‘Radio-Controlled’, BBC R3 Feature, Sun 11 April 18:45. New Music after 1945 in Germany.

On Sunday 11 April at 18:45, on BBC Radio 3, the Sunday Feature will be a programme called ‘Radio Controlled’, looking at the role of radio stations in supporting and promoting new music in Germany. This is based extensively upon my own research and I am interviewed at length for the feature. My work on radio forms part of a wider research project, drawing extensively upon a large amount of archival data and also many German newspapers from the period, into the origins of German (and indeed European) new music in the period from 1945 to 1951, and its earlier provenance during the Weimar Republic and to some extent through the Third Reich.

Some time ago, I figured out to myself that the infrastructure for new music in Europe had its origins in West Germany, in the sense that in that country, before anywhere else, there was a large and elaborate range of festivals, concert series, radio stations broadcasting new music, dedicated journals, newspapers with a range of sympathetic critics, and educational institutions in which modernist composers had teaching positions. Nowadays similar such infrastructures exist, and have done for some decades, in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, Italy, Spain, Finland and elsewhere, but that in Germany was essentially in place by the early 1950s. Considering how devastated the country was been after the war, with over three-quarters of buildings destroyed in many major cities, this was a remarkable development, which took place very quickly. I was fascinated to explore how and why this could have happened, exactly which types of music were most favoured at the time (not just those that today’s historical filter determines to be important). Other scholars, including historians David Monod, Toby Thacker, Elizabeth Janik and Andreas Linsenmann, had explored wider aspects of post-war German musical life and its reconstruction, but while all had considered new music, none had made this the primary focus of their study.

There have been other historical models applied loosely in this respect: the so-called Stunde null or ‘zero hour’ model, which maintains that in the wake of the devastation of war, Germany had to rebuild itself from scratch. This was equally true of music, necessitating the forging a new language, free of the tainted historical past. Another model, based upon some questionable writings of Frances Stonor Saunders and others, and widely disseminated by Richard Taruskin, maintains that new music was essentially fuelled by the United States and its intelligence agencies, beginning in the occupation era, and the most ‘abstract’ (especially atonal and pointillistic) work was supported in opposition to Soviet ideals of socialist realism, especially following the Zhdanov Decree of 1948. Thus new music was enlisted as a weapon in the cultural Cold War.

Both these models contain grains of truth, but both are also too simplistic. There were a great many continuities of works, styles and personnel in German music before and after 1945. There is also very little evidence of US support for the most radical new music in Germany after the occupation era, though there was certainly a programme in place in the late 1940s to promote US composers, who were mostly contemporary. These were however mostly the likes of Howard Hanson, Aaron Copland, Quincy Porter or Walter Piston. In the 1950s John Cage would visit Germany on several occasions, and his influence was pronounced and sustained, but there is little evidence of this being connected to any wider US government policy or Cold War strategy. The latter was mostly focused elsewhere (the German programme of the leading agency, the Congress for Cultural Freedom, was relatively small and mostly focused upon Berlin) and they promoted neo-classical music and jazz more actively than the far-out achievements of the post-war avant-garde.

What is a much more significant factor, in my view, is the concept of Nachholbedarf (‘catching up’), which was used widely immediately after 1945. This held basically that Germany had been cut off from all significant international and modernist developments in music for a period of 12 years, and so it was now necessary to ‘catch up’. The assumptions entailed here were at most only partially true, however. Whilst the protagonists of one wing of Nazi aesthetic ideology, epitomised by Alfred Rosenberg and his Kampfbund für deutsche Kultur , were implacably hostile to modernism in all the arts, others thought differently, as did their counterparts in fascist Italy. Composers such as Bartók and Stravinsky were quite widely performed in Nazi Germany at least up until the early years of the war, while the twelve-tone composer and Schoenberg student Winfried Zillig won great success for a range of operas and took a position as music director in occupied Poznań, in Poland (part of the so-called Warthegau, a region of Poland which was the site of some of the most atrocious racial policies against both Jewish people and Poles at the hands of fanatical ideologue Arthur Greiser). Much has been made of the Entartete Musik exhibition in Düsseldorf in 1938, now and also after 1945, but this was not a large-scale event and was in many ways a personal obsession of the organiser Hans Severus Ziegler. It was not attended by many prominent musicians, and did not impress Joseph Goebbels, who wrote about it in his diaries. There was plenty of international music performed throughout the Reich, though generally from friendly nations. Modern Italian music could be heard regularly, as could Spanish music after 1939, while there were tours from Romanian, Hungarian, Bulgarian musicians, even a reasonable amount of Russian music during the period of the Nazi-Soviet Pact. Japanese conductor Hidemaro Konoye travelled repeatedly to conduct the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, and and his score Etenraku (1930), based on a traditional gagaku melody, was played widely throughout the Third Reich and occupied territories. Cultural exchange associations between fascist nations sprung up during the period, while Peter Raabe, head of the Reichsmusikkammer after Richard Strauss’s resignation, essentially subscribed to what is now thought of as a ‘nationalistic cosmopolitics’, favourable towards multiple cultural nationalisms, in opposition to pan-national cosmopolitanism. Raabe was also sympathetic to a fair amount of modernist music. He conducted Schoenberg, Hindemith, Skryabin and others when Generalmusikdirektor in Aachen from 1918 to 1929, and was impressed when he heard Berg’s Wozzeck.

Nonetheless, the assumptions underlying the concept of Nachholbedarf were rarely questioned after 1945, and this argument was used to justify the creation of a range of specialised institutions for new music, gaining financial support from local and state authorities, and the occupying powers, towards this end. Many contemporary institutions for new music were either founded during this period or have their roots there. Furthermore, the US, France and the Soviet Union all had extensive cultural programmes, in large measure devoted to promoting culture from their own countries for a variety of motives (for the US, in part from an inferiority complex, aware of German perceptions that the US was a highly commercialised society lacking high culture; for the French, in order to supplant Germany as the central nation for European culture; for the Soviet Union, in order to promote the purportedly superior possibilities for culture under communism). The UK had a certain programme, but it was relatively modest, and primarily focused upon the press and media, seen as vital in generating a culture of political pluralism.

Furthermore, as has been shown above all in the comprehensive scholarship of Martin Thrun, there was an extremely extensive infrastructure for new music in place during the Weimar Republic. Berlin, Frankfurt, Cologne, Stuttgart, Munich and elsewhere all had extensive cultures of new music – and some of the musical aesthetics entailed a more radical break with the recent past (with widespread opposition to the values of Wagnerism and Imperial Germany prominent especially amongst the Novembergruppe of artists in Berlin) than was the case after 1945. A great many festivals and concert series came and went between 1918 and 1933, some continuing beyond 1933. Radio began in Germany in late 1923, and a few years later stations were commissioning new works of music, and composers exploiting the specific possibilities of the medium.

However, this was a time of huge economic instability, and few of the institutions proved financially stable for this reason. The same situation was naturally true after 1945, especially at the time of currency reform in 1948, in which the introduction of a new currency rendered many people’s savings essentially worthless. However, this is where the role of the radio stations, whose funding was relatively stable due to a licence fee system, is crucial. Many of the most prominent and important festivals and concert series for new music – in Munich, Darmstadt, Frankfurt, Donaueschingen, Baden-Baden, Stuttgart, Heidelberg, Cologne and Hamburg in particular – were supported by radio stations, which gave them a staying power which was rare in the 1920s.

