{recto}
An: H. Heinrich Schenker
III. Reisnerstr. 38
in Wien
[postmark:] || 4/1 WIEN 50 | 10 | 2 | 3-4 N | 08 | 8 ||

{verso}
Montag Mittag. 1

Komme soeben von Wiener. 2 Hab’ Sie telephonisch gesucht – vergebens. Muß Sie und Florizl dringend sprechen. 3 Konzertverein Karten? 4 Nicht reden! Mit Niemandem!! 5


Gruß
[signed:] Karpath

© Transcription Martin Eybl, 2013

{recto}
To: Mr. Heinrich Schenker
Reisnerstraße 38
in Vienna III
[postmark:] || 4/1 VIENNA 50 | 10 | 2 | 3-4 N | 08 | 8 ||

{verso}
Monday Mid-day. 1

Just back from [seeing] Wiener. 2 Have tried to contact you ‒ in vain ‒ by telephone. Must speak urgently with you and Florizl. 3 Concert Society tickets? 4 Don't say a word! Not to a soul! 5


Greetings
[signed:] Karpath

© Translation Ian Bent, 2016

{recto}
An: H. Heinrich Schenker
III. Reisnerstr. 38
in Wien
[postmark:] || 4/1 WIEN 50 | 10 | 2 | 3-4 N | 08 | 8 ||

{verso}
Montag Mittag. 1

Komme soeben von Wiener. 2 Hab’ Sie telephonisch gesucht – vergebens. Muß Sie und Florizl dringend sprechen. 3 Konzertverein Karten? 4 Nicht reden! Mit Niemandem!! 5


Gruß
[signed:] Karpath

© Transcription Martin Eybl, 2013

{recto}
To: Mr. Heinrich Schenker
Reisnerstraße 38
in Vienna III
[postmark:] || 4/1 VIENNA 50 | 10 | 2 | 3-4 N | 08 | 8 ||

{verso}
Monday Mid-day. 1

Just back from [seeing] Wiener. 2 Have tried to contact you ‒ in vain ‒ by telephone. Must speak urgently with you and Florizl. 3 Concert Society tickets? 4 Don't say a word! Not to a soul! 5


Greetings
[signed:] Karpath

© Translation Ian Bent, 2016

Footnotes

1 February 10, 1908 was a Monday. Receipt of this postcard is recorded the same day in Schenker's diary at OJ 1/7, p. 74: "H. Karpath teilt mir auf offener Korrespendenzkarte den Beginn der Unterhandlungen im Ministerium betreffs der Professur mit." ("Mr. Karpath alerts me in a postcard open for all to see that the wheels have been set in motion in the Ministry regarding the professorship.").

2 Karpath was involved in plans to establish a Professorship in Music Theory for Schenker at the Vienna Conservatory (later the Academy for Music and Performing Art). Karl von Wiener was the official at the Ministry of Education responsible for coordinating the process of rendering the Conservatory/Academy an independent institution, and its secession from the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde.

3 The meeting is recorded the next day in Schenker's diary at OJ 1/7, p. 64: "bei Kp. mit Floriz. Luster fällt herunter, alle Tulpen gehen in Scherben – nach Gesetzen des Aberglaubens günstigste Vorbedeutung. Inhalt: ich muß nun selbst zum Hofrat Wiener." ("With Floriz at Karpath’s place. Chandelier comes crashing down, all the globes dashed to smithereens ‒ by the laws of superstition, a most propitious omen. Meaning: I must now go and see Hofrat Wiener myself. ").

4 Presumably an offer to procure tickets for a concert of the Vienna Concert Society (Concert-Verein). The Society was integrated into the newly founded Vienna Concert House Society (Konzerthaus Gesellschaft) in 1910.

