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Facsimile edition, edited by Schenker, with introduction, of Beethoven, Piano Sonata in C# minor, Op. 27, No. 2 ("Moonlight").

The facsimile was published by Universal Edition in 1921, with publication number UE 7000. In UE's Nummernverzeichnis, it is subtitled "Luxusausgabe" ("Luxury edition"); an English edition was planned, with publication number UE 7000a. It was the first volume in a series edited by Otto Erich Deutsch, the remainder of which can be seen listed below.

Publication History

Otto Erich Deutsch had obtained Emil Hertzka's agreement at Universal Edition for a series informally titled "Connoisseur Prints" by early January 1920, the facsimile of the "Moonlight" Sonata by Schenker being designated as the first volume in the series (OJ 10/3, [5]). The contract for the volume is dated December 16, 1920 (OC 52/485). Schenker handed over the materials for the volume to Hertzka on July 2, 1921 (OC 52/229), and the volume was released in about November 1921 (OJ 10/3, [25]).

Title Page

  • L. van Beethoven, Sonata op. 27, n. 2 (Die sogenannte Mondscheinsonate). Mit drei Skizzenblättern des Meisters, herausgegeben in Faksimile-Reproduktion von Heinrich Schenker, Musikalische Seltenheiten: Wiener Liebhaberdrucke, gen. ed. Otto Erich Deutsch, vol. I (Vienna: UE, 1921)
  • L van Beethoven, Sonata Op. 27, No. 2 (The so-called "Moonlight" Sonata), with three sketch leaves by the composer, edited in facsimile by Heinrich Schenker, Musical Rarities: Viennese Connoisseur Prints, gen. ed. Otto Erich Deutsch, vol. I (Vienna: UE, 1921).

Paul Bekker's review

Among the reviews of this work was an unfavorable one in 1922 by the chief music critic of the Frankfurter Zeitung, Paul Bekker, author of a book on Beethoven (1911). In the "secondary literature" sections of the Erläuterungsausgabe of late Beethoven sonatas (1913–20), Schenker had repeatedly criticized opinions expressed in that book; and for that on Op. 101 he wrote a lengthy rejoinder, which Hertzka suppressed at proof stage, to an article by Bekker entitled "Criticism and Personality."

After a brief history of facsimile production, enumerating the advantages of facsimiles, Bekker proceeded to give favorable coverage to two facsimile editions by Drei Masken Verlag, then continuing: At the same time, Universal Edition of Vienna is publishing facsimile prints of Beethoven's C#-minor Sonata, Op. 27, and of three songs by Brahms, "Mainacht," "Sapphische Ode," and "Nachtwandler." The technical execution of the reproduction here, too, is laudable, the external make-up is less auspiciously handled. For a start, I regret that it was considered appropriate to include the expression "Moonlight Sonata" in the title of the Beethoven work. Still more unwelcome with facsimile prints, in which each beholder seeks direct contact with the composer, is the effect of superfluous and sterile introductions by the editors: Kalbeck's prolixly turgid expatiations about Brahms just as much so as the ridiculous comments by Schenker on Beethoven’s autograph along with his "Urlinie." If such personal expectorations have to be published at all, then at least they are out of place in this context, and actually spoil the impression of such a publication.

Upon seeing this review, Schenker resurrected the suppressed rejoinder and recast it for Der Tonwille issue 2, including a polemical response to the above criticism, remarking at one point: Can one not see clearly how Bekker begrudges me my objectivity, only to denigrate it as a "personal expectoration" just for the sake of denigrating me? Pure vengeance, which only proves that he finds "personal expectoration" in matters of art – exactly as I do – insipid and iniquitous. Moreover, he appears to rely for support on the widely read Frankfurter Zeitung, in whose services he is engaged. […] I can say boldly that I am stronger than Bekker and his paper – his shield – because I am engaged in services of the aristocracy of genius. […] And so he should learn to be modest; otherwise he should say wherein I have been factually incorrect in my criticism of him. […]

However, Hertzka refused to publish it in this form, too, this refusal contributing in part to the deferral of all "Miscellanea" from issue 2 to issue 3, and thus to the further deterioration of relations between Schenker and UE. The item remained unpublished in German.


  • Bekker, Paul, Beethoven (Berlin: Schuster und Löffler, 1911, 2/1912) [copy in Schenker's private library at his death]
  • Bekker, Paul, "Kritik und Persönlichkeit," Frankfurter Zeitung Nov 7, 1919 [preserved as OC 12/1225]
  • Bekker, Paul, "Musiker-Faksimiles," Frankfurter Zeitung April 25, 1922 [preserved as OC 2/p. 60]
  • Schenker, Heinrich, "Music Criticism", in Der Tonwille: Pamphlets/Quarterly Publication in Witness …, ed. William Drabkin, vol. II (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005), pp. 161–65 [not published in German]

Musikalische Seltenheiten series

[Only the first six volumes are known certainly to be part of Deutsch's series, since these are listed in UE's advertisement for the series in Der Tonwille Heft 3 (1922). The remainder are given here on the basis of their all being facsimile editions, and of the proximity of their UE numbers. Volume editors are known for only the first six, and publication dates only for the first two.]

  • Musikalische Seltenheiten: Wiener Liebhaberdrucke, gen. ed. O. E. Deutsch:
  • I: L. van Beethoven, Sonate op. 27 Nr 2 in Cis Moll, ed. H. Schenker (UE 7000: 1921)
  • II: Joseph Haydn, Zwölf schottische Volkslieder, ed. E. Mandyczewski (UE 7001: 1921)
  • III: Johannes Brahms, Drei Lieder, ed. M. Kalbeck (UE 7002)
  • IV: Franz Schuberts fünf erste Lieder, ed. O. E. Deutsch (UE 7003)
  • V: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Zwei Rondos, ed. H. Gal (UE 7004)
  • VI: Johann Sebastian Bach, Präludium und Fuge H moll für Orgel, ed. G. Kinsky (UE 7005: 1923)
  • VII: Richard Strauss, Tod und Verklärung (UE 7008)
  • VIII: J. S. Bach, Kaffeekantate (UE 7009)
  • IX: Mozart, Jupiter-Symphonie (UE 7010)


  • Ian Bent

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