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Ode to Napoleon Buonaparte
A. Originalfassung

Quelle: Explanatory Notes zur Ausführung der Ode

Quellentyp: Druck

Beschreibung: Explanatory Notes zur Ausführung der Ode. August/September 1943. Typoskript, 1 Seite.

Arnold Schönberg Center, Wien.

[HINWEIS: Die folgenden in den Quellenbeschreibungen zu findenden Verweise und Seitenangaben zu relevanten Dokumente (Dok) beziehen sich immer auf GA Reihe B, Bd. 24,2!]

In seinem Brief an Greissle/Schirmer vom 4.9.1943 (Dok 28, s. u. S. 126) teilt Schönberg mit, daß er Explanatory Notes für die Ausführung des Klavierkonzerts und der Ode verfaßt habe. Solche Notes sind im Partitur-Erstdruck I auf S. 10.4] abgedruckt. Im ASC Wien sind mehrere Quellen einer ausführlicheren Fassung der Notes für die Ode erhalten. Offenbar handelt es sich hierbei um die Version, die Schönberg im Brief vom 4.9.1943 erwähnt. Wann die Reduktion zur endgültigen Fassung erfolgte, geht aus der überlieferten Korrespondenz nicht hervor. Die Ausgangsquelle für die erste Version ist jetzt offenbar als Blatt [0.2] auf normalem Schreibpapier innerhalb der Transparent-Reinschrift C überliefert; die korrigierte Fassung von F1 (die Korrekturen betreffen ausschließlich sprachliche Unebenheiten) liegt jetzt als Blatt [0.3] ebenfalls in der Reinschrift C.

Diese frühere Version F1 lautet (in der korrigierten Fassung von Blatt [0.3] der Quelle C) wie folgt:



The voice of the recitator must always outstand the accompaniment. Accordingly all the dynamics in this piece haue absolute meaning only when the voice pauses, while, as long as the recitator speaks, the instruments, as an accompaniment, must offen play softer than indicated. Their ff, f, mf and even p will then be reduced as much as necessary, and, accordingly, will only haue a "relative" meaning.


Principal parts are marked at their beginnning P at their ending ┐. Subordinate parts, less important than principal parts, but more important than mere accompaniment, are marked S ┐. Both principal and subordinate parts must not be louder than indicated, but those parts in such places which are not marked P or S must be played in such a manner, that the important parts can easily dominate.


But there are also sections of a polyphonic or contrapuntal texture, where several voices (or groups of voices) are equally important. See for instance the introduction, measures 1 to 25; or the interlude, meas. 124 to 130. Here the dynamics haue an absolute meaning.


Besides there are cases of a quite different texture, where none of the parts must be predominant (meas. 54 to 57; meas. 66 to 69; 246 to 247). Here the instruments, while aiming for transparency, contribute commonly to producing a certain sonority.


There are three kinds of detached notes:

(a)       notes which are not as long as legato notes; they are not to be shortened but only separated from the next notes;

(b)       staccato, marked ▼, are notes similar to martellato notes, short, heavy accented, hard;

(c)        spiccato, marked •, are short, but light, elastic.

Both the ▼ and the • are also used in the piano part and should be played with a similar discrimination.


Notes marked ^ should be played with a certain degree of importance.


Notes marked ' should be played accented like downbeat.

Notes marked [symbol] should be played unaccented like an upbeat.


The metronom marks need not be taken literally - primarily they should give a fair idea of the tempo in respect to the character and its changes.


Col legno battuto means tapped with the bow stick;

Col legno tratto means drawn " " " ".

(10)     Ponticello, sul ponticello. lt is not sufcient to play "near the bridge". In order to produce the "immaterial" sonority desired here, the bow (or if col legno, the bow stick) must actually touchthe bridge

Quellensiegel: F1
Gesamtausgabe: Reihe B, Band 24, 2, S. 32-33
Standort: Arnold Schönberg Center