Furthermore, it is vital to consider some of the individuals involved with these radio stations – figures such as Heinrich Strobel at Südwestfunk in Baden-Baden, who did a huge amount to support and promote contemporary French music, Herbert Eimert at the branch of Nordwestdeutscher Rundfunk in Cologne (later Westdeutscher Rundfunk), who founded the electronic music studio in Cologne and was mentor to the young Karlheinz Stockhausen, Eigel Kruttge, the first music director at the same station and later co-founder of the important new music series Musik der Zeit, Hans Heinz Stuckenschmidt at Rundfunk im amerikanischen Sektor in Berlin, who presented a range of programmes with quasi-Socratic dialogues between himself and other individuals unsympathetic to new music, Heinz Schröter at Radio Frankfurt, later Hessischer Rundfunk, who developed a major new music festival in Bad Nauheim and then Frankfurt, and was also involved in supporting the courses at Darmstadt, or Herbert Hübner, also at Nordwestdeutscher Rundfunk (later Norddeutscher Rundfunk) but at the central headquarters in Hamburg, who like others created a special late-night series devoted to new music, and from 1951 the series das neue werk, Otto-Erich Schilling at Radio Stuttgart, later Süddeutscher Rundfunk in Stuttgart, or Heinz Pringsheim at Radio Munich, later Bayerischer Rundfunk.  All of these figures had a strong commitment to new music, and almost all were appointed to key positions between 1945 and 1946 (Hübner in 1947). Some had very questionable pasts: Schilling, Kruttge and Hübner had been NSDAP members (possibly also Stuckenschmidt, and also certainly his wife, singer Margot Hinnenberg-Lefèbre, though both may have been entered without their consent), as had other influential figures such as composers Wolfgang Fortner, Ernst Lothar von Knorr and Gerhard Frommel, Robert Ruthenfranz, founder of the Wittener Tage für Neue Kammermusik in 1936, Hugo Herrmann, an interim director of the Donaueschinger Musiktage and musical director of other festivals in Konstanz, Trossingen and Tübingen right after the war, pianist Eduard Erdmann, choral expert Siegfried Goslich, who worked at the radio station in Weimar, in the Soviet Zone, after 1945, and from 1948 played a major role in developing new music at Radio Bremen, or electronic music pioneer Werner Meyer-Eppler. Schilling had written an opera based on the anti-semitic propaganda film Jüd Suß and also a cantata beginning with the text ‘Wir hassen den Juden und lieben, was deutsch ist’ (‘We hate the Jews and love that which is German’). Stuckenschmidt and Eimert’s Nazi-era journalism sometimes parroted Nazi propaganda, as did that of Strobel when writing for the Nazi occupation paper Pariser Zeitung, though in Strobel’s case it should be borne in mind that he was married to a Jewish woman and there is good evidence that he made whatever compromises were necessary to protect her.

But in almost all cases the individuals involved with radio found that the occupying powers found them acceptable and were happy to allow them to take up the positions they did. Kruttge was an exception, and removed from his position at an early stage for a period. Why this was depends on individual cases: in some cases there was simply not the time for the military authorities to investigate the fine details of some people’s journalism and employment of Nazi tropes and rhetoric, and this became less and less of a concern as denazification was scaled down and handed over to German authorities, before being brought to an end entirely. In the case of Strobel, who been an opponent of German romanticism and indeed the expressionism of Schoenberg back in the 1920s, the French authorities had plenty of good reason to believe in his Francophile tendencies, notwithstanding his wartime journalism. As such he could be counted upon to support their own cultural agenda, a prediction which proved wholly accurate.

Without the work of these individuals at radio stations, I do not believe that not only avant-garde German composers such as Karlheinz Stockhausen (and arguably less radical composers such as Hans Werner Henze or Giselher Klebe), but also those from elsewhere including Pierre Boulez, Luigi Nono, Bruno Maderna, and indeed John Cage, all of whom were widely performed in West Germany, would have gained the reputation and profile that they did, at least for a period. And their work paved the way for subsequent generations.

‘New music’ is a concept whose roots are in an essay ‘Neue Musik’ published by critic Paul Bekker in 1919, stimulating a wide range of responses through the 1920s), in the sense of a separate realm of musical activity from more ‘mainstream’ classical music, with financial support from sources other than ticket sales and private sponsorship. It is fundamentally a phenomenon borne out of particular historical circumstances in Germany after crushing defeat in 1918 and 1945. This is not the whole picture, for sure, and one should not neglect other parallel developments elsewhere – for  example the Festival internazionale di musica contemporanea founded in Venice in 1932 (thus in the midst of the Fascist era), which continues to the present day, or other developments in France, Austria, the UK and elsewhere. But the scale of such a thing was greatest in Germany. What then becomes a difficult question for all of those (including myself) committed to and involved with such a scene, is what is the basis for its continuation, and financial support, now that historical conditions have changed, and the legitimising arguments for the associated infrastructure no longer have the same cogency.

 

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On Canons (and teaching Le Sacre du Printemps)

I have been meaning for a while to post something detailed in my ‘Musicological Observations’ on the vexed subject of musical ‘canons’. A debate will take place tomorrow (Wednesday 23rd November, 2016) at City, University of London, on the subject, which I unfortunately have to miss, as I am away for a concert and conference in Lisbon. Having for a long period taught canonical (and also less canonical) music , and also lectured on the subject of canons in general, I naturally have plenty of thoughts and would have liked to contribute; I suggested most of the texts below (a list which is generally weighted in an anti-canonical direction, which is not my personal view). Nonetheless, the organiser of the debate, Christine Dysers, was very keen when I suggested I might blog something in advance of the debate, including some sceptical thoughts on the abstract. So here goes….

The abstract for this debate reads as follows:

“Dead White Men? Who Needs Musical Canons?”

What is the nature and purpose of musical canons? And what are the systems of authority that they sustain? Do they tend to act, as Jim Samson has suggested, ‘as an instrument of exclusion, one which legitimates and reinforces the identities and values of those who exercise cultural power’ (Samson 2001:7; from ‘Canon (iii)’, The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. Stanley Sadie (2nd edn). Volume 5:6-7. London: Macmillan).

In this debate, speakers will explore notions of canonicity, particularly in relation to Euro-American art music. They will examine the reasons for the emergence of (largely composedly) canons and ask whether they still serve a useful purpose in the 21st Century.

Among other issues, speakers will consider the relations of power that underpin processes of canon-formation and ask whose ‘voices’ become marginalised, excluded or even forgotten. This will include, but not be restricted to, consideration of gender dimensions of canon-formation and how processes of inclusion/exclusion reflect underlying values, and ultimately ideas about the very ontology of ‘music’ itself. Such debates also raise questions about the role of canons in shaping categories of creative agency and hierarchies between ‘composer’, ‘performer’ and (often presented as rather passive) ‘listener’.

Suggested preparatory reading:

  1. Charles Altieri, ‘An Idea and Ideal of a Literary Canon’, Critical Inquiry 10/1 (Canons) (September 1983), pp. 37-60 – on literature, but one of the most notable essays which is more sympathetic to canons – https://www.jstor.org/stable/1343405?seq=1#fndtn-page_scan_tab_contents
  1. Katherine Bergeron and Philip V. Bohlman (eds), Disciplining Music: Musicology and Its Canons (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1992). In particular Bergeron, ‘Prologue: Disciplining Music’, pp. 1-9, and Randel, ‘The Canons in the Musicological Toolbox’, pp. 10-22.
  1. John Butt, ‘What is a ‘Musical Work’? Reflections on the origins of the ‘work concept’ in western art music’, in Concepts of Music and Copyright: How Music Perceives Itself and How Copyright Perceives Music, ed. Andreas Rahmatian (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2015), pp. 1-22.
  1. Joseph Kerman, ‘A Few Canonic Variations’, Critical Inquiry 10/1 (Canons) (September 1983), pp. 107-125 – one of the first major essays on canon issues in a musical context, and still an extremely important text on the subject – https://www.jstor.org/stable/1343408?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
  2. Simon Zagorski-Thomas, ‘Dead White Composers’ – full text, link to recording, and a series of responses can be read here – https://ianpace.wordpress.com/2016/04/27/responses-to-simon-zagorski-thomass-talk-on-dead-white-composers

 

I find this abstract very deeply problematic in many ways. It is permeated throughout with a great many assumptions presented as if established facts, when they should actually be hypotheses for critical engagement, as if to try and bracket out any type of perspective which is at odds with those assumptions.

