1907; In diesen Wintertagen (K. Henckel), Feb 1908; S A/1


Das Buch der hängenden Gärten (George), ?March 1908–Feb/March 1909; Unterm Schutz von dichten Blättergründen; Hain in diesen Paradiesen; Als Neuling trat ich ein in dein Gehege, March 1908; Da meine Lippen reglos sind und brennen, March 1908; Saget mir, auf welchem Pfade, March 1908; Jedem Werke bin ich fürder tot, April/May 1908; Angst und Hoffen wechselnd mich beklemmen, April 1908; Wenn ich heut nicht deinen Leib berühre, April 1908; Streng ist uns das Glück und Spröde; Das schöne Beet beträcht ich mir im Harren; Als wir hinter dem beblühmten Tore; Wenn sich bei heiliger Ruh in tiefen Matten; Du lehnest wider eine Silberweide, Sept 1908; Sprich nicht immer von dem Laub, Sept 1908, Feb/March 1909; Wir bevölkerten die abend-düstern Lauben, Feb 1909; S A/1

Am Strande (?Rilke), Feb 1909; S A/1


Herzgewächse (Maeterlinck, trans. K.L. Ammer and F. von Oppeln-Bronikowski), high S, cel, harp, harmonium, Dec 1911; S A/24


Dreimal sieben Gedichte aus Albert Girauds Pierrot lunaire (trans. O.E. Hartleben), speaker, fl + pic, cl + b cl, vn + va, vc, pf, 1912: Part i: Mondestrunken, April; Colombine, April; Der Dandy, April; Eine blasse Wäscherin, April; Valse de Chopin, May; Madonna, May; Der kranke Mond, April; Part ii: Nacht, May; Gebet an Pierrot, March; Raub, May; Rote Messe, April; Galgenlied, May; Enthauptung, May; Die Kreuze, June (?May)–July; Part iii: Heimweh, May; Gemeinheit, April–June; Parodie, May; Der Mondfleck, May; Serenade, April; Heimfahrt, April–May; O alter Duft, May; S A/24


Vier Lieder, 1v, orch: Seraphita (Dowson, trans. George), completed Oct 1913; Alle welche dich suchen (Rilke), Nov–Dec 1914; Mach mich zum Wächter deiner Weiten (Rilke), Dec 1914–Jan 1915; Vorgefühl (Rilke), July 1916; S A/3

Allein Gott in der Höh’ sei Ehr’ (N. Hovesch), chorale arr., A, pf trio, between 1918 and 1925

Four folksongs, Jan 1929 (1930): Der Mai tritt ein mit Freuden; Es gingen zwei Gespielen gut; Mein Herz in steten Treuen; Mein Herz ist mir gemenget; S A/1


Ode to Napoleon (Byron), reciter, pf, str qt/str orch, March–June 1942; S A/24


Drei Lieder (J. Haringer), A/B, pf: Sommermüd, Jan 1933; Tot, Feb 1933; Mädchenlied, Feb 1933; S A/1


Gethsemane (Dehmel), Bar, orch, May 1899; vocal score, 88 bars; S B/3

Jeduch (H. Löns), ballad intended for op.12, March–April 1907; 82 bars; M (part), S A/2

Mignon (Kennst du das Land) (Goethe), autumn 1907; 54 bars; M, S B/2, 2

Friedensabend (George), intended for op.15, April–May 1908; 28 bars; M, S B/2, 2


Es steht ein Bild noch immer da (Gedenken); S A/1


Three Ländler, pf, early

Lied ohne Wörte (Nocturne), pf, early; arr. small orch, lost

Drei Klavierstücke, Oct 1894; S A/4

Sechs Stücke, pf duet, ?1896; S A/5


Kammersymphonie no.1, arr. pf duet before 1912; S A/5


Drei Klavierstücke, nos.1–2 Feb 1909, no.3 Aug 1909; S A/4


Sechs kleine Klavierstücke, nos.1–5 Feb 1911, no.6 June 1911; S A/4


Fünf Klavierstücke, nos.1–2 and beginning of 4, July 1920, rest Feb 1923; S A/4


Suite, pf, Prelude and beginning of Intermezzo July 1921, rest Feb–March 1923; S A/4


Klavierstück, Dec 1928–April 1929; S A/4


Klavierstück, Oct 1931; S A/4


Kammersymphonie no.2, arr. 2 pf Dec 1941–Jan 1942; S A/5


Variations on a Recitative, org, Aug–Oct 1941; S A/5


Scherzo, f♯, pf, early; 80 bars; S B/4

Zwei Stücke, pf duet, early; no.2 inc.; S B/5

Untitled piece, c♯, pf, early; 77 bars; S B/4

Untitled piece, A♭, pf, Dec 1900–Feb 1901; 46 bars; S B/4

Untitled piece, B♭, pf, winter 1905–6; 26 bars; M; S B/4

Untitled piece, G, pf, ?spring 1925; 41 bars; S B/4

Klavierstück, Feb 1931; 35 bars; S B/4

Untitled piece, C, July 1931; 25½ bars; S B/4

Phantasia, pf duet, Jan 1937; 25 bars; S A/5

Stück, 2 pf, Jan 1941; 17 bars; S A/5

Organ Sonata, Aug 1941; openings of first 2 movts, 50 and 25 bars; S A/5

Untitled piece, American period; 22 bars; S B/4

Alla marcia, E♭; complete 2-staff sketch intended for instrumentation, 22 bars


all published in S A, B/18

4-pt canon ‘O dass der Sinnen doch so viele sind!’ (Goethe), ?April 1905

4-pt canon ‘Wenn der schwer Gedrückte klagt’ (Goethe), ?April 1905

‘Wer auf die Welt kommt’ (Goethe), 1916

‘Getretner Quark’ (Goethe), 1916

‘Dümmer ist nichts zu ertragen’ (Goethe), 1916

‘Einen Helden mit Lust’ (Goethe), 1916

4-pt mirror canon for Georg Valker, c1922

‘Eyn doppelt Spiegel- und Schlüssel-Kanon’, 4 pts, Feb 1922

‘Ein Spruch und zwei Variationen über ihn: O glaubet nicht, was ihr nicht könnt, sei wertlos’, op.28 App.1, 4 pts (Schoenberg), Dec 1925–Jan 1926

Canon for str qt, op.28 App.2, Feb 1926

‘Legitimation als Canon: Wer Ehr erweist, muss selbst davon besitzen’, op.28 App.3, 6 pts (Schoenberg), April 1926

4-pt canon by augmentation and diminution, April 1926

4-pt canon for Erwin Stein ‘Von meinen Steinen’ (Schoenberg), Dec 1926

‘Arnold Schönberg beglückwünscht herzlichst Concert Gebouw’, 5 parts (Schoenberg), March 1928

Canon in 3 keys for the Genossenschaft deutscher Tonsetzer, 5 pts, April 1928

Mirror canon for str qt, April 1931

4-pt mirror canon, Dec 1931

2-pt mirror canon for Herrmann Abraham ‘Spiegle Dich im Werk’ (Schoenberg), Dec 1931

Mirror canon for str qt, c1932

4-pt mirror canon for Carl Moll, Dec 1932

3-pt puzzle canon for Carl Engel ‘Jedem geht es so (No man can escape)’ (Schoenberg in Ger. and Eng.), April 1933, text 1943

3-pt puzzle canon for Carl Engel ‘Mir auch ist es so ergangen (I, too, was not better off)’ (Schoenberg in Ger. and Eng.), April 1933, text 1943

4-pt perpetual canon, April 1933

4-pt mirror canon, April 1933

4-pt mirror canon, Dec 1933

3-pt puzzle canon, March 1934

4-part puzzle canon by augmentation and diminution, March 1934

3-pt canon for D.J. Bach ‘Wer mit der Welt laufen will’ (Schoenberg), March 1926 (text), July 1934

4-pt puzzle canon, March 1934

4-pt puzzle canon for Rudolph Ganz ‘Es ist zu dumm’ (Schoenberg), Sept 1934

4-pt mirror canon, Sept 1934

4-pt mirror canon, 1934

7-pt perpetual canon, 1934

4-pt mirror canon, 1934

4-pt perpetual canon with free bass for Alban Berg ‘Darf ich eintreten’ (Schoenberg), Feb 1935

