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The sixth issue of Schenker's periodical Der Tonwille (1921–24).


Issue 6, 48 pages in length, focuses on two composers: Schubert and Beethoven.

It marks the long deferred completion of the study of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, covering the third and fourth movements, each treated analytically and as to source study and performance, the article concluding with a survey of the secondary literature for the second, third, and fourth movements.

The recent publication of a facsimile of the autograph manuscript and first edition of Schubert's song "Gretchen at the Spinning Wheel" (in a series to which Schenker had himself contributed) was the impetus for the Schubert focus. In the opening article, Schenker compares the two sources, in a study which gives insight into an important aspect of his teaching: the evaluation of the sources of a piece of music. Schubert is also the subject of three of the four sections of the "Miscellanea" (which is shorter and less political than previous miscellanies), including a brief examination of Schubert's handling of another Goethe poem (this containing a brief, but poignant, recollection of the Dutch baritone Johannes Messchaert (died September 1922), who had engaged Schenker as an accompanist on a concert tour in 1899), and a reprimand ("Genius and State") to commerce and state for failing to recognize the capital asset that Schubert represents.

The issue also includes an exploration of the nature of freedom in musical performance.

Publication History

[to be completed]

Contents List

  • "Franz Schubert: 'Gretchen am Spinnrade': Neue Ergebnisse einer Handschrift-Studie" [Franz Schubert "Gretchen at the Spinning Wheel": Latest Results of a Manuscript Study], 3–8 [II, pp. 3–7]
  • "Beethoven: V. Sinfonie (Schluß)" [Beethoven's Fifth Symphony (Conclusion)], 9–35 [II, pp. 8–30]
  • "Der wahre Vortrag" [True Performance], 36–40 [II, pp. 31–34]
  • "Vermischtes" [Miscellanea], 41–44 [II, pp. 35–38]

  • Enclosure: single-sided Urlinie sheet for the third and fourth Beethoven movements
  • Advertisement (at back): "Beethoven-Schenker: Klavier-Sonaten" (cover)


  • Franz Schuberts fünf erste Lieder: "Am Erlaf-See," "Widerschein," "Die Forelle," "Erlkönig" und "Gretchen am Spinnrade", ed. Otto Erich Deutsch, vol. 4 of Musikalische Seltenheiten: Wiener Liebhaberdrucke, gen. ed. Otto Erich Deutsch (Vienna: Universal Edition, 1922)


  • Ian Bent

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  • OJ 6/7, [7] Handwritten letter from Heinrich Schenker to Moriz Violin, dated October 21, 1923

    In a wide-ranging letter, Schenker expresses his joy at Karl Violin’s improving health, and goes on to mention a number of personal successes he has lately had, including a visit from Paul von Klenau to take advice for a forthcoming performance of Beethoven’s Missa solemnis. He has also had some unexpected support from his publisher, who wants to expand Der Tonwille to a quarterly publication. He is planning to take part in a series of charity concerts (three Haydn piano trios), and has heard that Clemens Kraus and Hans Knappertsbusch are overtaking Furtwängler as conductors in Vienna by accepting more modest fees.

  • OJ 6/7, [8] Handwritten letter from Schenker to Moriz Violin, dated February 14, 1924

    Schenker reports continuing trouble with Hertzka, especially over delays to the publication of Tonwille 5 and 6, which were supposed to appear the previous year, and is beginning to think about legal action. Hertzka has made his position so difficult that he feels obliged to turn down Max Temming's offer of direct financial support for his work. He asks Violin to help find a post in Hamburg for Carl Bamberger, a gifted pupil who, though he neglected his piano studies for a while, is keen to make up for lost time. Finally, he asks if Violin received any of the four volumes of the Beethoven piano sonata edition.

  • DLA 69.930/12 Handwritten letter from Schenker to Halm, dated April 3‒4, 1924

    In response to matters raised by Halm in two previous letters, Schenker discusses figuration, distinguishing between that which works only on the surface and that which arises out of the middle and background, drawing on primal intervals. He also concedes that he heard Bruckner improvising, and criticizes it adversely. He refers to Reger, and outlines plans for forthcoming volumes of Der Tonwille.

  • OJ 10/3, [40] Typewritten letter from Deutsch to Schenker, dated May 9, 1924

    Deutsch thanks Schenker for the most recent (sixth) issue of Tonwille. He read Schenker's comments on Schubert's "Gretchen am Spinnrade" (Op. 2) with great interest, although he did not fully understand them. Deutsch encloses an announcement from the publisher Vieweg that may be of interest to Schenker.

  • OJ 10/1, [85] Handwritten letter from Dahms to Schenker, dated June 18, 1924

    The Dahmses send birthday greetings. They are staying in the Abruzzi; will not get to Galtür; Dahms will visit Germany. He has read Tonwille 6 and 7 with interest.

  • OJ 14/46, [2] Handwritten letter from Fanny Violin to Heinrich Schenker, dated June 18, 1924

    Fanny thanks Schenker for sending Tonwille 5 and 6 and reports holiday plans.

  • OJ 6/7, [23] Handwritten letter from Schenker to Moriz Violin, dated July 26, 1925

    Two weeks after arriving in Galtür for the summer holidays, Schenker reports that he has caught up on his sleep and has already dictated an essay on Reger's Variations and Fugue on a Theme of J. S. Bach, Op. 81. He will not allow the legal wrangle with Universal Edition to interfere with his holiday, but he is annoyed about not having been paid by Drei Masken Verlag for the manuscript of Meisterwerk 1. He has responded to a critique of his Erläuterungsausgabe of Op. 110, in an essay in Meisterwerk 1, but will not pursue other attacks upon his work and those of his pupils. The Schenker medallion designed by Alfred Rothberger is going to a second impression; but the mezzotint portrait by Viktor Hammer, which Jeanette finds a superior work, has not yet been printed. Throughout the letter, Schenker urges Violin to bring his family to Galtür sometime during the summer.