The first paragraph is almost a model of leading questions:

What is the nature and purpose of musical canons? And what are the systems of authority that they sustain? Do they tend to act, as Jim Samson has suggested, ‘as an instrument of exclusion, one which legitimates and reinforces the identities and values of those who exercise cultural power’ (Samson 2001:7; from ‘Canon (iii)’, The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. Stanley Sadie (2nd edn). Volume 5:6-7. London: Macmillan).  

Who has determined a priori that canons do indeed serve to sustain systems of authority? Whether indeed this is the case needs to be answered, and substantiated either way, rather than assumed. And, for that matter, how is a ‘canon’ defined (below I argue that fundamentally it is a necessary teaching tool)? Is it the set of composers who are regularly taught in particular institutions, or those who have sustained a regular listenership over a period of time, or those seen as epitomising particular strains of musical ‘progress’ through advanced and innovative compositional techniques, or indeed groups of musicians other than composers? Those questions may be said to fall within the issues of the ‘nature and purpose of musical canons’, but a less leading second question would be something along the lines of ‘Do canons serve to sustain other systems of authority, and if so, how?’

Samson is a subtle and nuanced thinker, who has written perceptively on (relatively) canonical composers such as Chopin and Liszt, and whose PhD dissertation, later published as a book, Music in Transition: A Study of Tonal Expansion and Atonality 1900-1920 (London: Dent, 1977) , focused on mostly canonical figures associated with the period of ‘transition’ at the beginning of the twentieth century. So I went back to the context of this quote (I do not have a hard copy of New Grove to hand, but see no reason to believe that the online version is different). Here is the actual quote:

The canon has been viewed increasingly as an instrument of exclusion, one which legitimates and reinforces the identities and values of those who exercise cultural power. In particular, challenges have issued from Marxist, feminist and post-colonial approaches to art, where it is argued that class, gender and race have been factors in the inclusion of some and the marginalization of others. 

Samson does not ‘suggest’ this view, he points out that certain types of thinkers in particular have thought this – a view is being attributed to him which he is attributing to others. In this sense, the abstract misrepresents Samson’s balanced entry on the subject. I would draw attention to his second paragraph, which offers a wider (and global) perspective, and provides a good starting point for discussion:

Music sociologists such as Walter Wiora have demonstrated that certain differentiations and hierarchies are common to the musical cultures of virtually all social communities; in short, such concepts as Ars Nova, Ars Subtilior and Ars Classica are by no means unique to western European traditions. Perhaps the most extreme formulation of an Ars Classica would be the small handful of pieces comprising the traditional solo shakuhachi repertory of Japan, where the canon stands as an image of timeless perfection in sharp contrast to the contemporary world. But even in performance- and genre-orientated musical cultures such as those of sub-Saharan Africa, or the sub- and counter-cultures of North American and British teenagers since the 1960s, there has been a tendency to privilege particular repertories as canonic. Embedded in this privilege is a sense of the ahistorical, and essentially disinterested, qualities of these repertories, as against their more temporal, functional and contingent qualities. A canon, in other words, tends to promote the autonomy character, rather than the commodity character, of musical works. For some critics, the very existence of canons – their independence from changing fashions – is enough to demonstrate that aesthetic value can only be understood in an essentialist way, something we perceive intuitively, but (since it transcends conceptual thought) are unable to explain or even describe.

To present a range of different views on the role of canons might be more in the spirit of a debate.

Moving to the next paragraph:

In this debate, speakers will explore notions of canonicity, particularly in relation to Euro-American art music. They will examine the reasons for the emergence of (largely composedly) canons and ask whether they still serve a useful purpose in the 21st Century. 

Phrases like ‘speakers will explore’ or ‘they will examine’ sound almost like diktats; more to the point, why single out Euro-American art music? Why not consider, say, the Great American Songbook, or some other repertoire of musical ‘standards’, which could be argued to serve an equally canonical purpose? Or how about looking at what I would argue is the canonical status of various popular musicians or bands – the Beatles, Madonna, and others – within popular music studies in higher education? Or at aspects of Asian musical traditions which some would argue are also canonical in the manner described in the Samson paragraph above?

Then the third paragraph:

Among other issues, speakers will consider the relations of power that underpin processes of canon-formation and ask whose ‘voices’ become marginalised, excluded or even forgotten. This will include, but not be restricted to, consideration of gender dimensions of canon-formation and how processes of inclusion/exclusion reflect underlying values, and ultimately ideas about the very ontology of ‘music’ itself. Such debates also raise questions about the role of canons in shaping categories of creative agency and hierarchies between ‘composer’, ‘performer’ and (often presented as rather passive) ‘listener’.  

Once again we encounter many hypotheses presented as if established facts (and more diktats: ‘speakers will consider…’). Many of these loaded statements could be reframed as critical questions: for example, do canons indeed serve a function of marginalisation and exclusion?. I would ask whether, not how, processes of inclusion/exclusion reflect underlying values, whether canon-formation is a gendered process, and whether they shape the very categories of creative agency and hierarchies mentioned above. As I have recently criticised in some blurb accompanying a lavishly funded research project, this reads like an attempt to skip the difficult questions and present conclusions without doing the research first.

So, on to some thoughts of my own on the basic debate. Proper responses to the texts in questions (and others) will have to wait for a later post. I started thinking in a more sustained fashion about issues of canons first in the context of reading widely about the teaching of literature, then during my time as a Research Fellow at Southampton University, where the ‘new musicology’ was strong (I started off very sceptical, but was determined to familiarise myself with this work properly, then for a period believed that these musicologists were raising some important questions, even if I did not agree with many of their answers; nowadays I wonder if that engagement was a bit of waste of time and energy). There I taught a module on ‘Classical Music and Society’, which looked at various explicitly social/political paradigms for engaging with Western classical music, going back as far as Plato, and including a fair amount of Adorno, requiring students to actually read some of the original writings rather than simply rely upon secondary literature, though a critical approach was strongly urged (whilst basically sympathetic to the broad outlook of Adorno and other members of the Frankfurt School, I have many serious problems with this work, not least in terms of the reliance upon Freudian psychoanalysis). Some of the best essays which resulted were quite scathing about Adorno – though also some excellent ones were quite sympathetic.

Anyhow, in a lecture on Adorno’s views on modernism and mass culture, I contrasted the compositional technique and aesthetics on display in Igor Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps and in a range of works from Arnold Schoenberg’s ‘free atonal’ period. I did not expect many students to be familiar with Schoenberg, but was quite shocked when only a tiny number had at that stage heard Le Sacre. This made engagement with the issues Adorno raised all the harder.

I determined from that point that if I had the opportunity to teach a broad-based music history module, I wanted to ensure that the students taking it would at least have encountered this work – and numerous others. Not that I would demand any of them necessarily view it or other works positively (as Simon Zagorski-Thomas erroneously suggests is the primary purpose of musical education in Russell Group universities), but they had to have heard it properly in order to be able to develop any type of view.