4-pt mirror canon for Frau Charlotte Dieterle, Nov 1935

4-pt mirror canon, Jan 1936

4-pt double canon, 1938

4-pt canon ‘Mr Saunders I owe you thanks’ (Schoenberg), Dec 1939

3-pt mirror canon, c1940

4-pt mirror canon, June 1943

4-pt canon for Artur Rodzinsky ‘I am almost sure, when your nurse will change your diapers’ (Schoenberg), March 1945

4-pt double canon for Thomas Mann on his 70th birthday, June 1945

4-part canon ‘Gravitationszentrum eigenen Sonnensystems’ (Schoenberg), Aug 1949

4-pt canon, American period


‘Gutes thu rein aus des Guten Lieben’ (Goethe), ?April 1905, lacking coda; ‘Wer geboren in bös’sten Tagen’ (Goethe), ?April 1905, lacking coda


H. Susaneck

Irmen Walzer, 2 vn; R. Waldman: So wie du, 2 vn; Wiener Fiakerlied, 2 vn; all early

A. Zemlinsky

Sarema, parts of vocal score, summer 1897

H. Schenker

Vier syrische Tänze, orchd 1903

J.S. Bach

Chorale Prelude ‘Komm, Gott, Schöpfer, heiliger Geist’bwv631, orchd April 1922 (1925)

S A/25

J.S. Bach

Chorale Prelude ‘Schmücke dich, O liebe Seele’bwv654, orchd April–June 1922 (1925)

S A/25

Johann Strauss (ii)

Kaiserwalzer op.437, fl, cl, pf qnt, April 1925 (c1960)

J.S. Bach

Prelude and Fugue, E♭, bwv552, orchd May–Oct 1928 (1929)

S A/25

J. Brahms

Piano Quartet, g, op.25, orchd May–Sept 1937

S A/26

Hack-work (in early years Schoenberg scored some 6000 pages of operettas by Zepler and others; the following examples of his hack-work, except for the second, were published): H. van Eyken: Lied der Walküre (F. Dahn), orchd ?1901, S A/25; B. Zepler: Mädchenreigen, orchd April 1902, S A/25; A. Lortzing: Der Waffenschmied von Worms, pf duet, ?1903

G. Rossini: Il barbiere di Siviglia, pf duet, ?1903

F. Schubert: Rosamunde: overture, entr’actes and ballet, pf duet, rev. Schoenberg, ?1903

Continuo realizations, 1911 or 1912: M.G. Monn: Sinfonia a 4, A (1912)

M.G. Monn: Vc Conc., g (1912) also arr. vc, pf (1913) and cadenzas, S B 27, 1; M.G. Monn: Cembalo Conc., D (1912)

C. Monn: Divertimento, D (1912)

F. Tůma: Sinfonia a 4, e (1968)

F. Tůma: Partita a 3, A (1968)

F. Tůma: Partita a 3, c (1968)

F. Tůma: Partita a 3, G (1968)

Songs orchd for Julia Culp

L. van Beethoven: Adelaide op.46, Feb 1912

C. Loewe: Der Nöck op.129 no.2, autumn 1912, S A/25; F. Schubert: Three songs, Sept 1912

Arrs. for the Society for Private Musical Performances (Schoenberg had a hand in various reductions for ensemble, but very few are wholly his): Mahler: Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen; Johann Strauss (ii): Rosen aus dem Süden op.388, harmonium, pf qnt, May 1921

Johann Strauss (ii): Lagunenwalzer op.411, harmonium, pf qnt, May 1921

Instrumentation exercises for teaching purposes, summer 1921: F. Schubert: Ständchen D889, 1v, cl, bn, mand, gui, str qt (1988)

L. Denza: Funiculì, funiculà, cl, gui, mand, str trio (1988)

J. Sioly: Weil i a alter Dreher bin, cl, gui, mand, str trio (1988)


Texts without music
  • Totentanz der Prinzipien, Jan 1915 [for Sym. sketched 1914–15]; pubd in A. Schönberg: Texte (Vienna, 1926)
  • Wendepunkt, ? Dec 1916 or earlier [for melodrama in Kammersymphonie no.2]; pubd in Maegaard, i (1972)
  • Requiem, first section 1920 or 1921, rest Nov 1923; pubd in A. Schönberg: Texte (Vienna, 1926)
  • Der biblische Weg, drama, June 1926–July 1927; ed. with Eng. trans., M. Lazar, Journal of the Arnold Schoenberg Institute, xvii (1994)
  • Psalmen, Gebete und andere Gespräche mit und über Gott, Sept 1950–July 1951 (Mainz, 1956) [16 pieces, orig. entitled ‘Moderne Psalmen’, the last inc., the first partly composed as op.50c]
  • Fragments: Aberglaube, opera lib, early, 2 acts and beginning of 3rd: Odoaker, opera lib, early, 3 opening scenes; Die Schildbürger, comic opera lib, after G. Schwab, June–July 1901, 2 of 3 acts
Theoretical and pedagogical
  • Harmonielehre, spring 1910–July 1911 (Vienna, 1911, 3/1922; Eng. trans., abridged, 1948, complete, 1978)
  • Models for Beginners in Composition, completed 12 Sept 1942 (Los Angeles, 1942, enlarged 2/1943, rev. 3/1972 by L. Stein)
  • Structural Functions of Harmony, completed March 1948, ed. H. Searle (London, 1954, rev. 2/1969 by L. Stein)
  • Preliminary Exercises in Counterpoint, 1936–50, ed. L. Stein (London, 1963)
  • Fundamentals of Musical Composition, 1937–48, ed. G. Strang and L. Stein (London, 1967)
  • Das Komponieren mit selbständigen Stimmen, June 1911, ed. R. Stephan, AMw, 29 (1972), 239–46
  • Zusammenhang, Kontrapunkt, Instrumentation, Formenlehre, April 1917 (with insertion of 1926), ed. and trans. C.M. Cross and S. Neff (Lincoln, NE, 1994)
  • Die Lehre vom Kontrapunkt, Oct 1926
  • Der musikalische Gedanke und die Logik, Technik und Kunst seiner Darstellung, main MS June 1934–Aug 1936, ed. and trans. P. Carpenter and S. Neff (New York, 1995)
Essays, letters etc.
  • Style and Idea, ed. D. Newlin (New York, 1950) [15 essays]
  • Briefe, selected and ed. E. Stein (Mainz, 1958; Eng. trans., enlarged, 1964)
  • Schöpferische Konfessionen, ed. W. Reich (Zürich, 1964)
  • Testi poetici e drammatici, ed. L. Rognoni (Milan, 1967)
  • Arnold Schönberg–Franz Schreker: Briefwechsel, ed. F.C. Heller (Tutzing, 1974)
  • Berliner Tagebuch, ed. J. Rufer (Frankfurt,1974); Eng. trans. in Journal of the Arnold Schoenberg Institute, ix (1986), 7–15
  • F. Busoni: Entwurf einer neuen Ästhetik der Tonkunst, mit handschriftlichen Anmerkungen von Arnold Schönberg (Frankfurt, 1974)
  • Style and Idea, ed. L. Stein (London, 1975) [104 essays]
  • Gesammelte Schriften, ed. I. Vojtěch (Frankfurt, 1976)
  • The Arnold Schoenberg–Hans Nachod Collection, ed. J. Kimmey (Detroit, 1979) [Letters and early compositions]
  • Arnold Schönberg–Wassily Kandinsky: Briefe, Bilder und Dokumente einer aussergewöhnlichen Begegnung, ed. J. Hahl-Koch (Salzburg, 1980; Eng. trans., 1984)
  • The Berg–Schoenberg Correspondence: Selected Letters, ed. J. Brand, C. Hailey and D. Harris (New York, 1987)
  • Arnold Schoenberg Self-Portrait: a Collection of Articles, Program Notes, and Letters by the Composer about his own Works, ed. N. Schoenberg-Nono (Pacific Palisades, CA, 1988)
  • Arnold Schoenberg Correspondence: a Collection of Translated and Annotated Letters Exchanged with Guido Adler, Pablo Casals, Emanuel Feuermann and Olin Downes, ed. E.M. Ennulat (Metuchen, NJ, 1991)
  • Wassily Kandinsky und Arnold Schönberg: der Briefwechsel, ed. J. Hahl-Koch (Stuttgart, 1993)
  • Alexander Zemlinsky: Briefwechsel mit Arnold Schönberg, Anton Webern, Alban Berg und Franz Schreker, ed. H. Weber (Darmstadt, 1995)


