Wien–Leipzig: Universal-Edition [PN U.E. 3697], [October 1912]. Large folio. Full green textured cloth, original publisher's light green printed upper wrapper bound in. 1f. (title within decorative art nouveau border printed in sepia), -179, [i] (blank) pp. Printed on coated paper.
A facsimile of the autograph full score, including facsimile signature and date to last page: "Arnold Schönberg Zehlendorf 7. November 1911." With a catalogue of Gustav Mahler's works published by Universal to inner lower wrapper, "Y X. 1912" printed to foot.
With previous owner's inscription to upper right corner of title: "Meinem lieben Lehrer Herr Paul [?Sigwarth] Weihnachten Moritz [?]Goldberg, München 1922."
Page 107 (between parts 2 and 3) blank, as issued, except for pagination.
Binding slightly worn and rubbed; wrappers slightly browned and stained, with some repairs. Small tear to lower blank margin of first page of music.
First Edition, first issue, one of only 500 copies printed, with plate number U.E. 3697 to pp. 1, 96, and 108. Rufer (Engl.) pp. 78-79. Ringer p. 311. Tetsuo Satoh pp. 37-38. The piano-vocal score, prepared by Alban Berg, first appeared in 1913 (U.E. 3696). An engraved full score in large format, including a number of corrections, was published in 1920 (U.E. 6300).
First performed in Vienna on February 23, 1913, with Franz Schreker conducting the Vienna Philharmonic Choir and the Wiener Konzertvereinsorches.
Fritz Soot (1878-1965) was a German tenor. After singing a minor part at the world premiere of Strauss's Elektra (1909), he emerged as a leading singer in the 1910s. He took major parts in operas then new, including Mephistopheles in Busoni's Doktor Faust and the Tambourmajor in Berg's Wozzeck. He performed Schoenberg as early as 1913 (Vossische Zeitung, Berlin, November 17, 1913), and was considered for the part of Waldemar at the world premiere of the Gurrelieder (Schoenberg's letter to Soot of November 18, 1913). It is not known whether he sang the part on a later occasion.
Richard Kraus (1902-1978), a German conductor, spent his entire career in his native country; in 1927, he took his first appointment in Kassel.
"In March 1900 Schoenberg began setting Jens Peter Jacobsen’s Gurre-Lieder as a song cycle for voice and piano, for entry in a competition... However, Schoenberg soon saw wider possibilities in the text... He therefore decided to connect the songs he had already composed (those in the first two parts of the finished work) with symphonic interludes and set the whole poem as a vast cantata employing several soloists and a huge chorus and orchestra. The work depicts the love of King Waldemar and Tove under the Tristanesque imminence of death, Waldemar’s blasphemous defiance of God after Tove’s death, the nightly ride at the head of a ghostly retinue to which the king’s restless spirit is subsequently condemned, and its dismissal by the summer wind at the approach of day. Schoenberg encompassed all this in a series of tableaux of extraordinary magnificence." O. W. Neighbour in Grove Music Online.
The Danish poet Jens Peter Jacobsen (1847-1885) wrote his Gurresange in 1871. The German translation is by Robert Franz Arnold (1872-1938). Item #26940
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