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Vienna (Ger. Wien).

Capital city of Austria. Originally a Celtic settlement, it later became a Roman military town and finally the
capital of the Duchy of Austria in the 12th century. It came under Habsburg rule in 1278 and expanded
greatly as the capital of the vast Austro-Hungarian Empire, which was dissolved after World War I; since
that time the city has been the capital of the Federal Republic of Austria.
1. To the 15th century.
2. The rise of the imperial
3. The Baroque era.
4. 17401806.
5. 18061945.
6. Since 1945.
(iii) 18701913.
Despite the severity of the economic crash of 1873, which followed the 1873 Vienna World Exposition, the
1870s witnessed a dramatic growth in the range and character of musical life. As a centre of learning, the
conservatory attracted a cadre of students who would become legendary. They included Mahler and Hugo
Wolf. The enrolment rose to nearly 700. During the late 19th century, over 25% of the students were Jews,
and over 50% of all students took the piano as their primary field of study; violin was the next largest
subject of study. Music education was not limited to the conservatory; other schools flourished. By the mid-
1890s, Ludwig Bsendorfer would complain of a veritable plague in the demand for piano instruction.
Teachers and simplified instruction systems became ubiquitous. The most prominent private teacher was
Theodor Leschetizky (to whom Mark Twain brought his daughter for lessons). Prominent pianists and
piano teachers in the 19th century included Julius Epstein, Anton Dorr, Emil Sauer, Alfred Grnfeld and
Ignaz Brll.
The architecture of the Ringstrasse, Viennas grand new thoroughfare, was decidedly historicist, evoking
the Classical, Baroque and Renaissance past. Likewise in the 1870s, the cult of classicism and historicist
taste flourished in music, focusing particularly on the Viennese masters from Gluck to Schubert. The
Musikverein opened with an extensive Beethoven centenary that would be a precursor of the evolution of
Viennese taste. In the Gesellschaft concerts in the 1870s and 80s, works by Beethoven, Mozart and
Haydn accounted for over 30% of the repertory. All in all, by 1878 less than a quarter of all works
performed in Gesellschaft concerts were by living composers. In the early 1870s Brahms directed the
Gesellschaft concerts and introduced music written before Bach and Handel, including works by Henricus
Isaac, Johann Rudolf Ahle and Johannes Eccard. This signalled an increasing interest in the history of
music and a greater frequency of so-called historical concerts.
During the 1870s and 80s the repertory of the Vienna Philharmonic was somewhat less conservative,
reflecting the absence of amateur governance, although more than a quarter of its offerings were devoted
to Mozart and Beethoven. This more progressive stance was the result of the long tenure of Wagners
close associate Hans Richter who conducted the orchestra 214 times between 1875 and 1898. In his
tenure not only were all the Brahms symphonies performed, but also the second, third, fourth and eighth
symphonies of Bruckner alongside the works of less well-known Viennese composers such as Robert
Fuchs, Ignaz Brll and Goldmark. The Gesellschaft, in continual financial difficulties, was supported less
by the high aristocracy and more by the so-called second society, the newer lite of the city.
The leading patrons of music included a highly educated intellectual lite ranging from the industrialist
family of Karl Wittgenstein (father of Ludwig and Paul), the Fellingers, Wertheimsteins and the Gomperz
family of academics, to the great surgeon Theodor Billroth, himself an amateur instrumentalist. The
enthusiasm for music involved a combination of a glorification of a canonic past with a partisan enthusiasm
for either Brahms and his circle or Bruckner, who became, in the 1870s, the standard bearer for a new
direction in music influenced by Wagner. The membership lists of the Mnnergesangverein in this period
were over 50% men of commerce (including bankers and industrialists), 30% civil servants and
professionals. In 1872 this organization triumphantly dedicated to the city a monument honouring
Schubert, designed by Hansen and located in the Volksgarten. In the later 19th century, Schubert
symbolized the uniquely Viennese synthesis of international classical greatness and distinctly Viennese
traditions. In the contemporary local debate concerning Brahms and Bruckner, both sides claimed the spirit
of Schubert for their cause.
The 1870s and 80s were also the highpoint of the golden era of operetta. The greatest works of Johann
Strauss (ii) received their premires. C.M. Ziehrer and Carl Zeller were two important rivals in this field.
Strauss composed 15 operettas, most of which were first performed at either the Theater an der Wien or
the Carltheater. The local taste for Offenbach was undiminished in the 1870s. The number of local
operetta composers increased and included the choral conductor of the Mnnergesangverein, Herbecks
successor Eduard Kremser (who also edited the most popular compendium of folk music), as well as Josef
Hellmesberger (ii). The works of Arthur Sullivan were also immensely popular. The authors of texts and
librettos of operetta included famous critics (notably Max Kalbeck) and specialists such as Viktor Lon and
Hugo Wittmann (who wrote for Strauss and Millcker). Theodor Herzl also wrote operetta texts. In a single
decade, between 1870 and 1880, 100 operettas received their premires in Vienna, and another 180 new
operettas were presented in the city before the end of the century.