Catalogues, bibliographies
  • J. Rufer: Das Werk Arnold Schönbergs (Kassel, 1959, 2/1974; Eng. trans., 1962)
  • R. Brinkmann: Arnold Schönberg: Drei Klavierstücke Op.11 (Wiesbaden, 1969) [incl. bibliography of published writings]
  • J. Maegaard: Studien zur Entwicklung des dodekaphonen Satzes bei Arnold Schönberg, 1 (Copenhagen, 1972) [incl. catalogue of works 1900–33]
  • Journal of the Arnold Schoenberg Institute, 1/1 (1976), 45–8; i/2 (1977), 111–13; i/3 (1977), 174–8; iii/1 (1979), 89–92; v/2 (1981), 213–25; ix/1 (1986), 84–107; xv/1 (1992), 111–59; xv/2 (1992), 101–33 [cumulative bibliography]
  • T. Satoh: A Bibliographic Catalog with Discography and a Comprehensive Bibliography of Arnold Schoenberg (Tokyo, 1978)
  • R.W. Shoaf: The Schoenberg Discography (Berkeley, 1986, rev. 2/1994)
  • Mitteilungen der Internationalen Schönberg-Gesellschaft, no.1 (1986), 10–14; nos.3–4 (1989), 19–23 [cumulative bibliography]
  • J. and J. Christensen: From Arnold Schoenberg’s Literary Legacy: a Catalog of Neglected Items (Warren, MI, 1988)
  • Mitteilungen aus der Schönberg-Forschung (1992–)
  • A Preliminary Inventory of Correspondence to and from Arnold Schoenberg, Journal of the Arnold Schoenberg Institute, 18–19 (1995–6)
  • E. Wellesz: Arnold Schönberg (Leipzig, 1921; Eng. trans., 1925/R)
  • P. Stefan: Arnold Schönberg: Wandlung, Legende, Erscheinung, Bedeutung (Vienna, 1924)
  • H. Wind: Die Endkrise der bürgerlichen Musik und die Rolle Arnold Schönbergs (Vienna, 1935)
  • R. Leibowitz: Schönberg et son école (Paris, 1947; Eng. trans., 1949/R)
  • D. Newlin: Bruckner, Mahler, Schoenberg (New York, 1947, 2/1978)
  • T.W. Adorno: Philosophie der neuen Musik (Tübingen, 1949, 3/1967; Eng. trans., 1973/R)
  • R. Leibowitz: Introduction à la musique de douze sons (Paris, 1949, 3/1981)
  • H.H. Stuckenschmidt: Arnold Schönberg (Zürich, 1951, rev. 2/1957; Eng. trans., 1959)
  • J. Rufer: Die Komposition mit zwölf Tönen (Berlin, 1952; Eng. trans., 1954/R, 4/1969)
  • L. Rognoni: Espressionismo e dodecafonia (Turin, 1954, enlarged 2/1966 as La scuola musicale di Vienna; Eng. trans., 1977)
  • A. Payne: Schoenberg (London, 1968)
  • W. Reich: Arnold Schönberg oder der konservative Revolutionär (Vienna, 1968; Eng. trans., 1971, as Schoenberg: a Critical Biography)
  • R. Leibowitz: Schoenberg (Paris, 1969)
  • J. Maegaard: Studien zur Entwicklung des dodekaphonen Satzes bei Arnold Schönberg (Copenhagen, 1972)
  • E. Freitag: Arnold Schönberg in Selbstzeugnissen und Bilddokumenten (Reinbek, 1973)
  • H.H. Stuckenschmidt: Schönberg: Leben, Umwelt, Werk (Zürich, 1974; Eng. trans., 1977)
  • G. Manzoni: Arnold Schönberg: l’uomo, l’opera, i testi musicali (Milan, 1975)
  • C. Rosen: Arnold Schoenberg (New York, 1975)
  • G. Schubert: Schönbergs frühe Instrumentation (Baden-Baden, 1975)
  • M. Macdonald: Schoenberg (London, 1976)
  • J. Maegaard: Praeludier til musik af Schönberg (Copenhagen, 1976)
  • K. Velten: Schönbergs Instrumentation Bachscher und Brahmsscher Werke als Dokumente seines Traditionsverständnisses (Regensburg, 1976)
  • M. Pfisterer: Studien zur Kompositionstechnik in den frühen atonalen Werken von Arnold Schönberg (Neuhausen-Stuttgart, 1978)
  • A. Lessem: Music and Text in the Works of Arnold Schoenberg: the Critical Years, 1908–1922 (Ann Arbor, 1979)
  • U. Thieme: Studien zum Jugendwerk Arnold Schönbergs: Einflüsse und Wandlungen (Regensburg, 1979)
  • D. Newlin: Schoenberg Remembered: Diaries and Recollections (1938–76) (New York, 1980)
  • J. Kallir: Arnold Schoenberg’s Vienna (New York, 1984)
  • M. Vogel: Schönberg und die Folgen: die Irrwege der neuen Musik, i: Schönberg (Bonn, 1984)
  • W. Bailey: Programmatic Elements in the Works of Schoenberg (Ann Arbor, 1984)
  • M. Mäckelmann: Arnold Schönberg und das Judentum: der Komponist und sein religiöses, nationales und politisches Selbstverständnis nach 1921 (Hamburg, 1984)
  • J.A. Smith: Schoenberg and his Circle: a Viennese Portrait (New York and London, 1986)
  • E. Haimo: Schoenberg’s Serial Odyssey: the Evolution of his Twelve-Tone Method, 1914–1928 (Oxford, 1990)
  • A.L. Ringer: Arnold Schoenberg: the Composer as Jew (Oxford, 1990)
  • M. Sichardt: Die Entstehung der Zwölftonmethode Arnold Schönbergs (Mainz, 1990)
  • W. Thomson: Schoenberg’s Error (Philadelphia, 1991)
  • S. Milstein: Arnold Schoenberg: Notes, Sets, Forms (Cambridge, 1992)
  • N. Nono-Schoenberg: Arnold Schoenberg, 1874–1951: Lebensgeschichte in Begegnungen (Klagenfurt, 1992)
  • W. Frisch: The Early Works of Arnold Schoenberg, 1893–1908 (Berkeley, 1993)
  • W. Sinkovicz: Mehr als zwölf Töne, Arnold Schönberg (Vienna, 1998)
Collections of articles and essays
  • Der Merker, 2/17 (1910–11) [Schoenberg issue]
  • Arnold Schönberg mit Beiträgen von Alban Berg, Paris von Gutersloh [and others] (Munich, 1912); Eng. trans. in Schoenberg and his World, ed. W. Frisch (Princeton, NJ, 1999), 195–261
  • Arnold Schönberg zum fünfzigsten Geburtstage, Musikblätter des Anbruch, 6, suppl. (Vienna, 1924)
  • ‘Schönberg und seine Orchesterwerke’, Pult und Taktstock, 4 (1927), March–April
  • Arnold Schönberg zum 60. Geburtstag (Vienna, 1934)
  • M. Armitage, ed.: Schoenberg (New York, 1937/R)
  • The Canon, 3/2 (1949–50) [Schoenberg issue]
  • Stimmen, no.16 (1949) [Schoenberg issue]
  • The Score, no.6 (1952) [Schoenberg issue]
  • E. Stein: Orpheus in New Guises (London, 1953/R)
  • A. Webern: Der Weg zur neuen Musik, ed. W. Reich (Vienna, 1960; Eng. trans., 1963)
  • B. Boretz and E.T. Cone, eds.: Perspectives on Schoenberg and Stravinsky (Princeton, NJ, 1968, 2/1972/R)
  • ‘Toward the Schoenberg Centenary’, PNM, xi/1–xiii/2 (1972–5)
  • E. Hilmar, ed.: Arnold Schönberg: Gedenkausstellung 1974 (Vienna, 1974)
  • Internationale Schönberg-Gesellschaft: Kongress I: Vienna 1974
  • ÖMz, 29/6 (1974) [Schoenberg issue]
  • Zeitschrift für Musiktheorie, 5/1 (1974) [Schoenberg issue]
  • Journal of the Arnold Schoenberg Institute (1976–96) [index to i–xii in xiii/1]
