Photograph of letter from Heinrich Schenker to Otto Erich Deutsch

Letter from Schenker to Otto Erich Deutsch, May 15, 1930 (OJ 5/9, [3])

Otto Erich Deutsch had by 1930 established himself as the leading authority on Schubert and his music. He was also a book dealer in Vienna and the librarian of a collection of manuscripts and early editions. Schenker ‒ no respecter of persons! ‒ clearly held him in high regard. The two had been in correspondence since 1913, Schenker had produced a volume for a series edited by Deutsch, and the two had collaborated editorially.

The letter shown here bespeaks cordiality between the two men: the informality of the handwriting, absence of an address at the head of the letter, curtailed signature "HSch," and the way the letter plunges into its subject without preliminaries. It includes music notation, with simple analytical annotations below. The whole letter is in Schenker's usual black-brown ink, except for the reddish-brown crayon marking out the final paragraph, which may be Schenker's way of drawing attention to the change of subject or Deutsch's way of marking something that he needed to remember.

To see the Schenker Documents Online edition of this letter, go to OJ 5/9, [3]