Now Le Sacre remains a controversial work, about which I have many reservations, despite having played the two-piano/four-hand version a number of times with two duo partners, and listened to countless performances and recordings, and studied the work in some depth. But by so many criteria – in terms of lasting place in the repertoire and long-term popularity, influence on other composers, strong relationship to many other aesthetic and ideological currents, or revolutionising of musical language – Le Sacre is a vastly important work. Petrouchka runs it close (and possibly some later Stravinsky works as well). But I have yet to hear a convincing argument that, say, the contemporary works of Aleksander Glazunov or Nikolay Roslavets, or those of Max Reger, Albert Roussel, Pietro Mascagni after Cavalleria Rusticana, or Amy Beach, can be considered of equal significance by any measure (which is not to deny that their work can be of interest). But if comparing the work of Claude Debussy, Schoenberg, Aleksander Skryabin, Giacomo Puccini, Serge Rachmaninoff, and others, such an argument may be plausible. Or with respect to the work of leading jazz musicians – King Oliver, Kid Ory, Louis Armstrong, Lil Hardin Armstrong, The Original Dixieland Jazz Band, Jelly Roll Morton, James Reece Europe, Earl Hines, Fletcher Henderson and his orchestra, Paul Whiteman and his orchestra, Bix Beiderbecke, and many others active a decade after the premiere of Le Sacre. That is simply to allow for a diverse range of tendencies, all perceived to be of palpable importance, not to dissolve any judgement of value or indeed exclude the possibility of canon.

In short I want to argue for a reasonably broad and inclusive canon, if the term is viewed as a teaching tool. Anyone who has taught music history knows that the time available for teaching is finite, and so making choices of what to include, and what not, is inevitable (as with any approach to wider history). Students entering higher education in music often have only very limited exposure to a wider range of music, and need both encouragement and some direction in this respect; the only way to avoid making choices and establishing hierarchies is to give up on doing this. The moment one decides, when teaching Western classical music, to spend more time on Ludwig van Beethoven than Carl Stamitz, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart than Antonio Salieri, or Frédéric Chopin than Friedrich Kalkbrenner, one has established hierarchies of value.

When I got to teach my broad historical module – which covered the period 1848-2001 and I ran for six years – I attempted some breadth of approach (which made the module more than a little intense), incorporating various urban popular musics as much as classical traditions, including a substantial component on the histories of jazz, blues, gospel, rock ‘n’ roll, and many diverse popular traditions from the 1960s onwards, as well as much wider consideration of the possible historical, social and political dimensions of music-making and musical life during the period in question, which necessitated incorporation of a fair amount of wider history as well, working under the assumption that many students would not be that familiar with such events as the revolutions of 1848, or the shifting allegiances and nationalistic rivalries between the major powers in the period leading up to World War One. But this was still a course in music history, not a wider history course in which music was just one of many possible cultural tangents (the first time I taught it, I realised it was in danger of going in this direction, and I modified it accordingly in subsequent years), and so I needed to include a fair amount of actual music, music which could be listened to, not just read about, so that entailed compositions or recorded performances (the latter is obviously not an option for those teaching earlier musical periods, a very straightforward explanation for why musical composition, for which texts survive, has tended to be quite central in such teaching). So this necessitated some choices relating to inclusion/exclusion – one priority was not to give disproportionate attention to Austro-German nineteenth century compositional traditions, and consider more seriously those traditions existing in particular in France, Italy and Russia; another was, as mentioned before, to give proper space to non-‘classical’ traditions. There were numerous other criteria I attempted in this context, not least of which was to present plenty of music for which a link with the wider context was relatively easy to comprehend – but with hindsight, I think this was a very dubious criterion, and which artificially loaded the attempts to ask students to look critically at the relationship between music and history/society, not take some assumed relationship as a given. There are a great many positions which have been adopted by musicologists and music historians, from a staunch defence of autonomous musical development to a thoroughly deterministic view; I have my own convictions in this respect, but the point is not to preach these, but try to help students to be able to shape their own in an intelligent and well-informed manner.

Someone in another department commented to me quite recently of his astonishment that he encountered students who had never heard Brahms’s Second Symphony (said with some special emphasis as is characteristic of those with a strong grounding in a tradition, and for whom not knowing this would be like a literary student never having read or seen Macbeth). I replied that if I encountered a few students who had already heard a work like that before it was presented in a class, I would feel lucky. But that situation is now to be expected, and in my view musical higher education can do a lot worse than try to introduce students to a lot of music which lecturers, audiences, and many musicians over an extended period have found remarkable. Not in order to dictate to those students that they must feel the same way, but to expose them to work which has been found by a significant community to be of historical and aesthetic significance, and invite them to form their own view – which may be heretical.

So it is on this basis that I believe ‘canons’ are valid, indeed essential, teaching tools for musical history – whether dealing with histories of composers, performers or even institutions – if students are to be given some help and guidance in terms of studying sounding music.  I refuse to accept the singular use of the term ‘the canon’, for this is not, and has never been, fixed when one considers different times and places. Mikhail Glinka and Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov occupy hallowed places within Russian musical life and history, so far as I can ascertain (not being a Russian speaker, so dependent upon secondary literature), but this view is only relatively rarely shared elsewhere. The canonical status of Hector Berlioz and Franz Liszt has never been unambiguous, whilst that of Puccini and Rachmaninoff, as compared to the composers of the Second Viennese School, continues to be the source of healthy and robust debate. The place of Italian opera within wider canons of music from the eighteenth century onwards varies; I would also note, though, that within operatic history, Gioachino Rossini, Vincenzo Bellini and Gaetano Donizetti are often canonised, but Giovanni Pacini and Saverio Mercadante are generally viewed as less central, to my mind an entirely natural decision. In terms of pre-Baroque or post-1945 repertoires, there is even less consensus. I for one find it very difficult to accept the particular choices of key works from the last few decades in the ninth edition of  A History of Western Music by Donald Grout and Claude Palisca, revised by J. Peter Burkholder (New York: Norton, 2014).

I offer the following hypotheses (some of which I have no time to substantiate here) for critical discussion:

Aesthetics are more than a footnote to political ideologies, and canons reflect aesthetics in ways which cannot be reduced to the exercise of power.

There is not a singular canon, but a shifting body of musical compositions which are canonised to differing extents depending upon time and place.

Sometimes the process of canonisation is simply a reflection of what may not be a hugely controversial view – that not all music is equally worthy of sustained attention.

Canonical processes exist in many different fields of music, not just Euro-American art music in the form of compositions. 

The most casual of listeners exhibit tastes and thus aesthetic priorities. These are not necessarily perceived as solely personal matters of no significance to anyone else, or else they would not be discussed with others. 

It is impossible to teach any type of historical approach to musical composition and performance without including some examples, excluding others. 

Many canonical decisions are made for expediency, and in order to provide a manageable but relatively broad picture of a time and/or place in musical history. 

The broad-based attacks on canons, almost always focused exclusively on Western art music composition, are often a proxy for an attack on the teaching of this repertoire at all.

A very different view can be found in an essay of Philip V. Bohlman:

To the extent that musicologists concerned largely with the traditions of Western art music were content with a singular canon- any singular canon that took a European-American concert tradition as a given – they were excluding musics, peoples, and cultures. They were, in effect, using the process of disciplining to cover up the racism, colonialism, and sexism that underlie many of the singular canons of the West. They bought into these “-isms” just as surely as they coopted an “-ology.” Canons formed from “Great Men” and “Great Music” forged virtually unassailable categories of self and Other, one to discipline and reduce to singularity, the other to bellitle and impugn. Canon was determined not so much by what it was as by what it was not. It was not the musics of women or people of color; it was not musics that belonged to other cultures and worldviews; it was not forms of expression that resisted authority or insisted that music could empower politics.

