Thursday, June 27, 2013

1911: Stein, Webern And Schoenberg

Erwin Stein, Anton Webern and Arnold Schoenberg, photographed in The Netherlands in 1911.

Schoenberg, accompanied by his former students, had traveled to Amsterdam that year in order to appear as conductor in performances of his own compositions.

It was Schoenberg’s first engagement outside Germany or The Austro-Hungarian Empire—and a sign that the composer was not as little-known at the time as some would now like to believe.

In the following three years, Schoenberg was to appear as composer/conductor in countless European venues, from Great Britain to Russia.

The onset of war in August 1914 ended such appearances—and Schoenberg’s career as conductor largely was over.

Schoenberg was only 37 years of age in 1911, yet he already looked like an old man.

Schoenberg was also rotund in 1911.

During the war years, Schoenberg, like all citizens of Germany and Austria, suffered from near-starvation, and lost his excess weight, as countless photographs demonstrate. After the war, Schoenberg regained the lost weight; photographs from the late 1920s show Schoenberg once again rotund if not near-obese.

During his American years, 1933 to 1951, Schoenberg was once again thin.

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