  • Mf, 29/4 (1976) [Schoenberg issue]
  • C. Dahlhaus: Schönberg und andere: gesammelte Aufsätze zur neuen Musik (Mainz, 1978)
  • Arnold Schoenberg, Musik-Konzepte (1980) [special issue]
  • Schönbergs Verein für musikalische Privataufführungen, Musik-Konzepte, no.36 (1984)
  • E. Lafite and M. Diederichs-Lafite, eds.: ‘Die Wiener Schule in der Musikgeschichte des 20. Jahrhunderts’, ÖMz, 39/6 (1984)
  • Die Wiener Schule in der Musikgeschichte des 20. Jahrhunderts: Vienna 1984
  • C. Dahlhaus: Schoenberg and the New Music (Cambridge, 1987)
  • JM, 11/3 (1993) [Schoenberg issue]
  • M. Andersen, N.B. Foltmann and C. Røllum-Larsen, eds.: Festskrift Jan Maegaard (Copenhagen, 1996)
  • J. Brand and C. Hailey, eds.: Constructive Dissonance: Arnold Schoenberg and the Transformations of 20th-Century Culture (Berkeley, 1997)
  • Numerous articles in In Theory Only, Theory and Practice and Music Theory Spectrum
Separate articles
  • A. Nadel: ‘Arnold Schönberg’, Die Musik, 11/3 (1911–12), 353–60
  • C. Somigli: ‘Il modus operandi di Arnold Schönberg’, RMI, 20 (1913), 583–606
  • P. Bekker: ‘Schönberg’, Melos, 2 (1921), 123–9
  • L. Henry: ‘Arnold Schönberg’, MO, 44 (1921), 420–24, 511
  • C. Gray: ‘Arnold Schönberg: a Critical Study’, ML, 3 (1922), 73–89
  • F. Wohlfahrt: ‘Arnold Schönbergs Stellung innerhalb der heutigen Musik’, Die Musik, 16 (1923–4), 894–9
  • R. van den Linden: ‘Arnold Schönberg’, ML, 7 (1926), 322–31; viii (1927), 38–45
  • K. Westphal: ‘Schönbergs Weg zur Zwölfton-Musik’, Die Musik, 21 (1928–9), 491–9
  • A. Machabey: ‘Schönberg’, Le ménestrel (21 Feb 1930, 30 May 1930, 6 June 1930)
  • A. Weiss: ‘The Lyceum of Schönberg’, MM, 9 (1931–2), 99–107
  • H. Gerigk: ‘Eine Lanze für Schönberg’, Die Musik, 27 (1934–5), 87–91
  • D.J. Bach: ‘A Note on Arnold Schoenberg’, MQ, 22 (1936), 8–13
  • R.S. Hill: ‘Schoenberg’s Tone-Rows and the Tonal System of the Future’,MQ, 22 (1936), 14–37
  • H. Jalowetz: ‘On the Spontaneity of Schoenberg’s Music’, MQ, 30 (1944), 385–408
  • D. Milhaud: ‘To Arnold Schoenberg on his Seventieth Birthday: Personal Recollections’,MQ, 30 (1944), 379–84
  • R. Sessions: ‘Schoenberg in the United States’, Tempo, no.9 (1944), 2–7; rev. in no.103 (1972), 8–17
  • D. Newlin: ‘Arnold Schoenberg’s Debt to Mahler’, Chord and Discord, 2/5 (1948), 21–6
  • R. Leibowitz: ‘Besuch bei Arnold Schönberg’, SMz, 89 (1949), 324–8
  • D. Newlin: ‘Schoenberg in America’, Music Survey, 1 (1947–9), 128–31, 185–9
  • W.H. Rubsamen: ‘Schoenberg in America’, MQ, 37 (1951), 469–89
  • R. Vlad: ‘L’Ultimo Schönberg’, RaM, 21 (1951), 106–29
  • A. Duhamel: ‘Arnold Schoenberg, la critique, et le monde musical contemporain’,ReM, no.212 (1952), 77–85
  • H. Keller: ‘Unpublished Schoenberg Letters: Early, Middle and Late’, Music Survey, 4 (1951–2), 499–71
  • G. Perle: ‘Schoenberg’s Late Style’, MR, 13 (1952), 274–82
  • T.W. Adorno: ‘Arnold Schönberg 1874–1951’, Neue Rundschau, 64 (1953), 80–104; repr. in T.W. Adorno: Prismen (Frankfurt, 1955, 3/1969; Eng. trans., 1967/R), 147–72
  • H. Eisler: ‘Arnold Schönberg’, Sinn und Form, 7 (1955), 5–15
  • W. Reich: ‘Alban Berg als Apologet Arnold Schönbergs’, SMz, 95 (1955), 475–7
  • T.W. Adorno: ‘Zum Verständnis Schönbergs’, Frankfurter Hefte, 10 (1955), 418–29
  • J. Birke: ‘Richard Dehmel und Arnold Schönberg: ein Briefwechsel’, Mf, 11 (1958), 279–85; xvii (1964), 60–62
  • ‘Letters from Webern and Schoenberg to Roberto Gerhard’, The Score, no.24 (1958), 36–53
  • H.H. Stuckenschmidt: ‘Stil und Ästhetik Schönbergs’, SMz, 98 (1958), 97–104
  • P. Gradenwitz: ‘Schönbergs religiöse Werke’, Melos, 26 (1959), 330–33; Eng. trans. in MR, xxi (1960), 19–29
  • D. Kerner: ‘Schönberg als Patient’, Melos, 26 (1959), 327–9
  • W. Reich: ‘Ein unbekannter Brief von Arnold Schönberg an Alban Berg’, ÖMz, 14 (1959), 10 only
  • H. Oesch: ‘Hauer und Schönberg’, ÖMz, 15 (1960), 157 only
  • L. Rognoni: ‘Gli scritti e i dipinti di Arnold Schönberg’, Approdo musicale, no.12 (1960), 95–102
  • F. Glück: ‘Briefe von Arnold Schönberg an Adolf Loos’, ÖMz, 16 (1961), 8–20
  • J. Maegaard: ‘A Study in the Chronology of opp.23–26 by Arnold Schoenberg’, DAM, 2 (1962), 93–123
  • G. Marbach: ‘Schlemmers Begegnungen mit Schönberg, Scherchen und Hindemith’, NZM, Jg.123 (1962), 530–36
  • N. Notowicz: ‘Eisler und Schönberg’, DJbM, 8 (1963), 8–25
  • T.W. Adorno: ‘ Über einige Arbeiten Arnold Schönbergs’, Forum, 10 (1963), 378–81, 434–6
  • R.U. Nelson: ‘Schoenberg’s Variation Seminar’, MQ, 50 (1964), 141–64
  • F. Prieberg: ‘Der junge Schönberg und seine Kritiker’, Melos, 31 (1964), 264–9
  • G. Schuller: ‘A Conversation with Steuermann’, PNM, 3/1 (1964), 22–35
  • R. Steiner: ‘Der unbekannte Schönberg: aus unveröffentlichten Briefen an Hans Nachod’, SMz, 104 (1964), 284–6
  • D. Dille: ‘Die Beziehungen zwischen Bartók und Schönberg’, Documenta bartókiana, 2 (1965), 53–61
  • I. Vojtěch: ‘Arnold Schönberg, Anton Webern, Alban Berg: unbekannte Briefe an Erwin Schulhoff aus den Jahren 1919–26’, MMC, no.18 (1965), 30–83
  • P. Friedheim: ‘Rhythmic Structure in Schoenberg’s Atonal Compositions’, JAMS, 19 (1966), 59–72
  • V. Fuchs: ‘Arnold Schönberg als Soldat im ersten Weltkrieg’, Melos, 33 (1966), 178–9
  • R. Jung: ‘Arnold Schönberg und das Liszt-Stipendium’, BMw, 8 (1966), 56–62
  • P. Odegard: ‘Schönberg’s Variations: an Addendum’, MR, 27 (1966), 102–21
  • L. Stein: ‘The Privataufführungen Revisited’, Paul A. Pisk: Essays in his Honor, ed. J. Glowacki (Austin, 1966), 203–7
  • ‘Unveröffentlichte Briefe an Alfredo Casella’, Melos, 34 (1967), 45–51
  • D. Lewin: ‘Inversional Balance as an Organizing Force in Schoenberg’s Music and Thought’, PNM, 6/2 (1967–8), 1–21
  • D. Newlin: ‘The Schoenberg–Nachod Collection: a Preliminary Report’, MQ, 54 (1968), 31–46
  • E. Klemm: ‘Der Briefwechsel zwischen Arnold Schönberg und dem Verlag C.F. Peters’, DJbM, 15 (1970), 5–66