(Philip Bohlman, ‘Epilogue: Musics and Canons’, in Disciplining Music: Musicology and its Canons, edited Katherine Bergeron and Philip V. Bohlman (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1992), p. 198).

 

I can only characterise the above as a rant: musical canons are presented in language which might seem too extreme if describing Jimmy Savile or Slobodan Milosevic, and stops just short of indicting these in terms of complicity with widespread global dispossession and even genocide. But the paragraph is in no sense substantiated, and amounts to a series of rhetorical assertions. Furthermore, I would like to know more about how Bohlman thinks that music has indeed ’empowered politics’ in any significant number of cases, or why he thinks music is best rendered secondary to other uses, basically reiterating the rhetoric associated with Gebrauchsmusik in the 1920s and 1930s.

It is certainly true that Western classical music (and a fair amount of Western popular musics too) has at least until recently predominantly been made by white men, in part because the opportunities available to them did not exist to anything like the same extent for other groups. Complaints, for example, about lack of staging of operas by women composers make little sense without suggestions of works (other than Ethel Smyth’s The Wreckers and a small few others) which might feasibly be produced and would be acceptable in musical terms to a lot of existing opera audiences; relatively few women before recent decades were given the opportunities to write operas (which were rarely produced in isolation, but much more often in response to specific commissions). Only a shift to a greater amount of contemporary work in opera houses – which would create a new set of problems – opens up the possibility of a significantly increased representation of women composers. It is also hardly surprising that music produced in the Western world, at least in Europe, was only infrequently produced by ‘people of colour’ during times (basically, before the fall of many of the major European empires) when such people formed much smaller communities in European societies.

This is not to make light of the fact that opportunities for artistic participation have been strongly weighted in favour of certain groups in Western society over a long period (and, for that matter, in many non-Western societies as well). But the same was true of access to politics and government, the diplomatic service, banking, and very much else – the historical study of the figures who obtained and exercised power in these fields in Western societies before the twentieth century will be in large measure a history of white men. To arrive at a blanket decision on the workings of those fields on the basis of that information alone would be massively crude; the alternative is to spend time studying these histories before arriving at prognoses. To employ an ad hominem fallacy to dismiss vast bodies of creative work simply on account of the gender, class, ethnicity or other demographic factors relating to those who had the opportunities to produce, is myopic in the extreme, and smacks of a narrow politics of resentment. This is not a mistake that would have been made by Friedrich Engels, or the Hungarian Marxist intellectual György Lukács, both of whom wrote eloquently on the immense value of literary work by avowedly non-socialist thinkers such as Honore de Balzac, Sir Walter Scott, or Thomas Mann, in obviously political as well as aesthetic terms. The true believers in establishment values were those who – when nonetheless good writers who were prepared to allow their scenarios and characters to take on ‘lives of their own’- could, according to these thinkers, reveal more about the inner contradictions damaging these milieux, sometimes more so than some writers who identified with the left.

I would personally argue that the ubiquity of Anglo-American popular music (much of which interests me very much, and which as mentioned before I have taught extensively) is a far more hegemonic force in many societies than any sort of classical ‘canon’, which plays an increasingly marginal role in large numbers of people’s lives, especially in the face of cuts to and dumbing-down of musical education at many levels. As I argued (more than a little ironically!) in my response to Simon Zagorski-Thomas:

Personally, I can rarely go into a bar without being barraged by Japanese gagaku music, cannot go shopping without a constant stream of Stockhausen, Barraqué, mid-period Xenakis, or just sometimes examples of both French and Rumanian musique spectrale, piped over the loudspeakers, whilst when I jump into a taxi cab in most countries, I can be sure that there will be no escape from music of the Italian trecento. This is not to mention the cars going past blaring out the darkest Bach cantatas, or the endlessly predictable torrents of Weimar modernism which the builders will always put on the radio. 

In a world which has recently witnessed the vote for Brexit, the election of Trump, and the growth of the far right in European politics, not to mention horrifying revelations of the abuse of children in a great many fields of life, a degree of economic collapse since the 2007 crash which does not appear to be recovering (especially in various Mediterranean countries), a wholly unholy civil war in Syria between the equally brutal forces of the Assad government and ISIS, the approaching 50th anniversary of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and subsequent dispossession and humiliation of the native population there, with no signs of change, ominous possibilities for catastrophic climate change, and so on, making such a big deal and assigning such loaded political associations to whether the teaching of music favours some types of music more than others seems a trivial, even narcissistic concern of musicians and musicologists. It may enable some to gain some political capital and concomitant advancement in the profession, but it is hard to see much more significance – indeed this may be a convenient substitute for any other political engagement, some of it directly related to academics’ professional lives, whether demonstrating against massive increases in student fees, or supporting and participating in industrial action in opposition to such things as the gender pay-gap. Perhaps energies could also be better spent elsewhere – such as playing a small but important role in trying to help some reasonable politicians get elected, rather than leaving the ground open to grotesque populist demagogues? This would be a much more laudable aim than fighting to ensure far fewer music students ever hear Le Sacre.

I wanted to end with some brilliant quotes from Charles Rosen, much better words than I could produce:

The essential paradox of a canon, however—and we need to emphasize this repeatedly—is that a tradition is often most successfully sustained by those who appear to be trying to attack or to destroy it. It was Wagner, Debussy, and Stravinsky who gave new life to the Western musical tradition while seeming to undermine its very foundations. As Proust wrote, “The great innovators are the only true classics and form a continuous series. The imitators of the classics, in their finest moments, only procure for us a pleasure of erudition and taste that has no great value.” Any canon of works or laws that forms the basis of a culture or a society is subject to continuous reinterpretation and to change, enlargements, and contractions, but to be effective it is evident that it must retain a sense of identity—it must, in fact, resist change and reinterpretation and yield to them reluctantly and with difficulty. A tradition’s sense of identity is dependent on the way it is transmitted, on what kind of access to it is made available to the members of the society concerned, and on whether the transmission makes the canon too rigid or too yielding.

(Charles Rosen, ‘Culture on the Market’ (2003), in Freedom and the Arts: Essays on Music and Literature (Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press, 2012), pp. 17-18).

 

Access to what are considered the great works of painting and sculpture is adequately provided by museums. They stand as a formidable barrier to those who would like to get rid of a canon, or radically alter its character (generally replacing dead white males with candidates selected by ideology, politics, or sexual preference). As I have said, a canon properly resists change, although, in the end, it must change if it is to exert a living influence. However, an abrupt and radical alteration is generally impossible to achieve: the old values spring immediately back into place once the new ideology’s back is turned. Introducing new figures into the canon is therefore, with few exceptions, a slow process, the additions generally reaching public acceptance only after decades of professional interest.

The example of two poets, John Donne and Friedrich Hölderlin, often said to have been discovered at the end of the nineteenth century after years of neglect, can show that the pathos of neglect and rediscovery is largely a myth. The present fame of Donne is popularly supposed to be owing to the influence of T. S. Eliot, but he was greatly admired by Coleridge and influenced Browning; and editions of his poetry were available throughout the nineteenth century. Perhaps the most influential academic critic of the time, George Saintsbury, wrote of Donne as “always possessing, in actual presence or near suggestion, a poetical quality that no English poet has ever surpassed.” The criticism of Eliot brought Donne to the attention of a larger public, but he had never lacked admirers. Hölderlin is said to have been rescued from complete obscurity at the same time as Donne by the interest of two great poets, Rainer Maria Rilke and Stefan George, but earlier Robert Schumann wrote music inspired by his work, and Brahms set his verses to music. The fame of both Donne and Hölderlin increased greatly at the opening of the twentieth century, but these additions to the canon were made possible by the earlier existence of a continuously sustained admiration.

