By Theodor W. Adorno, Alban Berg
Adorno was once twenty-one years outdated whilst he travelled to Vienna in March 1925 to review musical composition with Alban Berg. two decades later, Adorno wrote: ‘How a lot of my writing will stay is past my wisdom or my keep watch over, yet there's one declare I desire to stake: that I comprehend the language of tune because the heroes in fairy stories comprehend the language of birds’. It was once at least the will to benefit to talk this language that drew him to Berg. Adorno already knew what he desired to compose prior to he went to Berg, and the purpose of his remain in Vienna and the next years used to be to profit to place this data of musical composition into practice.
His correspondence with Berg, who used to be quickly to be international well-known, is in part outlined through his engagement with the compositional difficulties posed for the musical avant-garde through Schoenberg’s discovery of the twelve-tone approach, for which Adorno was once to develop into an suggest, now not least in Vienna and during Berg. This correspondence records how he wrote a variety of essays on Berg, Webern and Schoenberg in this time, and attempted in useless to set up a platform for the second one Viennese university opposed to ‘moderated modernity’ within the magazine Anbruch, the place he exerted huge editorial impact. It additionally exhibits how a lot Adorno – regularly admonished by way of Berg to concentration in basic terms on his musical composition – strove to reconcile his educational tasks and his literary and journalistic paintings with the consistent desire to do not anything greater than compose.
“These letters offer us with a distinct evaluation of the interval and supply fascinating and enlightening views on even mundane facets of everyday life, in addition to bringing us in the direction of the characters in query by means of permitting us a unique perception into thir abnormal foibles and eccentricities.” —Musical Times
“Major composers who befriend significant philosophers, and vice-versa, are hardly ever various within the background of Western tradition. Alban Berg’s dating with Theodor W. Adorno as instructor and colleague ranks with that among Richard Wagner and Friedrich Nietzsche, with the adaptation that Berg’s and Adorno’s real affection for every different, and their extraordinary perception into every one other’s paintings, remained consistent to the top. Their correspondence is without doubt one of the landmarks of the early 20th century and its track – a beacon of sunshine in determined times.” —John Deathridge, King’s university London
“Sensitively translated and elegantly edited, the Adorno-Berg Correspondence represents scholarship eminently valuable of this amazing number of letters among twentieth-century intellectual-artistic giants. Adorno’s composition classes with Berg lasted for just a few months, however the influence reworked his knowing of contemporary tune specifically and aesthetics more often than not. Berg, in flip, revered his pupil’s talents as a composer, simply as he basically benefited, either intellectually and emotionally, from younger Adorno’s profound perception into his master’s song. notwithstanding separated in age by means of approximately 20 years, the 2 males shaped a courting born of deep affection and nonetheless deeper shared admire that lasted until eventually Berg’s premature and surprising loss of life. The amassed correspondence makes to be had for the 1st time in English a physique of texts that may upload considerably to our knowing of Adorno and Berg in addition to their breathtaking accomplishments.” —Richard Leppert, collage of Minnesota
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Additional info for Correspondence 1925–1935
What is the state of the Rathaus affair? Original: manuscript. 1 Berg’s letter, which has not survived among Adorno’s documents, appears to have contained a favourable response to Adorno’s suggestion to write a second essay on Wozzeck; it was, as the end of the letter indicates, to appear in the journal Pult und Taktstock, which was edited by Erwin Stein. At the same time, Berg evidently voiced in his letter a series of reservations – in particular Schönberg’s – about Adorno’s first Wozzeck essay, which the author defends himself against in his reply.
You know that I have to come to this 2000 m region every 1, 2 years. Even if it far exceeds my constitution. But I did return home alive. – Original: picture postcard: Koralpe, Schutzhaus d. Sekt. 1925. Manuscript. 1 Maria Wiesengrund (1865–1952), who had, during the 1885/6 season in Vienna, sung the part of the wood-bird in Wagner’s Siegfried, among others, and her sister Agathe Calvelli-Adorno (1868–1935), who was a pianist, had made Berg’s acquaintance in March 1925 when staying in Vienna before moving on to Salzburg.
2,11 are finished, I shall come to Vienna. Perhaps there will also be occasion in January. We can discuss all future plans then. 12 A further small matter. The pianist Hirschland,13 friend of Rathaus,14 mentioned a statement by that Yiddish composer to me: he claimed you had said to him that I was very talented, but ‘my head plays tricks on me’. It is naturally out of the question that you could have stated anything in this form, and the whole matter dim-witted and jealous gossip. But in order that such things should not impinge upon us, it seems better to inform you immediately.
Correspondence 1925–1935 by Theodor W. Adorno, Alban Berg