Aufnahmedatum: 1949 August 23
Dauer: 4:15
Beschreibung: On the suppression of Schoenberg's music. In English.
Signatur: 104/D; 48/R7; 50/R7
Publikationen: keine


SCHOENBERG: Olin Downes in the New York Times expresses astonishment over a report that twelve-tone music is spreading out in all of W
estern Europe while here one considered it to be a dying "art." Let me correct this: one did not only "consider" it a dying art; one understood to "corriger la fortune" by "making" it a dying art.
When in 1933 I came to America I was a very renowned composer, even so that Mr. Goebbels himself in his "Der Angriff" reprimanded me for leaving Germany. Thanks to the attitude of most American conductors and under the leadership of Toscanini, Koussevitzky, and of Walter, suppression of my works soon began with the effect that the number of my performances sunk to an extremely low point. A year ago I had counted in Europe alone about a hundred performances of my works.
There was also opposition and violent propoganda against my music in Europe. But musical education was high enough to meet the opposition of the illiterate. Therefore there existed a satisfactory number of first class musicians who at once were able to recognize that logic, order, and organization will be greatly promoted by application of the method of composing with twelve tones. Even under Hitler, twelve-tone music was not suppressed, as I have learned.
On the contrary, it was compared to the idea of Der Führer by the German composer Paul von Klenau, who composed operas in this style. In order to try to make this art a dying art some agitators had to use a method which I will baptise "the prefabricated history." Namely, assuming that history repeats itself, that compared our period to that of Bach, or rather of Telemann, Kayser, and Mattheson.
Even if this comparison is correct I can be very happy. Because we see how Bach died and how hale and hearty Telemann's, Kayser's, and Mattheson's music is alive. It should be discouraging to my suppressors to recognize the failure of their attempts. You cannot change the natural evolution of the arts by a command; you may make a New Year's resolution to write only what everybody likes, but you cannot force real artists to descend to the lowest possible standard, to give up moral, character, and sincerity, to avoid presentation of new ideas. Even Stalin cannot succeed and Aaron Copland even less.