Klett-Cotta-Verlag Psychology

Eine »scheußliche Geschichte?«

Nachträgliches zum Streit Arnold Schönbergs mit Thomas Mann

Januar 2015, 19. Jahrgang, Heft 73, pp 65-74

A »Dreadful Story«? Arnold Schoenberg’s Quarrel with Thomas Mann Revisited – In a recent interview, Nuria Schoenberg-Nono, the composer’s daughter, claimed that her father’s life was cut short as a consequence of Thomas Mann’s unauthorized appropriation in Doctor Faustus of Schoenberg’s intellectual property, the twelve-tone method of musical composition. This claim is at once untenable and misleading. A brief look at the relevant evidence, some of it published only recently, makes it clear that the cause of anxiety lies elsewhere: namely, in Theodor W. Adorno’s role as Mann’s musical advisor. For Mann, the problem was Schoenberg’s assertion that the invention of twelve-tone music would assure the supremacy of German music for the next one-hundred years.

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