  • H. Byrns: ‘Meine Begegnung mit Arnold Schönberg’, Melos, 38 (1971), 234–6
  • R. Vlad: ‘Arnold Schönberg schreibt an Gian Francesco Malipiero’, Melos, 38 (1971), 461–4
  • R. Stephan: ‘Ein unbekannter Aufsatz Weberns über Schönberg’, ÖMz, 27 (1972), 127–30
  • V. Lampert: ‘Schoenbergs, Bergs und Adornos Briefe an Sándor (Alexander) Jemnitz’,SM, 15 (1973), 335–55
  • A.L. Ringer: ‘Schoenbergiana in Jerusalem’, MQ, 59 (1973), 1–14
  • F. Glück: ‘Briefe von Arnold Schönberg an Claire Loos’, ÖMz, 29 (1974), 203–9
  • K. Hicken: ‘Schoenberg’s “Atonality”: Fused Bitonality?’, Tempo, no.109 (1974), 27–36
  • A. Lessem: ‘Schönberg and the Crisis of Expressionism’, ML, 55 (1974), 429–36
  • J. Maegaard: ‘Schönberg hat Adorno nie leiden können’, Melos, 41 (1974), 262–4
  • J. Meggett and R. Moritz: ‘The Schoenberg Legacy’, Notes, 31 (1974–5), 30–36
  • J. Samson: ‘Schoenberg’s “Atonal” Music’, Tempo, no.109 (1974), 16–25
  • E. Schmid: ‘Ein Jahr bei Schönberg in Berlin’, Melos, 41 (1974), 190–203
  • E. Steiner: ‘Schoenberg’s Quest: Newly Discovered Works from his Early Years’, MQ, 60 (1974), 401–20
  • R. Stephan: ‘Hába und Schönberg’, Festschrift für Arno Volk (Cologne, 1974), 125–38
  • W. Szmolyan: ‘Schönberg in Mödling’, ÖMz, 29 (1974), 189–202
  • J. Maegaard: ‘Zu Th.W. Adornos Rolle im Mann/Schönberg-Streit’, Gedenkschrift für Thomas Mann, ed. R. Wiecker (Copenhagen, 1975), 215–22
  • A. Dümling: ‘“Im Zeichen der Erkenntnis der socialen Verhältnisse”: der junge Schönberg und die Arbeitersängerbewegung’, Zeitschrift für Musiktheorie, 6/1 (1975), 11–21; rev. in ÖMz, xxxvi (1981), 65–73
  • J. Harvey: ‘Schönberg: Man or Woman?’, ML, 56 (1975), 371–85
  • J. Maegaard: ‘Der geistige Einflussbereich von Schönberg und Zemlinsky in Wien um 1900’, Alexander Zemlinsky: Tradition im Umkreis der Wiener Schule, ed. O. Kolleritsch (Graz, 1976), 34–43
  • C. Dahlhaus: ‘Schönbergs musikalische Poetik’, AMw, 33 (1976), 81–8; Eng. trans. in Schoenberg and the New Music (Cambridge,1987), 73–80
  • E. Hilmar: ‘Arnold Schönbergs Briefe an den Akademischen Verband für Literatur und Musik in Wien’, ÖMz, 31 (1976), 273–92
  • N. Nono-Schoenberg: ‘Mon père Schoenberg’, SMz, 116 (1976), 77–80
  • W. Szmolyan: ‘Schönbergs Wiener Skandalkonzert’, ÖMz, 31 (1976), 293–304
  • E. Steiner: ‘Ein Schönberg-Konzert in Berlin’, ÖMz, 30 (1975), 105–10
  • J. Maegaard: ‘Schönbergs Zwölftonreihen’, Mf, 29 (1976), 385–425
  • G. Mayer: ‘Arnold Schönberg im Urteil Hanns Eislers’, BMw, 18 (1976), 195–214
  • J. Rufer: ‘Schoenberg: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow’, PNM, 16/1 (1977–8), 125–38
  • B. Simms: ‘New Documents in the Schoenberg–Schenker Polemic’, PNM, 16/1 (1977–8), 110–24
  • J. Theurich: ‘Briefwechsel zwischen Arnold Schönberg und Ferruccio Busoni 1903–1915 (1927)’, BMw, 19 (1977), 163–211
  • A. Ashforth: ‘Linear and Textural Aspects of Schoenberg’s Cadences’, PNM, 16/2 (1977–8), 195–224
  • A. Forte: ‘Schoenberg’s Creative Evolution: the Path to Atonality’, MQ, 64 (1978), 133–76
  • F. Schneider: ‘Schönberg und die “politische Musik”’, BMw, 20 (1978), 23–7
  • W. Szmolyan: ‘Schönberg und Eisler’, ÖMz, 33 (1978), 439–44
  • C.M. Cross: ‘Three Levels of “Idea” in Schoenberg’s Thought and Writings’, CMc, no.30 (1980), 24–36
  • M.M. Hyde: ‘The Roots of Form in Schoenberg’s Sketches’, JMT, 24 (1980), 1–36
  • M.M. Hyde: ‘The Telltale Sketches: Harmonic Structure in Schoenberg’s Twelve-Tone Method’, MQ, 66 (1980), 560–80
  • A. Ringer: ‘Weill, Schönberg und die Zeitoper’, Mf, 33 (1980), 465–70
  • J.A. Smith: ‘Schoenberg’s Way’, PNM, 18/2 (1979–80), 258–85 [contemporaries’ recollections of Schoenberg and his circle]
  • P. Stadlen: ‘Schoenberg’s Speech-Song’, ML, 62 (1981), 1–11
  • W. Szmolyan: ‘Die Konzerte des Wiener Schönberg-Vereins’, ÖMz, 36 (1981), 82–104, 154–7
  • A. Lessem: ‘Schoenberg, Stravinsky, and Neo-Classicism: the Issues Reexamined’, MQ, 68 (1982), 527–42
  • M. Hyde: ‘The Format and Function of Schoenberg’s Twelve-Tone Sketches’, JAMS, 36 (1983), 453–80
  • J. Christensen: ‘The Spiritual and the Material in Schoenberg’s Thinking’, ML, 65 (1984), 337–44
  • S. Schibli: ‘Ein Stück praktisch gewordener Ideologie: zum Problem der komplexen einsätzigen Form in Frühwerken Arnold Schönbergs’, AMw, 41 (1984), 274–94
  • A. Goehr: ‘Schoenberg and Kraus: the Idea behind the Music’, MAn, 4 (1985), 59–71; rev. in idem: Finding the Key (London, 1998), 124–41
  • A. Mead: ‘Large-Scale Strategy in Arnold Schoenberg’s Twelve-Tone Music’, PNM, 24/1 (1985–6), 120–57
  • G. Phipps: ‘The Tritone as Equivalency: a Contextual Perspective for Approaching Schoenberg’s Music’, JM, 4 (1985–6), 51–69
  • M. Hansen: ‘Arnold Schoenberg: Lehrer in Berlin’, Berliner Begegnungen: ausländische Künstler in Berlin 1918 bis 1933 (Berlin, 1987), 371–82
  • D. Lambourn: ‘Henry Wood and Schoenberg’, MT, 128 (1987), 422–7
  • C.O. Lewis: ‘Mirrors and Metaphors: Reflections on Schoenberg and Nineteenth-Century Tonality’, 19CM, 11 (1987–8), 26–42; repr. in Music at the Turn of Century, ed. J. Kerman (Berkeley, 1990), 15–31
  • C.M. Schmidt: ‘Zur Theorie und Praxis der Zwölftonkomposition Arnold Schönbergs’,Musiktheorie, 2 (1987), 73–85
  • L. Finscher: ‘Arnold Schönbergs Brahms-Vortrag’, Neue Musik und Tradition: Festschrift Rudolf Stephan, ed. J. Kuckertz and others (Laaber,1990), 485–500
  • J. Brown: ‘Schoenberg’s Early Wagnerisms: Atonality and the Redemption of Ahasuerus’, COJ, 6 (1994), 51–80
  • J. Covach: ‘The Sources of Schoenberg’s “Aesthetic Theology”’, 19CM, 19 (1995–6), 252–62
  • E. Haimo: ‘Developing Variation and Schoenberg’s Serial Music’, MAn, 16 (1997), 349–65
  • S.M. Feisst: ‘Henry Cowell und Arnold Schönberg, eine unbekannte Freundschaft’, AMw, 55 (1998), 57–71
  • S.M. Feisst: ‘Arnold Schoenberg and the Cinematic Art’, MQ, 83 (1999), 93–113
Studies of particular works
    • H. Keller: ‘Schoenberg’s “Moses and Aron”’, The Score, no.21 (1957), 30–45
    • H. Keller: ‘Schoenberg’s Comic Opera’, The Score, no.23 (1958), 27–36