The efficacy of a tradition, however, can be weakened by swamping it with a host of minor figures, and we have seen this happen in our time. The fashion for Baroque music has awakened the interest of recording companies and concert societies, and the novelty of an unknown figure has a brief commercial interest. A brilliant essay by Theodor Adorno mocked the way the taste for Baroque style reduced Bach to the status of Telemann, obliterated the difference between the extraordinary and the conventional. Concerts of music by Locatelli, Albinoni, or Graun are bearable only for those music lovers for whom period style is more important than quality.

(Ibid. pp. 20-21).


Finnissy Piano Works (7) and (8) – November 7th and 21st, Oxford

poster-for-oxford-finnissy-concerts

 

[NEW: There will now be a new world premiere in the concert on Monday, November 21st, of the newly-composed Kleine Fjeldmelodien, dedicated to Ian Pace and Nigel McBride]

The seventh and eight concerts in my ongoing series of the complete piano works of Michael Finnissy will take place on Monday, November 7th, and Monday, November 21st, in the Holywell Music Room, Oxford. Both concerts will begin at 19:30. Tickets are £10, £5 concessions.

The first programme features a range of lesser-known works from the 1990s to the present day, including Finnissy’s unusual Machaut arrangement De toutes flours,of Francisco de Vidales’ villancico ‘Los que fueren de buen gusto’ in …desde que naçe, or his moving intimate tribute to soprano Tracey Chadwell, Tracey and Snowy in KölnThe much more extended Choralvorspiele (Koralforspill) is a series of fantastical post-Busoniesque chorale preludes sharing common material, an exercise in both compositional and pianistic virtuosity. The second half contains the second ever complete performance of the Second Political Agenda, three c. 20′ pieces embodying Finnissy’s extremely individual take on the music of Erik Satie, Arnold Schoenberg and Aleksander Skryabin.

The second programme features further tributes, to Satie again,  to Oliver Messiaen in A solis ortus cardine, to Bulgarian composer Georghi Tutev, and the UK premiere of Finnissy’s Brahms-Lieder, not to mention his Beatles’ arrangement Two of Us, as well as some pieces written for children or elementary pianists in Wee Saw Footprints and Edward. The longer pieces in the programme include Enough, Finnissy’s response to Samuel Beckett’s short text Assezand the monumental recent work Beat Generation Ballads.

 

Monday, November 7th, 2016, 19:30
Michael Finnissy at 70: The Piano Works (7)
Holywell Music Room, Holywell Street OX1 3SD

Elephant (1994)
Tracey and Snowy in Köln (1996)
The larger heart, the kindlier hand (1993)
…desde que naçe (1993)
De toutes flours (1990)
Cibavit eos (1991-92)
Zwei Deutsche mit Coda (2006)
Erscheinen ist der herrliche Tag (2003)
Choralvorspiele (Koralforspill) (2012)

***

Second Political Agenda (2000-8)

  1. ERIK SATIE like anyone else;
  2. Mit Arnold Schoenberg ;
  3. SKRYABIN in itself.

 

machaut-de-toutes-flours

Guillaume de Machaut, De toutes flours

finnissy-de-toutes-flours

Finnissy, De toutes flours (1990)

 

Monday, November 21st, 2016, 19:30
Michael Finnissy at 70: The Piano Works (8)
Holywell Music Room, Holywell Street OX1 3SD

A solis ortus cardine (1992)
Stanley Stokes, East Street 1836
(1989-94)
Edward
(2002)
Deux Airs de Geneviève de Brabant (Erik Satie)
(2001)
Z/K
(2012)
Brahms-Lieder (2015) (UK Premiere)
Enough
(2001)

***

Wee Saw Footprints (1986-90)
Kleine Fjeldmelodien 
(2016) (World Premiere)
Lylyly li (1988-89)
Pimmel (1988-89)
Two of Us (1990)
Georghi Tutev (1996, rev. 2002)

***

Beat Generation Ballads (2013)
Meeting is pleasure, parting a grief (1996)

finnissy-stanley-stokes

Finnissy, Stanley Stokes, East Street 1836 (1989-94)

 

finnissy-from-beat-generation-ballads

Finnissy, Beat Generation Ballads (2013)


Yefim Golyshev, Arnold Schoenberg, and the Origins of Twelve-Tone Music

Many pages of scholarship have been devoted to the origins of the twelve-tone technique, and whether Arnold Schoenberg can genuinely be considered the originator of the method. Groups of pitches which could be considered akin to twelve-tone rows have been located in various pre-twentieth century music, the most obvious example being the opening of Franz Liszt’s Faust Symphony. But this does not amount to the employment of a technique akin to that of Schoenberg. Since the pioneering research of Detlev Gojowy, it has been established for some time that a series of Russian composers arrived at their own use of twelve-tone complexes prior to Schoenberg. These would include the complexes found in Skryabin’s fragment Acte Préalable (1912), the second of Arthur Lourié’s Deux poemes, op. 8 (1912), the first of Nikolai Roslavets’ Two Compositions (1915), various works of Nicolas Obouhow from 1915 onwards such as Prières (1915) , and Ivan Vyschnegradsky in his La journee de l’existence (1916-17) [1] . These composers generally worked with post-Scriabinesque complexes which were expanded to include all twelve tones of the chromatic scale [2], quite distinct from the technique which Schoenberg would develop in the 1920s [3], and their work remained generally obscure and little-known outside of Russia at this point. Roslavets remained living in the Soviet Union after 1917, whilst Obouhow moved to Paris in 1918, and Lourié moved there in 1924 [4]. Alban Berg had used a harmony featuring all twelve chromatic pitches at the beginning of the third of his Altenberg-Lieder, op. 4 (1912),‘Über die Grenzen des All..’, op. 4, no. 3, then a twelve-note series in no. 5, ‘Hier ist Friede!’, as well as twelve-note themes in the Passacaglia, Act 1, Scene 4 (written before the end of 1919), and the Theme and Variations, Act 3, Scene 1, of Wozzeck (1914-22) [5], and Webern intuitively arrived at a way of organising the individual Sechs Bagatellen, op. 9 (1911) so that as a general rule, the piece would end after all twelve chromatic pitches had sounded, then began his ‘Gleich und Gleich’, op. 12, no. 4 with a statement of the twelve pitches with none repeated [6].

All of these developments demonstrate the extent to which the most radical varieties of chromaticism or pan-tonality were leading towards the establishment of twelve-note complexes (as would Schoenberg in 1914 in Die Jakobsleiter), but none had yet arrived at means for using sets of twelve chromatic notes in the forms of rows to provide fundamental structuring techniques. Three composers who did do this would have a definitive influence upon the future direction of dodecaphonic composition in Germany, each of who have been considered as rival contenders for having written the first twelve-tone work [7]: Yefim Golyshev (1897-1970), through the writings of Herbert Eimert (1897-1972), Josef Matthias Hauer (1883-1959), through the teachings of Hermann Heiß (1897-1966) and of course Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951) through his own work and the music and teaching of numerous students.

The prodigious Odessa-born Golyshev moved to Berlin in 1909, his family fleeing anti-semitic pogroms [8]. Here he studied at the Stern’schen Konservatorium, and made the acquaintance of Busoni, who encouraged him in his musical work [9]; he may also have heard free atonal works of Schoenberg such as Pierrot Lunaire, which was first performed in the Berlin Choralion-Saal on October 16th, 1912 [10]. Golyshev remained living in the city through until 1933 [11].

