A Schoenberg Reader


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Joseph Auner

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Arnold Schoenberg’s close involvement with many of the principal developments of twentieth-century music, most importantly the break with tonality and the creation of twelve-tone composition, generated controversy from the time of his earliest works to the present day. This authoritative new collection of Schoenberg’s essays, letters, literary writings, musical sketches, paintings, and drawings offers fresh insights into the composer’s life, work, and thought.

The documents, many previously unpublished or untranslated, reveal the relationships between various aspects of Schoenberg’s activities in composition, music theory, criticism, painting, performance, and teaching. They also show the significance of events in his personal and family life, his evolving Jewish identity, his political concerns, and his close interactions with such figures as Gustav and Alma Mahler, Alban Berg, Wassily Kandinsky, and Thomas Mann. Extensive commentary by Joseph Auner places the documents and materials in context and traces important themes throughout Schoenberg’s career from turn-of-century Vienna to Weimar Berlin to nineteen-fifties Los Angeles.

Joseph Auner is professor of music at the State University of New York, Stony Brook, and editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Musicological Society.

“The book is mandatory for Schoenberg scholars and most highly recommended for a general musicological readership. It sets a standard that other such collections should emulate.”—Murray Dineen, Music Library Association

“Not since O. E. Deutsch’s work on Handel and Schubert has a major composer been treated to a documentary biography as impressive as this one. Auner’s Schoenberg Reader is a splendid and essential volume of first-rate scholarship.”—Walter Frisch, Columbia University, author of The Early Works of Arnold Schoenberg

"This book gives a fuller, richer indication of Schoenberg’s remarkable range of interests and the seemingly endless reach of his imagination than anything else I know."—Robert Morgan, Yale University

“The most comprehensive survey so far of Schoenberg’s fraught life and works in the composer’s own words.”—Bayan Northcott, BBC Music Magazine

"A Schoenberg Reader: Documents of a Life is an excellent collection of letters, essays, music, and art by Arnold Schoenberg . . . These documents, along with commentary by Joseph Auner, give readers insight into Schoenberg's life and thoughts. . . . This book would be an excellent choice for someone interested in perusing original documents about a composer and performer from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries."—Christina Lamare, Music Educators Journal
ISBN: 9780300176933
Publication Date: April 15, 2011
476 pages, 6 x 9
26 b/w illus.