    • K.H. Wörner: Gotteswort und Magie: die Oper ‘Moses und Aron’ von Arnold Schoenberg (Heidelberg, 1959; Eng. trans., enlarged, 1963, as Schoenberg’s ‘Moses and Aron’)
    • T.W. Adorno: ‘Sakrales Fragment’, Quasi una fantasia: musikalische Schriften II (Frankfurt, 1963; Eng. trans., 1992), 306–38
    • K.H. Wörner: ’“Die glückliche Hand”, Arnold Schönbergs Drama mit Musik’,SMz, 104 (1964), 274–83
    • H. Buchanan: ‘A Key to Schoenberg’s Erwartung’, JAMS, 20 (1967), 434–49
    • K.H. Wörner: ‘Schönberg’s “Erwartung” und das Ariadne-Thema’, Die Musik in der Geistesgeschichte: Studien zur Situation der Jahre um 1910 (Bonn, 1970), 91–117
    • J. Crawford: ‘Die glückliche Hand: Schoenberg’s Gesamtkunstwerk’, MQ, 60 (1974), 583–601
    • H. Boventer, ed.: ‘Moses und Aron’: zur Oper Arnold Schönbergs (Bensberg,1979)
    • E. Budde: ‘Arnold Schönbergs Monodrama “Erwartung”: Versuch einer Analyse der ersten Szene’, AMw, 36 (1979), 1–20
    • S. Mauser: ‘Forschungsbericht zu Schönbergs “Erwartung”’, ÖMz, 35 (1980), 215–19
    • A. Serravezza: ‘Critica e ideologia nel “Moses und Aron”’, RIM, 15 (1980), 204–29
    • E. Steiner: ‘The “Happy” Hand: Genesis and Interpretation of Schoenberg’s Monumentalkunstwerk’, MR, 41 (1980), 207–22
    • J.M. Garcia Laborda: Studien zu Schönbergs Monodram ‘Erwartung’ op.17 (Laaber, 1981)
    • O. Steck: Moses und Aron: die Oper Arnold Schönbergs und ihr biblischer Stoff (Munich, 1981)
    • R.L. Weaver: ‘The Conflict of Religion and Aesthetics in Schoenberg’s “Moses and Aaron”’, Essays on the Music of J.S. Bach and other Divers Subjects: a Tribute to Gerhard Herz, ed. R.L. Weaver (Louisville, KY, 1981), 291–303
    • P. Truman: ‘Synaesthesia in “Die glückliche Hand”’, Interface, 12 (1983), 481–503
    • O. Neighbour: ‘Veraltete Sentimentalität: Arnold Schoenberg in Defence of Richard Strauss’, Festschrift Albi Rosenthal, ed. R. Elvers (Tutzing, 1984), 253–7 [on Von heute auf morgen]
    • E. Weissweiler: ‘“Schreiben Sie mir doch einen Operntext, Fräulein!”: Marie Pappenheims Text zu Arnold Schönbergs “Erwartung”’, NZM, Jg.145, no.6 (1984), 4–8
    • P. White: Schoenberg and the God-Idea: the Opera Moses und Aron (Ann Arbor, 1985)
    • H. Mäckelmann: ‘“Die glückliche Hand”: eine Studie zu Musik und Inhalt von Arnold Schönbergs “Drama mit Musik”’, HJbMW, 10 (1988), 7–36
    • C.M. Schmidt: Schönbergs Oper Moses und Aron: Analyse der diastematsichen, formalen und musikdramatischen Komposition (Mainz, 1988)
    • L. Wickes: ‘Schoenberg, “Erwartung”, and the Reception of Psychoanalysis in Musical Circles in Vienna until 1910/1911’, SMA, 23 (1989), 88–106
    • M. Cherlin: ‘Dramaturgy and Mirror Imagery in Schönberg’s Moses und Aron: Two Paradigmatic Interval Palindromes’, PNM, 29/2 (1991), 50–71
    • R. Falck: ‘Marie Pappenheim, Schoenberg, and the Studien über Hysterie’, German Literature and Music: an Aesthetic Fusion 1890–1989, ed. C. Reschke and H. Pollack (Munich, 1992), 134–44
    • J. Auner: ‘In Schoenberg’s Workshop: Aggregates and Referential Collections in “Die glückliche Hand”’, Music Theory Spectrum, 18 (1996), 77–105
    • T. Beck: ‘The Literary Sources of “Die glückliche Hand”’, Tempo, no.189 (1994), 17–23
    Choral works
    • A. Berg: Arnold Schönberg, Gurrelieder: Führer (grosse Ausgabe, Vienna, 1913; kleine Ausgabe, 1914)
    • G. Strecke: ‘Arnold Schönbergs op.XIII’, Melos, 1 (1920), 231–3
    • S. Günther: ‘Das trochäische Prinzip in Arnold Schönbergs op.13’, ZMw, 6 (1923–4), 158–77
    • H. Nachod: ‘The Very First Performance of Schoenberg’s “Gurrelieder”’, Music Survey, 3 (1950–51), 38–40
    • W. Zillig: ‘Notes on Arnold Schoenberg’s Unfinished Oratorio “Die Jakobsleiter”’, The Score, no.25 (1959), 7–18
    • H. Pauli: ‘Zu Schönbergs “Jakobsleiter”’, SMz, 102 (1962), 351–4
    • R. Lück: ‘Arnold Schönberg und das deutsche Volkslied’, NZM, Jg.124 (1963), 86–91
    • K.H. Wörner: ‘Schönbergs Oratorium “Die Jakobsleiter”: Musik zwischen Theologie und Weltanschauung’, SMz, 105 (1965), 250–57, 333–40
    • C.M. Schmidt: ‘Schönbergs Kantate “Ein Überlebender aus Warschau”’, AMw, 33 (1976), 174–88
    • F. Hamao: ‘On the Origin of the Twelve-Tone Method: Schoenberg’s Sketches for the Unfinished Symphony (1914–1915)’, CMc, no.42 (1986), 32–45
    • M. Mäckelmann: “‘Israel Exists Again”: Anmerkungen zu Arnold Schönbergs Entwurf einer Israel-Hymne’, Mf, 39 (1986), 18–29
    • H. Lück: ‘Arnold Schönbergs Kol Nidre’, ÖMz, 48 (1993), 138–46
    • M. Gervink: ‘Schönbergs “Drei Satiren für gemischten Chor”: die Standortbestimmung des Komponisten’, ÖMz, 50 (1995), 398–406
    • M.C. Strasser: ‘“A Survivor from Warsaw” as Personal Parable’, ML, 76 (1995), 52–63
    • B.A. Föllmi: ‘“I cannot remember ev’rything”: eine narratologische Analyse von Arnold Schönbergs Kantate “A Survivor from Warsaw” op.46’, AMw, 55 (1998), 28–56
    Orchestral works
    • A. Berg: Arnold Schönberg: Pelleas und Melisande, op. 5: thematische Analyse (Vienna, 1920)
    • C. Dahlhaus: Schönberg: Variationen für Orchester, op.31 (Munich, 1968)
    • E. Doflein: ‘Schönbergs Opus 16 Nr.3: der Mythos der Klangfarbenmelodie’, Melos, 36 (1969), 203–5
    • P. Förtig: ‘Analyse des Opus 16 Nr.3’, Melos, 36 (1969), 206–9
    • J. Rufer: ‘Noch einmal Schönbergs Opus 16’, Melos, 36 (1969), 366–8
    • C. Dahlhaus: ‘Das obligate Rezitativ’, Melos/NZM, 1 (1975), 193–5; Eng. trans. in idem: Schoenberg and the New Music (Cambridge, 1987), 144–8
    • P. Gülke: ‘Über Schönbergs Brahms Bearbeitung’, BMw, 17 (1975), 5–14
    • M. Mäckelmann: Fünf Orchesterstücke op.16 (Munich, 1987)
    • T. Mäkelä: ‘Schönbergs Klavierkonzert Opus 42: ein romantisches Virtuosenkonzert? Ein Beitrag zur Analyse der kompositorischen Prinzipien eines problematischen Werkes’, Mf, 45 (1992), 1–20
    • D. Puffett: ‘“Music that Echoes within one” for a Lifetime: Berg’s Reception of Schoenberg’s “Pellas und Melisande”’, ML, 76 (1995), 209–64
