A Schoenberg Reader: Documents of a Life
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Arnold Schoenberg's close involvement with many of the principal developments of 20th-century music, most importantly the break with tonality and the creation of 12-tone composition, generated controversy from the time of his earliest works to the 21st century. This collection of Schoenberg's essays, letters, literary writings, musical sketches, paintings, and drawings offers fresh insights into the composer's life, work, and thought. The documents, many previously unpublished or untranslated, reveal the relationships between various aspects of Schoenberg's activities in composition, music theory, criticism, painting, performance, and teaching. They also show the significance of events in his personal and family life, his evolving Jewish identity, his political concerns, and his close interactions with such figures as Gustav and Alma Mahler, Alban Berg, Wassily Kandinsky, and Thomas Mann. Extensive commentary by Joseph Auner places the documents and materials in context and traces important themes throughout Schoenberg's career from turn-of-century Vienna to Weimar Berlin to 1950s Los Angeles.