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My name is Avior Byron and I am a musicologist, blogger and composer. I write books, articles and a blog about music, performance, research, and theory. Read more at my about page

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Part V: Schoenberg’s Children on their mother and children

Part V: Schoenberg’s Children on their mother and children

Could you say something about how your mother supported you father’s music during his life and after he passed away?

Nuria: Mother was an exceptional woman and a great support to my father. She had a very active, positive character and believed in my father and in his music 100%. She did a thousand jobs for the family, housekeeping and nursing and gardening and chauffeuring and many other activities which she had never done in Europe and had a great sense of humour. After his death she took over all the business with publishers and managed to keep us from realizing how bad our financial situation actually was. She helped the scholars who wanted to transcribe and publish my father’s German texts. She founded Belmont Music Publishers with Larry.

Larry: She devoted herself to his life and to his works.  I know personally how, after he died, she initiated project after project to preserve his manuscripts, to secure performances for his works. These include her work with Leonard Stein preparing an inventory of the music and text manuscripts, then creating microfilms and microfiche facsimiles, with both Josef Rufer and Jan Maegaard identifying and creating microfilm or microfiche facsimiles producing catalogs of his vast legacy including all of the music and text manuscripts, the extensive library and other artifacts.  She tirelessly negotiated with publishers (Gauner) fighting for his rights.  She established what is now Belmont Music Publishers.  She was intimately involved with the word premieres of Moses and Aron and Die Jakobsleiter.  She helped establish the Schott Gesamtausgabe.

Are your children interested in their grandfather’s music?

Nuria: They are not musicians but they listen to and enjoy his music. I keep them informed about the activities of the ASC.

Larry: It is sad for me to acknowledge that none of my three children have shown any significant interest in their grandfather.  My oldest son, Arnie, teaches anthropology. He is very musical and has even written an extensive thesis on ‘Music and leadership among adolescents in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil.’ Of course, I am very proud of my nephew, Randol, who has, in addition to his other skills, become a genuine Schoenberg authority and scholar.

         

Appendix 1: Larry’s list of works that ‘would not “frighten the audiences”’

Gurrelieder Fanfare – I better be careful with this work*

Notturno

Suite for String Orchestra

Monn Cello Concerto

Verklaerte Nacht

Pelleas

Op.8 Orchestral Songs

Op 10. for Orchestra

Brahms and Bach arrangements

Windband variations for Orchestra

 

Within the same constraints (supple and friendly) local choral society could include:

Friede auf Erden

Horses

German Folksongs

 

The Chamber groups could perform:

Ein Stelldichein

1897 Quartet

Cabaret Songs for Chamber Orchestra

Preston for String Quartet

Scherzo for String Quartet

Lied der Waldtaube (chamber)

Nachtwandler

The Ojai Music Festival near Los Angeles prides itself in programming “modern and contemporary” music.  Schoenberg is rarely on the schedule. Usually the program is devoted to a particular composer (this year it was Reich).  If I were in charge of programming a Schoenberg Festival I would arrange the following events:

 

Schoenberg for Children – Morning Concert:

            Ten Early Waltzes

            Arrangements: Funiculi, Weil I …, Staenchen

            Suite for Piano Op. 25

            Six Pieces for 2 pianos

            Iron Brigade (with animal sounds)

            Die Prinzessin - multi media presentation

 

Evening Concerts:

1. Pierrot Lunaire in English with projected text, preceded by a short discussion of the work.

Cabaret Songs for Ensemble

2. Ode to Napoleon with projected text, preceded by a short discussion of the work.

Serenade

3. Gurrelieder (for reduced ensembles)

Fanfare

Orchestral Interludes (Webern 2 piano 8 hands)

Songs (Berg reductions)

Lied der Waldtaube Chamber reduction

Finale (recorded version)

 

Afternoon Concerts:

1. Chamber Symphony Op. 9 for 2 pianos

2. Serenade

 

Films:

My War Years

My Evolution

Moses and Aron

 

Email interview with Schoenberg’s Children - introduction

Part I: Childhood

Part II: On performance

Part III: Religion and customs

Part IV: How you knew him as a father and Moving the Schoenberg Nachlass to Vienna

 

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