Correspondence of the Second Viennese School


Arnold Schönberg

Anton Webern

Alban Berg

Editors of the Respective Volumes




For years experts and interested laymen alike have deplored the absence of a complete edition of the correspondence of Arnold Schönberg and his circle. This severe gap will be filled by the complete edition of the correspondence of the Viennese School, edited by the »Staatliches Institut für Musikforschung« under the direction of Thomas Ertelt. With the publication of this correspondence one of the most important sources of 20th century music history will become accessible. This project unifies long pursued efforts of individual scholars by bringing them all together under the roof of one research institute.

At the core of the edition is the reciprocal correspondence of Schönberg, Berg and Webern, edited by Juliane Brand, Berkeley, CA and Christopher Hailey, Vienna / Los Angeles, CA (Schönberg-Berg), Regina Busch, Vienna (Schönberg-Webern), and Rudolf Stephan, Berlin (Berg-Webern). Especially for this correspondence, the integration into a complete edition is mandatory, since they often discuss the same topic from various perspectives and in different combinations. A complete edition makes this possible through multiple cross references.

This core project, which encompasses about 2,300 letters, is completed by two volumes with the correspondence of Edward Steuermann and Rudolf Kolisch, the leading musical interpreters of the Viennese School. In addition, the edition could be further extended by parts of the correspondence with the publisher, as well as by selected shorter correspondence and important individual letters.

The edition is to be completed with an index volume which collects all indices of the individual volumes. It will contain an index of all persons and compositions mentioned, as well as a comprehensive register of persons with short biographies.

The edition project is supported by the Arnold Schönberg Center in Vienna and the Forschungsstelle der Arnold Schönberg Gesamtausgabe; their large collections of documents concerning Schönberg's life and work - among them many photocopies of letters - are of great value to the project.

In 1995, the first volume with the correspondence of Zemlinsky and Schönberg (and the brief correspondence of Zemlinsky with Schreker, Webern, and Berg), edited by Horst Weber, Essen, was published by the Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft Darmstadt.

Since spring 2001, the project has been funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. This allows for a full-time editorial department (Simone Hohmaier and Andreas Meyer) at the institute which is devoted to the »core correspondence« between Schönberg, Webern and Berg.