Hamburg 13, Dillstraße 1./I.
1.V.33.

Sehr verehrter, lieber Meister! 1

Für die Übersendung der „Oktaven u. Quinten“ von Brahms 2 sage ich Ihnen mienen herzlichsten Dank! Ich habe bereits alles mit Begeisterung verschlungen; es war aber doch nur ein Tropfen auf den heissen Stein meiner Sehnsucht nach dem „freien Satz“! Meine Arbeit ist sehr durch Ungeduld beinträchtigt, wenn auch ich mir selber andauernd „Gelassenheit“ predige. Heute sende ich Ihnen eine neue Probe meiner Arbeit im Stillen. 3 Ich bin, glaube ich, ordentlich weitergekommen. Darf ich mir das Blatt (mit allfälligen Verbesserungen) bald zurückbitten, da ich damit Pläne habe. — 4

Ich schreibe Ihnen demnächst mehr über mich. Heute bin ich noch zu chaotisch im Innern. Was wird aus mir? Noch weiss ich nichts. Der August droht mit Hunger. Ich habe an Furtwängler geschrieben. 5 Verwandte können mir nicht helfen. Gleichwohl: ich bin zuversichtlich! —

Ich will nichts, als arbeiten können. —


Für heute herzlichste Grüsse, auch von meiner Frau, und bald mehr, von Ihrem
[signed:] Cube.

© Transcription William Drabkin, 2008


Hamburg 13, Dillstrasse 1/I
May 1, 1933

Most revered, dear master, 1

I offer you my most cordial thanks for sending me Oktaven u. Quinten by Brahms! 2 I have already devoured everything with gusto; this was, however, very small in comparison with my yearning for Der freie Satz ! My work has been adversely affected by impatience, even if I constantly preach "calmness" to myself. Today I am sending you a new example of my pedagogical work. 3 I have, I believe, made real progress. Might I ask you to return the page to me (with any corrections that are necessary), as I have plans to use it. 4

I will write to you soon, with more about myself. Today I am feeling internally too chaotic. What will be come of me? I still know nothing. August threatens with hunger. I have written to Furtwängler. 5 My family cannot help me. Nevertheless, I shall write to your more soon about myself.

I want nothing other than to be able to work.


For today, affectionate greetings, also from my wife; and soon you will hear more from your
[signed:] Cube.

© Translation William Drabkin, 2008


Hamburg 13, Dillstraße 1./I.
1.V.33.

Sehr verehrter, lieber Meister! 1

Für die Übersendung der „Oktaven u. Quinten“ von Brahms 2 sage ich Ihnen mienen herzlichsten Dank! Ich habe bereits alles mit Begeisterung verschlungen; es war aber doch nur ein Tropfen auf den heissen Stein meiner Sehnsucht nach dem „freien Satz“! Meine Arbeit ist sehr durch Ungeduld beinträchtigt, wenn auch ich mir selber andauernd „Gelassenheit“ predige. Heute sende ich Ihnen eine neue Probe meiner Arbeit im Stillen. 3 Ich bin, glaube ich, ordentlich weitergekommen. Darf ich mir das Blatt (mit allfälligen Verbesserungen) bald zurückbitten, da ich damit Pläne habe. — 4

Ich schreibe Ihnen demnächst mehr über mich. Heute bin ich noch zu chaotisch im Innern. Was wird aus mir? Noch weiss ich nichts. Der August droht mit Hunger. Ich habe an Furtwängler geschrieben. 5 Verwandte können mir nicht helfen. Gleichwohl: ich bin zuversichtlich! —

Ich will nichts, als arbeiten können. —


Für heute herzlichste Grüsse, auch von meiner Frau, und bald mehr, von Ihrem
[signed:] Cube.

© Transcription William Drabkin, 2008


Hamburg 13, Dillstrasse 1/I
May 1, 1933

Most revered, dear master, 1

I offer you my most cordial thanks for sending me Oktaven u. Quinten by Brahms! 2 I have already devoured everything with gusto; this was, however, very small in comparison with my yearning for Der freie Satz ! My work has been adversely affected by impatience, even if I constantly preach "calmness" to myself. Today I am sending you a new example of my pedagogical work. 3 I have, I believe, made real progress. Might I ask you to return the page to me (with any corrections that are necessary), as I have plans to use it. 4

I will write to you soon, with more about myself. Today I am feeling internally too chaotic. What will be come of me? I still know nothing. August threatens with hunger. I have written to Furtwängler. 5 My family cannot help me. Nevertheless, I shall write to your more soon about myself.

I want nothing other than to be able to work.


For today, affectionate greetings, also from my wife; and soon you will hear more from your
[signed:] Cube.

© Translation William Drabkin, 2008

Footnotes

1 Receipt of this letter is recorded in Schenker's diary at OJ 4/6, pp. 3830–3831, May 4, 1933: "Von v. Cube (Br. u. Noten): op 26 Thema – Hunger droht, will sich an Furtwängler wenden." ("From von Cube (letter with music): Op. 26 Theme – hunger threatens, will turn to Furtwängler").

2 Oktaven u. Quinten u. a., which was brought out by UE in the centennial year of Brahms's birth, comprises a facsimile of an eight-page manuscript in which Brahms recorded (under this title) all the instances he could find of consecutive fifths and octaves in the works of composers from the 16th to the 19th centuries. Schenker provided a commentary on the examples, and on Brahms's own remarks on them. For an English edition, see Paul Mast, "Brahms's Study, Oktaven u. Quinten u. a.: A Critical Edition of Brahms' Notebook with Schenker's Commentary Translated," Music Forum 5 (1980), pp. 1–196.

3 Literally "breast-feeding work," i.e. providing basic nourishment in Schenkerian theory to his pupils in Hamburg. The piece in question is the first-movement theme of Beethoven's Piano Sonata in A flat, Op. 26. Schenker's reply, and the subsequent exchanges of letters, focus mainly on the analysis. For a reproduction of Cube's graph and transcriptions and translations of the remaining correspondence, see William Drabkin, "Schenker, the Consonant Passing Note, and the First-Movement Theme of Beethoven's Sonata Op. 26," Music Analysis, 15 (1996), pp. 149–89.

4 The analysis does not appear in Cube's unpublished Lehrbuch der musikalischen Kunstgesetze; the theme occupies the seventh position in Schenker's list of works to be issued as graphic analyses (nos. 1–5 had recently been published in Fünf Urlinie-Tafeln), but was never included on any of the lists sent to Cube (in 1934) of works that were to appear in a second series. There are, however, several graphs and music examples for it in Der freie Satz.

5 This is the first of two letters to Furtwängler, asking for assistance in the recognition of Schenkerian theory as teaching discipline in music schools. The second was answered in August of the following year; this reply is copied in full into Cube's letter to Schenker OJ 9/34, [42], October 4, 1934.

Commentary

Format
1-p letter, holograph address, message, and signature
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
IPR: The heirs of Felix-Eberhard von Cube -- except for enclosed printed materials
License
Permission to publish granted by the heirs of Felix-Eberhard von Cube, March 2006. Any claim to intellectual rights on this document 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: 2008-12-13
Last updated: 2011-11-06