In 1914 (by his own account) Golyshev composed a five-movement dodecaphonic string trio (which was published in 1925 by Robert Lienau-Verlag as Zwölftondauer-Musik [12]), and in the same year began a string quartet which was intended for performance at the Gesellschaft für Neue Musik in Cologne in early 1923 [13]. A recording of this work is available here. The trio is structured around symmetrical patterns between movements as regards rhythms (so that the same figures are shared by the first and fifth, and the second and fourth), and uses twelve-note sets, which are clearly numbered in the score. In each section, all twelve notes are used, but not in a fixed order [14] (see below for the opening). Golyshev used a new notation to avoid conventional accidentals (distinct from that developed earlier by Busoni), by which a note with a cross inside the notehead indicates a sharp; others are natural [15].

Golyschev page 1

A recording of the complete work can be heard here.

An orchestral work from 1919, Das eisige Lied, a symphonic poem lasting 75 minutes with songs, orchestral music and visual spectacle, was apparently also dodecaphonic, but is now lost [16]. During the war years Golyshev composed more and became friendly with Busoni, Richard Strauss, and Stravinsky, as well as Walter Gropius and other artists [17].

Golyshev’s father was a friend of Kandinsky’s, and the artist had persuaded inspired Golyshev to begin drawing prior to his move to Germany [18]. By the time of his Sinfonie aggregate, which was given its world premiere by the Berlin Philharmonic on February 21st, 1919 [19], Golyshev had become involved with the Dadaists, alongside Raoul Hausmann and Richard Huelsenbeck, and co-wrote a manifesto calling for a ‘brutal battle’ against ‘expressionism and the neoclassical culture as it is represented by Der Sturm’ [20]; his work featured prominently in the first Dada exhibitions [21]. He presented an Anti-Symphonie (Musikalische Kreisguillotine) as part of these exhibitions in April 1919, and went on to explore new musical instruments [22]; he also subsequently pursued a separate career as a chemist [23]. He would also become a member of the Novembergruppe at some point in the early 1920s, alongside the likes of Stuckenschmidt, Hans Tiessen, Max Butting, Philipp Jarnach, Kurt Weill, Wladimir Vogel, Hanns Eisler, Felix Petryek, Jascha Horenstein, George Antheil, and Stefan Wolpe [24].

One figure who was deeply interested in the work of Golyshev was the composer, critic and later producer at WDR, Herbert Eimert, who published his Atonale Musiklehre[25] in 1924, which Eimert himself claimed to be the first book of its kind in German [26]. This is a work whose highly mathematical tone, almost making a fetish of numerical patterns, differs very deeply from the presentations of Schoenberg in particular. Eimert also composed a twelve-tone string quartet for performance as part of his final examination. His conservative teacher, Franz Bölsche, was appalled by both of these, and intervened to have him expelled from the institution and the quartet removed from the programme [27]. In the Atonale Musiklehre, Eimert adopted Golyshev’s notational device throughout, and listed an unnamed Golyshev work from 1914 as the first example of twelve-tone music, then writing that Hauer had pursued pure atonality the following year [28]. Eimert at some point became a close friend of Golyshev, and owned several of his paintings which were destroyed during the war [29], but when they first met is unclear (likely before 1924), as Eimert’s memories were hazy, according to Helmut Kirchmeyer [30]. Eimert would go on to press the case for Golyshev being the first twelve-tone composer in various later writings [31].

Schoenberg had spent two periods prior to World War One in Berlin, 1902-03, where he had worked in the Überbrettl cabaret and also composed Pelleas, as well as scoring some operettas, and 1911-15, during which period he had written Pierrot Lunaire and also begun the Four Orchestral Songs op. 22, whilst giving some poorly attended lectures at the Stern Conservatory and hostility from the press [32]. Could Schoenberg have met Golyshev in Berlin during this second period, or even known of Golyshev’s piece before he embarked upon his own first proper dodecaphonic composition in July 1921 at the latest? Little of detail is known of Golyshev’s time in Berlin prior to 1918, and I am unaware of any direct or indirect references to Golyshev in Schoenberg’s writings or correspondence from the time [33]. There would have been various events which both might have attended, and they shared mutual friends and acquaintances (such as Busoni) who might have introduced them, but there is no firm evidence. Detlew Gojowy, based on the account of Golyshev’s widow, claims that Golyshev sent the Trio to Schoenberg (though no date is given), but received only a ‘ugly and discouraging’ letter back, with Schoenberg insisting that the twelve-tone technique was his own invention [34]. This would presumably have been after the summer of 1921 (for otherwise Schoenberg would not yet have established the twelve-tone technique) and probably after 1925 (assuming Golyshev sent a copy of the printed score). Thus it looks unlikely that Schoenberg was aware of the Trio before this date, though it is conceivable that a mutual friend or acquaintance might have mentioned it to him; a subject which might warrant further research.

1. See Detlew Gojowy, ‘Frühe Zwölftonmusik in Rußland (1912-1915)’, in Beiträge zur Musikwissenschaft Jg. 32, Heft 1 (1990), pp. 17-24; Hans Oesch, ‘Schönberg und die russischen Avantgardisten um 1920’, in Bericht über den 2. Kongreß der Internationalen Schönberg-Gesellschaft. Die Wiener Schule in der Musikgeschichte des 20. Jahrhunderts, edited Rudolf Stephan and Sigrid Wiesmann (Vienna; Verlag Elisabeth Lafite, 1986), pp. 108-121; and Elena Poldiaeva, Le message de Nicolas Obouhow: Reconstruction d’une biographie, translated from Russian by Michèle Kahn (Paris: editions Van de Velde, 2011), pp. 33-42.

2. For analyses of these processes in non-dodecaphonic contexts in the music of Skryabin and Roslavets, see George Perle, Serial Composition and Atonality: An Introduction to the Music of Schoenberg, Berg and Webern, sixth edition (Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1991), pp. 40-45.

3. Some writers have explored similarities between the contemporary compositional developments of Scriabin and Schoenberg. See Zofja Lissa, ‘Geschichtliche Vorformen der Zwölftontechnik’, Acta Musicologica Vol. VII, Fasc. 1 (January-March 1935), pp. 15-22, as cited in Detlef Gojowy, Neue sowjetische Musik der 20er Jahre (Regensburg: Laaber-Verlag, 1980), pp. 59-61.

4. Larry Sitsky, Music of the Repressed Russian Avant-Garde, 1900-1929 (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1994), pp. 88, 254.

5. Douglas Jarman, The Music of Alban Berg (Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1979), pp. 72-73.

6. Anton Webern, The Path to the New Music, edited Willi Reich (Bryn Mawr, PA, London, Vienna, Zürich and Mainz: Theodore Presser in association with Universal Edition, 1960), pp. 51-52.

7. Back in 1955, Oliver Neighbour articulated this view. See Neighbour, ‘The Evolution of Twelve-Note Music’, Proceedings of the Royal Musical Association, 81st Sess. (1954-55), pp. 49-61.

8. Peter Deane Roberts, ‘Efim Golyschev (1897-1970)’, in Larry Sitsky (ed), Music of the Twentieth-Century Avant-Garde: A Biocritical Sourcebook (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2002), p. 173.

9. Ibid. p. 173. Gojowy, Neue sowjetische Musik, p. 103.

10. Hans Heinz Stuckenschmidt, Schoenberg: His Life, World and Work, translated Humphrey Searle (London: John Calder, 1977), p. 204.

