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Monograph by Schenker written in 1910–12, and published by Universal Edition in 1912.

The initial stimulus for the work was an invitation from the Vereinigung Wiener Musikreferenten (Union of Vienna Music Critics) to give a lecture on the topic of the Ninth symphony (OJ 14/44, September 30, 1910). This came to nothing, but Emil Hertzka of Universal Edition took up the idea of making this into a monograph. The contract for this monograph is dated November 6, 1910 (OC 52/431), the title ultimately being:

Beethovens Neunte Sinfonie: Eine Darstellung des musikalischen Inhaltes unter fortlaufender Berücksichtigung auch des Vortrages und der Literatur

[Beethoven's Ninth Symphony: a portrayal of its musical content, with running commentary on performance and literature as well]

Publication History

The work was submitted to the publisher on May 18, 1911 (OJ 1/10, p. 126) , proof-reading began in late November 1911, the corrected work was sent to the printers, Breitkopf & Härtel, Leipzig, for production on June 11, 1912 and was released on July 2, 1912 in a print-run of 1,000 copies, and a further 200 copies were printed and released on January 20, 1913. (Verlagsdruckbuch UE 3499) The publisher produced a second edition in 1969 (UE 26307). Between 1911 and 1914, Schenker and Universal Edition had plans to produce a full score of the symphony, initially to be incorporated into this volume, later to serve as a companion volume. For this, click on Ninth Symphony Score.

Schenker came to view this monograph as the second of a series of analytical works that he produced between 1910 and 1920, even extending it back to 1903, and distinguished by his own style of "elucidations" (Erläuterungen) remarking: If only you think that UE is showing the principal fortresses of music, the Ninth Symphony, the Chromatic Fantasy, the last five sonatas (even C. P. E. Bach), in that bright new light that humanity will soon come to crave, then UE will henceforth secure superiority over all the publishing houses of Germany. (WSLB 120, June 9, 1912)


  • Beethoven's Ninth Symphony: a Portrayal of its Musical Content, with Running Commentary on Performance and Literature as well, transl. and ed. John Rothgeb (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992)


  • Ian Bent

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