5 "Nicht reden!" (Don't say a word!) "Niemandem" (not to a soul): underlined fourfold.
The meeting with Karl von Wiener is recorded in Schenker's diary (heavily edited) at OJ 1/7, p.78, February 15, 1908: "Bei Hofrat Wiener (10–11h. Vorm), in Sachen der K.K. Professur für Theorie. Ein anstrengendes Gespräch, ich mußte in Form eines Monologes Andeutungen meiner Tendenzen geben, ohne daß sonst ein konkretes Substrat zur Verhandlung gestanden wäre. Indessen gefiel mir der Einwurf, es könnte meine Art, die Theorie vom Kunstwerk zu abstrahieren, die Jugend zum Anblick und zum Genuß einer Regellosigkeit führen, noch ehe sie ein Geleise ihres Denkens in festeren – gleichgiltig, ob auch in irrtümlichen! – Regeln erhielten. Ich suchte diesen nur scheinbar geistvollen Einwand dahin richtigzustellen, daß es die scheinbaren angeblichen Regellosigkeiten der Kunstwerke sich doch wieder in Einheiten höherer Gesetze sammeln, deren Wahrheit die zu fassen, sicher leichter ist, als die Unwahrheit der unsinnigen, und fehlerhaften Regeln, die von heute vorgetragen werden. Ich getraue mich, sagte ich, ohne Gefahr für die Jugend, an dieselben Schüler die Lehre der Wahrheit, d.i. der wirklichen Kunst vorzutragen, denen man heute eben unter der unverantwortlichen Ausrede der „Jugend“, nur unkünstlerische Irrtümer zumutet. [...] — Davon am Nachmittag bei rp. Bericht erstattet."
("With Court Counselor Wiener (10–11 a.m.) concerning the Royal and Imperial Professorship in Theory. A difficult interview. I was required to give some idea of my inclinations in the form of a monolog, without which there would be no concrete basis for the negotiations. In the course of this, the objection occurred to me that my method of abstracting theory from the work of art could lead today’s youth into acquiring a taste for rulelessness before their minds have been given a track on which to proceed by fixed rules ‒ regardless of whether or not they are actually erroneous! I sought to correct this objection (which only appears to be based on reasoning) by arguing that the alleged rulelessness in artworks comes together again in the unities of higher laws, the truth of which is easier to grasp than the untruth of the nonsensical and erroneous rules that are given out today. I venture, said I, without endangering the younger generation, to lay the doctrine of truth, i.e., of genuine art, before these same pupils, from whom people today, on the unanswerable pretext of "youth," expect only inartistic errors. [...] — In the afternoon, report given to Karpath."). Hellmuth Federhofer quotes and discusses this entry in Heinrich Schenker nach Tagebüchern ... (Hildesheim: Georg Olms, 1985), pp. 25‒26.
One further meeting in 1908 is recorded in Schenker's diary for February 24 (OJ 1/7, p. 79): Zu „Frühstück“ bei Schalk mit Ehepaar d'Albert, Dr. Kassner, rp, u.s.w. von 2‒5h." ("To "breakfast" at Schalk's place with the d'Albert couple, Dr. Kassner, Karpath, etc, from 2 to 5 o'clock.") (There are no further references to Karpath in Schenker's diary before the end of 1911.). — Schenker's diary for August 27, 1908 (OJ 1/7, p. 91) records: "Brief an Wiener / Blg." ("Letter to Wiener / enclosure.").

Commentary

Format
printed postcard, printed and holograph addresses recto; holograph message and signature verso
Provenance
Schenker, Heinrich (document date-1935)--Schenker, Jeanette (1935-c.1942)--Ratz, Erwin (c.1942-c.1955)--Jonas, Oswald (c.1955-1978)--University of California, Riverside (1978--)
Rights Holder
Heirs of Ludwig Karpath
License
Permission to publish being sought. Any claim to intellectual rights should be addressed to the Schenker Correspondence Project, Faculty of Music, University of Cambridge, at schenkercorrespondence [at] mus (dot) cam (dot) ac (dot) uk.

Digital version created: 2016-06-08
Last updated: 2010-03-18