11. Eberhard Steneberg, Arbeitsrat für Kunst: Berlin 1918-1921 (Düsseldorf: Edition Marzona, 1987), p. 134.

12. See Robert Lienau Musikverlage Magazin Archiv, Ausgabe Nr. 4 (2002), at http://www.zimmermann-frankfurt.de/cgi-bin/main.pl?action=mgz_arc&ausg=2002/4 .

13. Schlösser, Arbeitsrat für Kunst, p. 134. The performance was cancelled because of the technical difficulties involved. See Herbert Eimert, ‘Zum Kapitel „Atonale Musik“’, Die Musik, Vol 16, No. 12 (September 1924), p. 902. The source for the date when this work was begun comes from Golyshev’s widow, according to Detlef Gojowy (Neue sowjetische Musik, p. 103 n. 362a), though the fifth movement was apparently dated 1925. Gojowy points out that the possibility should not be excluded that the quartet and trio were confused by some writers, and may be just a single work.

14. Roberts, ‘Golyschev’, pp. 174-175. Roberts also notes that Golyshev allows static repetition of a note, passing a note from one instrument to another, and doubling at the octave or unison.

15. This technique was also pioneered by Obouhow soon afterwards, though it is not clear whether either composer was aware of the other’s activities (see Larry Sitsky, Music of the Repressed Russian Avant-Garde, 1900-1929 (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1994), pp. 254-255).

16. Neighbour, ‘The Evolution of Twelve-Note Music’, p. 49; Joan Ockman, ‘Reinventing Jefim Golyscheff: Lives of a Minor Modernist’, Assemblage, No. 11 (April 1990), p. 73.

17. Schlösser, Arbeitsrat für Kunst, p. 134.

18. Joan Weinstein, The End of Expressionism: Art and the November Revolution in Germany 1918-1919 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990), p. 75. There is no mention of Golyshev, however, in Arnold Schoenberg and Wassily Kandinsky, Letters, Pictures and Documents, edited Jelena Hahl-Koch, translated John C. Crawford (London & Boston: Faber & Faber, 1984), nor in the various essays in Konrad Boehmer (ed), Schönberg and Kandinsky: A Historic Encounter (New York & London: Routledge, 1997), nor Schönberg-Kandinsky. Blauer Reiter und die Russische Avantgarde. Sonderausstellung 9. März – 28. Mai 2000, Journal of the Arnold Schönberg Center, 1/2000.

19. Peter Muck, Einhundert Jahre Berliner Philharmonisches Orchester, Erster Band: 1882-1922 (Tutzing; Hans Schneider, 1982), Band III, p. 180.

20. Raoul Hausmann, Richard Huelsenbeck and Jefim Golyscheff, ‘Was ist der Dada und was will er in Deutschland’, Der Dada 1, No. 1 (June 1919), cited in Weinstein, The End of Expressionism, p. 234.

21. Weinstein, The End of Expressionism, pp. 234-236.

22. Gojowy, Neue sowjetische Musik, p. 103. For more on the Antisymphonie, see Raoul Hausmann, ‘Jefim Golyscheff’, in Heinz-Klaus Metzger and Rainer Riehn (eds), Musik-Konzepte 32/33: Aleksandr Skrjabin und die Skrjabinisten (Munich: edition text + kritik, 1983), pp. 174-177.

23. See Golyscheff: Ausstellung der Galleria Schwarz (Milan: Galleria Schwarz, 1970), pp. 1-4.

24. Helga Kliemann, Die Novembergruppe (Berlin; Gebr. Mann Verlag, 1969), pp. 39, 46, 103; Hans Heinz Stuckenschmidt, ‘Musik und Musiker in der Novembergruppe’ (1928), reprinted in Werner Grünzweig and Christiane Niklew, Hans Heinz Stuckenschmidt: Der Deutsche im Konzertsaal (Berlin: Akademie der Künste, 2010), p. 33; Max Butting, Musikgeschichte, die ich miterlebte (Berlin: Henschelverlag, 1955), p. 120; Rainer Peters and Harry Vogt, ‘Die Berliner Novembergruppe und ihre Musiker’, in Stefan Wolpe: Von Berlin nach New York (Cologne: Kölner Gesellschaft für Neue Musik, 1988), p. 47; Hans Heinz Stuckenschmidt, ‘Heinz Tiessen – der Freund’, in Manfred Schlösser (ed), Für Heinz Tiessen 1887-1971. Aufsätze – Analysen – Briefe – Erinnerungen – Dokumente – Werkverzeichnis – Bibliographie (Berlin: Akademie der Künste, 1979), p. 10

25. Herbert Eimert, Atonale Musiklehre (Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1924).

26. Charles Wilson, ‘Herbert Eimert’, at Grove Online (accessed 2/9/14). Wilson argues the case that the Atonale Musiklehre anticipates the work of later theorists such as Babbitt. Eimert managed with his pronouncements on this work to annoy Josef Matthias Hauer, who claimed prior rights over the technique, and who wrote an open letter to Die Musik about the matter. See Helmut Kirchmeyer, Kleine Monographie über Herbert Eimert (Stuttgart & Leipzig: S. Hizel Verlag, 1998), pp. 4, 16 n. 13-14. Hauer’s open letter, dated September 5, 1924 was published in Die Musik XVII/2 (November 1924), pp. 157 a/b, in response to Eimert’s article ‘Zum Kapitel: “Atonale Musik”’, in Die Musik XVI/12 (September 1924), pp. 899-904. Eimert replied with an open letter of his own, dated January 1025, which was published in Die Musik, XVII/6 (March 1925), pp. 478 a/b.

27. At least this is how it was portrayed by Eimert himself, in an autobiographical sketch for his own 65th birthday, broadcast on Monday April 9th, 1962. Apparently all the Musikhochschule records from that time are lost; Kirchmeyer laments that at the time of his writing, the proper history of the institution has not been written, and it would be difficult due to the fact that many municipal documents were destroyed in the war, though also suggests that the very fact that so many major figures at the Hochschule at the time were involved with the Nazis was a disincentive for the subject to be studied right after the war. See Kirchmeyer, Kleine Monographie, p. 17 n. 16.

28. Eimert, Atonale Musiklehre, p. 31. Eimert named the string quartet of Golyshev as the first twelve-tone work in ‘Zum Kapitel „Atonale Musik“’, p. 92.

29. Walter Zanini, ‘Jeff Golyscheff e as Dificuldades de sua Recuperação’, Revista Música, Vol. 3, No. 1 (May 5-16, 1992), pp. 7-8.

30. Kirchmeyer, Kleine Monographie, p. 20, n. 31.

31. See Eimert, Lehrbuch der Zwölftontechnik (Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1954), pp. 57-58 and Grundlagen der musikalischen Reihentechnik (Vienna: Universal Edition, 1964) , pp. 161-162. Eimert also expressed this historical view in an edition of the Musikalische Nachtprogramm for WDR, entitled ‘Unbekannte Anfänge der Zwölftonmusik’ on October 4th, 1962. See Hans Oesch, ‘Pioniere der Zwölftontechnik’, in Baseler Studien zur Musikgeschichte Band 1 (Bern: Francke Verlag, 1975), p. 274, n. 3.

32. O.W. Neighbour, ‘Arnold Schoenberg’, at Grove Online (accessed 2/9/14).

33. A thorough account of Schoenberg’s second period in Berlin can be found in Stuckenschmidt, Schoenberg: His Life, World and Work, pp. 145-194.

34. Gojowy, ‘Frühe Zwölftonmusik in Rußland’, pp. 22-23.