    • J.H. Auner: ‘Schoenberg’s Handel Concerto and the Ruins of Tradition’, JAMS, 49 (1996), 264–313
    Chamber works
    • ‘Arnold Schönbergs fis-moll-Quartett: eine technische Analyse’, Erdgeist, 4 (1909), 225–34; repr. in Journal of the Arnold Schoenberg Institute, xvi (1993), 295–304; Eng. trans., Journal of the Arnold Schoenberg Institute, xvi (1993), 305–21
    • A. Berg: Arnold Schönberg: Kammersymphonie, op.9: thematische Analyse (Vienna, 1918)
    • F. Greissle: ‘Die formalen Grundlagen des Bläserquintetts von Arnold Schönberg’, Musikblätter des Anbruch, 7 (1925), 63–8
    • T.W. Adorno: ‘Schönbergs Bläserquintett’, Pult und Taktstock, 5 (1928), May–June, 45–9; repr. in T.W. Adorno: Moments musicaux (Frankfurt, 1964), 161–5
    • E. Schmid: ‘Studie über Schönbergs Streichquartette’, SMz, 74 (1934), 1–7, 84–91, 155–63
    • P. Gradenwitz: ‘The Idiom and Development in Schoenberg’s Quartets’, ML, 26 (1945), 123–42
    • W. Hymanson: ‘Schoenberg’s String Trio (1946)’, MR, 11 (1950), 184–94
    • O.W. Neighbour: ‘Dodecaphony in Schoenberg’s String Trio’, Music Survey, 4 (1951–2), 489–90
    • O.W. Neighbour: ‘A Talk on Schoenberg for Composers’ Concourse’, The Score, no.16 (1956), 19–31 [on op.37]
    • W. Pfannkuch: ‘Zu Thematik und Form in Schönbergs Streichsextett’, Festschrift Friedrich Blume, ed. A.A. Abert and W. Pfannkuch (Kassel, 1963), 258–71
    • E. Klemm: ‘Zur Theorie der Reihenstruktur und Reihendisposition in Schönbergs 4. Streichquartett’, BMw, 8 (1966), 27–49
    • J. Lester: ‘Pitch Structure Articulation in the Variations of Schoenberg’s Serenade’, PNM, 6/2 (1967–8), 22–34
    • E. Staempfli: ‘Das Streichtrio Opus 45 von Arnold Schönberg’, Melos, 37 (1970), 35–9
    • M. Pfisterer: ‘Zur Frage der Satztechnik in den atonalen Werken von Arnold Schönberg’, Zeitschrift für Musiktheorie, 2/1 (1971), 4–13 [on op.10]
    • U. von Rauchhaupt, ed.: Schoenberg, Berg, Webern: the String Quartets, a Documentary Study (Hamburg, 1971)
    • R. Gerlach: ‘War Schönberg von Dvořák beeinflusst?’, NZM, Jg.133 (1972), 122–7 [on the D major Quartet]
    • A. Whittall: Schoenberg Chamber Music (London, 1972)
    • A. Whittall: ‘Schoenberg and the “True Tradition”: Theme and Form in the String Trio’, MT, 115 (1974), 739–43
    • C. Raab: ‘Fantasia quasi una Sonata: zu Schönbergs “Phantasy for Violin with Piano Accompaniment” op.47’, Melos/NZM, 2 (1976), 191–6
    • C. Möllers: Reihentechnik und musikalische Gestalt bei Arnold Schönberg: eine Untersuchung zum III. Streichquartett op.30 (Wiesbaden, 1977)
    • R. Swift: ‘1/XII/99: Tonal Relations in Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht’, 19CM, 1 (1977–8), 3–14; repr. in Music at the Turn of Century, ed. J. Kerman (Berkeley, 1990), 3–14
    • M. Hyde: Schoenberg’s Twelve-Tone Harmony: the Suite op.29 and the Compositional Sketches (Ann Arbor, 1982)
    • N. Dietrich: Arnold Schönbergs Drittes Streichquartett op.30: seine Form und sein Verhältnis zur Geschichte der Gattung (Munich, 1983)
    • E. Haimo and P. Johnson: ‘Isomorphic Partitioning and Schoenberg’s Fourth String Quartet’, JMT, 27 (1984), 47–72
    • C.M. Schmidt: ‘Arnold Schönberg: Streichtrio op.45’, Melos, 47/3 (1985), 67–89
    • R. Butz: ‘Untersuchungen zur Reihentechnik in Arnold Schönbergs Bläserquintett op.26’, AMw, 45 (1988), 251–85
    • C. Dahlhaus: ‘Arnold Schönberg: Drittes Streichquartett, op.30’, Melos, 50/1 (1988), 32–53
    • C. Dahlhaus: ‘Liszt, Schönberg und die grosse Form: das Prinzip der Mehrsätzigkeit in der Einsätzigkeit’, Mf, 41 (1988), 202–13 [on op.7]
    • R. Boestfleisch: Arnold Schönbergs frühe Kammermusik: Studien unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der ersten beiden Streichquartette (Frankfurt, 1990)
    • H.H. Hattesen: Emanzipation durch Aneignung: Untersuchungen zu den frühen Streichquartetten Arnold Schönbergs (Kassel, 1990)
    • C. Dale: Tonality and Structure in Schoenberg’s Second String Quartet, op.10 (New York,1993)
    • C.S. Mahnkopf: Gestalt und Stil: Schönbergs Erste Kammersymphonie und ihr Umfeld (Kassel, 1994)
    • M. Jestremski: ‘“Ich glaube, das ist doch ein Irrtum, diese Solobesetzung …” Die Fassungen von Arnold Schönbergs Kammersymphonie op.9’, AMw, 53 (1996), 259–89
    • M. Schmidt: ‘“Der ungelöste Rest als Differenz”: zu Schönbergs kompositorischer Mozart-Rezeption’, AMw, 56 (1999), 163–97 [on op.37]
    Solo vocal works
    • R. Tenschert: ‘Eine Passacaglia von Schönberg’, Die Musik, 17 (1924–5), 590–94 [on op.21 no.8]
    • K.H. Ehrenforth: Ausdruck und Form: Schönbergs Durchbruch zur Atonalität in den George-Liedern op.15 (Bonn, 1963)
    • K.H. Ehrenforth: ‘Schönberg und Webern: das XIV. Lied aus Schönbergs Georgelieder op.15’, NZM, Jg.126 (1965), 102–5
    • C. Dahlhaus: ‘Schönbergs Lied “Streng ist uns das Glück und spröde”’, Neue Wege der musikalischen Analyse, ed. R. Stephan (Berlin, 1967), 45–52
    • H. Kaufmann: ‘Struktur in Schönbergs Georgeliedern’, Neue Wege der musikalischen Analyse, ed. R. Stephan (Berlin, 1967), 53–61
    • W. Stroh: ‘Schoenberg’s Use of the Text: the Text as a Musical Control in the 14th Georgelied, Op.15’, PNM, 6/2 (1967–8), 35–44
    • R. Brinkmann: ‘Schoenberg und George: Interpretation eines Liedes’, AMw, 26 (1969), 1–28 [on op.15, no.14]
    • H. Weber: ‘Schoenbergs und Zemlinskys Vertonung der Ballade “Jane Gray” von Heinrich Ammann: Untersuchungen zum Spätstudium der Tonalität’, IMSCR XI: Copenhagen 1972, 705–14
    • A. Lessem: ‘Text and Music in Schoenberg’s “Pierrot Lunaire”’, CMc, no.19 (1975), 103–12
    • K. Bailey: ‘Formal Organization and Structural Imagery in Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire’, Studies in Music [Canada], 2 (1977), 93–107
    • B. Simms: ‘Line and Harmony in the Sketches of Schoenberg’s Seraphita, op.22, no.1’, JMT, 26 (1982), 291–312
    • W. Ruf: ‘Arnold Schönbergs Lied Herzgewächse’, AMw, 41 (1984), 257–73
    • F. Lesure and others, eds.: Dossier de presse de Pierrot lunaire d’Arnold Schönberg (Geneva, 1985)
    • S. Larson: ‘A Tonal Model of an “Atonal” Piece: Schoenberg’s opus 15, number 2’, PNM, 25 (1987), 418–33
    • R. Brinkmann: ‘Was uns die Quellen erzählen: ein Kapitel Werk-Philologie’, Das musikalische Kunstwerk: Festschrift Carl Dahlhaus, ed. H. Danuser and others (Laaber, 1988), 679–94 [on op.21]
    • J. Dunsby: ‘“Pierrot Lunaire” and the Resistance to Theory’, MT, 130 (1989), 732–6
    • H. Krebs: ‘Tonalität in Schönbergs “atonaler” Musik: die Aussage der Skizzen’, Musiktheorie, 4 (1989), 223–34 [on op.15, nos.6, 15]
    • D. Mack: ‘Der franzözische “Pierrot”: ein Kapitel aus Schönbergs Kampf um die moderne Musik’, ÖMz, 44 (1989), 25–32
    • W.B. Bailey: ‘Prophetic Aspects of Musical Style in the Early Unpublished Songs of Arnold Schoenberg’, MQ, 74 (1990), 491–520
    • R. Brinkmann: ‘The Lyric as Paradigm: Poetry and the Foundation of Arnold Schoenberg’s New Music’, German Literature and Music: an Aesthetic Fusion 1890–1989, ed. C. Reschke and H. Pollack (Munich, 1992), 95–129
    • J. Dunsby: Schoenberg: Pierrot Lunaire (Cambridge, 1992)
    • A. Forte: ‘Concepts of Linearity in Schoenberg’s Atonal Music: a Study of the opus 15 Song Cycle’, JMT, 36 (1992), 285–382
    • A. Lessem: ‘Sound and Sense: the Search for a Unified Expression in the Early Songs of Arnold Schoenberg’, German Literature and Music: an Aesthetic Fusion 1890–1989, ed. C. Reschke and H. Pollack (Munich, 1992), 85–94
    • C. Raab: ‘Der Fleck im “Mondfleck”: zu den Takten 8 bis 12 der Nr.18 in Arnold Schönbergs “Pierrot lunaire” op.21’, Mf, 46 (1993), 411–16
    • J. Brown: ‘Schoenberg’s Musical Prose as Allegory’, MAn, 14 (1995), 161–91 [on op.15 no.1]
    Piano works
    • L. Welker: ‘Arnold Schönbergs Op.11’, Die Musik, 12/1 (1912–13), 109–13
    • H. Leichtentritt: ‘Arnold Schönberg: opus 11 and opus 19’, Musical Form (Cambridge, MA, 1951), 425–50
    • T. Tuttle: ‘Schoenberg’s Compositions for Piano Solo’, MR, 18 (1957), 300–18
    • A. Forte: ‘Context and Continuity in an Atonal Work: a Set-Thematic Approach’, PNM, 1/2 (1962–3), 72–82 [on op.19]
    • W. Rogge: Das Klavierwerk Arnold Schönbergs (Regensburg, 1964)
    • R. Travis: ‘Directed Motion in Schoenberg and Webern’, PNM, 4/2 (1965–6), 85–9 [on op.19/2]
    • R. Wille: ‘Reihentechnik in Schönbergs Opus 19, 2’, Mf, 19 (1966), 42–3
    • G. Krieger: Schönbergs Werke für Klavier (Göttingen, 1968)
    • R. Brinkmann: Arnold Schönberg: Drei Klavierstücke Op.11: Studien zur frühen Atonalität bei Schönberg (Wiesbaden, 1969)
    • J. Graziano: ‘Serial Procedures in Schoenberg’s Opus 23’, CMc, no.13 (1972), 58–64
    • H. Oesch: ‘Schönberg im Vorfeld der Dodekaphonie’, Melos, 41 (1974), 330–39 [on op.23 no.3]
    • K. Bailey: ‘Row Anomalies in op.33: an Insight into Schoenberg’s Understanding of the Serial Procedure’, CMc, no.22 (1976), 42–60
    • J. Glofcheskie: ‘“Wrong” Notes in Schoenberg’s op.33a’, SMC, 1 (1976), 88–104
    • D. Gostomsky: ‘Tonalität-Atonalität: zur Harmonik von Schönbergs Klavierstück op.11 Nr.1’, Zeitschrift für Musiktheorie, 7/1 (1976), 54–71
    • J. Maegaard: ‘Om den kronologiske placering af Arnold Schönbergs klaverstykke op.23 nr.3’, Musik & forskning, 3 (1977), 5–10
    • W. Grangjean: ‘Form in Schönbergs op.19, 2’, Zeitschrift für Musiktheorie, 8/1 (1977), 15–18
    • T. Bond: ‘Schoenberg’s Sonata for Organ’, MT, 119 (1978), 984–5, 987
    • N. Schoffman: ‘Schoenberg opus 33a Revisited’, Tempo, no.146 (1983), 31–42
    • K.L. Hicken: Aspects of Harmony in Schoenberg’s Six Little Piano Pieces, Op.19 (Winnipeg, 1984)
    • M. Hyde: ‘Musical Form and the Development of Schoenberg’s Twelve-Tone Method’, JMT, 29 (1985), 85–143 [on opp.23, 25]
    • C. Morrison: ‘Syncopation as Motive in Schoenberg’s op.19, nos.2, 3 and 4’, MAn, 11 (1992), 75–93
    • A. von Massow: ‘Abschied und Neuorientierung: Schönbergs Klavierstück op.19, 6’, AMw, 50 (1993), 187–95
    • H. Klumpenhouwer: ‘An Instance of Parapraxis in the Gavotte of Schoenberg’s opus 25’, JMT, 38 (1994), 217–48
    • D.S. Lefkowitz: ‘Listening Strategies and Hexachordal Combinatorial “Functions” in Schoenberg’s Op.23 No.4’, MAn, 16 (1997), 309–48
    Theoretical works, etc
    • E. Stein: Praktischer Leitfaden zu Schönbergs Harmonielehre (Vienna, 1923)
    • R. Lück: ‘Die Generalbass-Aussetzungen Arnold Schönbergs’, DJbM, 8 (1963), 26–35
    • C. Parmentola: ‘La “Harmonielehre” di Schoenberg nella crisi del pensiero moderno’, NRMI, 2 (1968), 81–95
    • L. Richter: ‘Schönbergs Harmonielehre und die “freie Atonalität”’, DJbM, 13 (1968), 43–71
    • D. Rexroth: Arnold Schönberg als Theoretiker der tonalen Harmonik (Bonn, 1971)
    • J. Spratt: ‘The Speculative Content of Schoenberg’s “Harmonielehre”’, CMc, no.11 (1971), 83–8
    • R. Stephan: ‘Schönbergs Entwurf über “Das Komponieren mit selbständigen Stimmen”’, AMw, 29 (1972), 239–56
    • C. Dahlhaus: ‘Schoenberg and Schenker’, PRMA, 100 (1973–4), 209–15; repr. in Schoenberg and the New Music (Cambridge, 1987), 134–40
    • A. Goehr: ‘The Theoretical Writings of Arnold Schoenberg’, PRMA, 100 (1973–4), 85–96
    • P. Schubert: ‘ “A New Epoch of Polyphonic Style”: Schoenberg on Chords and Lines’, MAn, 12 (1993), 289–319
    • J. Boss: ‘Schoenberg on Ornamentation and Structural Levels’, JMT, 38 (1994), 187–216
    • P.C. van den Toorn: ‘“What’s in a Motive?” Schoenberg and Schenker Reconsidered’, JM, 14 (1996), 370–99
    • J. Rufer: ‘Schönberg als Maler: Grenzen und Konvergenzen der Künste’, Aspekte der neuen Musik, ed. W. Burde (Kassel, 1968), 50–57
    • W. Hofmann: ‘Beziehungen zwischen Malerei und Musik’, Schönberg, Webern, Berg: Bilder, Partituren, Dokumente (Vienna, 1969), 103–13
    • A. Sustris, ed.: Zu Arnold Schoenberg als Maler (Klagenfurt, 1991)
    • T. Zaunschirm, ed.: Arnold Schönberg: das bildnerische Werk (Klagenfurt, 1991)

See also


Prelude for chorus and orchestra

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