The popularity of musical theatre in Vienna led to the construction of the Komische Oper am Schottentor in
1874 (later renamed the Ringtheater) as a centre for comic opera, in imitation of the Paris Opra Comique.
The fire that broke out in December 1881 during a performance of Offenbachs Les contes dHoffmann,
with disastrous consequences, contributed (after a dramatic trial) to the permanent revision of standards
for theatre construction. Although the Ringtheater was not rebuilt, in 1883 the increased demand for comic
musical theatre was met by the opening of the Raimundtheater, designed in late historicist style. It opened
with a performance of Raimunds Die gefesselte Phantasie with music by Wenzel Mller. With the death of
Johann Strauss in 1899, the golden era ended and the so-called silver age of Viennese operetta began.
Well over 250 new operetta productions were given their premires in the city between 1900 and 1913.
Prominent composers in this period include Emmerich Klmn, Edmund Eysler, Ralph Benatzky, Oscar
Straus, Oskar Nedbal, Leo Fall and Richard Heuberger.
In the early 20th century the new operettas came under fire as cheap, trivial and reflective of the
commercial corruption of musical taste. Despite the admiration of young modernists such as Schoenberg
and Zemlinsky for Johann Strauss (ii), the output of the silver age of operetta composers was largely found
wanting. After all, a striking contrast between the public taste for operetta and domestic salon music (a
mixture of operatic tunes and sentimental piano music) and the rejection of new concert music was clearly
visible. Following the lead of the writer and journalist Karl Kraus and his close friend, the architect Adolf
Loos, the manipulative sensationalism and superficiality in modern musical theatre, celebrated by a corrupt
world of newspaper criticism, was condemned. The works of Nestroy, Offenbach and Johann Strauss were
held up as examples of ethical and aesthetic greatness in popular art forms. A new dimension of popular
music found its expression in the success of the Schrammel ensemble, a quartet of local players who
specialized in dance and song music. The Schrammels, all trained musicians, began to perform their
unique amalgam of Viennese music in 1878; by the 1890s their distinct style and sound began to rival the
Strauss tradition as emblematic of Viennese culture (fig.23).
In order to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Franz Josephs reign in 1898, a second major state theatre,
the Stadttheater, was opened (later renamed the Volksoper). It was designed initially to offer the growing
Viennese public increased access to spoken theatre, but early in the 20th century it was turned into an
opera house devoted to popular works, in contrast to the opera house on the Ringstrasse. However,
operatic life, so central to the Viennese obsession with theatre and music, remained centred on the politics
and policies of the Imperial opera. Herbeck led this from 1870 to 1875, during which time he mounted the
premire of Die Meistersinger. He was succeeded by the former manager of the Carltheater, Franz Jauner,
who produced the first Carmen and brought Verdi to conduct the premire of Aida. Verdis Requiem was
performed at the opera house in 1876. Jauner hired Hans Richter as chief conductor. Richter put on the
first complete Ring cycle in 1879.
Jauner was succeeded by Wilhelm Jahn who led the house from 1881 to 1897. Jahn worked well with
Richter. By the mid-1880s the disastrous economic crisis of the late 1870s had receded somewhat,
permitting the opera house to flourish. In response to the demographic changes in the city and the
monarchical tolerance of ethnic self-expression by non-German Habsburg populations, two of Smetanas
operas were presented, The Bartered Bride and Dalibor. Goldmarks Die Knigin von Saba and Das
Heimchen am Herd, Ignaz Brlls Das goldene Kreuz, Mascagnis Cavalleria rusticana and
Massenets Manon and Werther were also produced. Jahn placed Die Fledermaus on the imperial stage
and gave the premire of Strausss failed effort at serious opera, Ritter Pzmn. Jahn also sought to revive
some of Schuberts operas and maintained a commitment to the Romantic opera tradition of Weber,
Marschner and Lortzing. Nonetheless, the centrepieces of the opera repertory in the 1890s were the
operas of Wagner and Mozart. Also important were the works of Verdi and Meyerbeer. In any one season,
however, Viennese operagoers could hear operas by Adolphe Adam, Auber, Cherubini, Gluck, Halvy,
Wilhelm Kienzl, Viktor E. Nessler, Nicolai and Rossini. As a result of the extent and quality of local music
journalism, leading opera singers became public personalities.
The self-confidence of the Viennese regarding the quality of local musical culture at the end of the century
was best expressed by the international exhibition of music and theatre in 1892. Tchaikovsky was present
(but was outraged by the juxtaposition of outdoor concerts and beer drinking). There were extensive
presentations of opera and concert music. In the 1870s and 80s music journalism flourished not only in the
daily press but through specialized journals. In addition to Hanslick, leading music critics of the last quarter
of the century included Max Kalbeck (later Brahmss biographer), Ludwig Karpath, Theodor Otto Helm (a
Bruckner supporter who wrote one of the first guides to the Beethoven string quartets), Richard Heuberger
(a choral conductor and the composer of Der Opernball), Robert Hirschfeld (a student of Hanslick), Gustav
Schnaich, Richard Wallaschek, Richard von Kralik (who also directed the Singakademie) and the
composer Wilhelm Kienzl. The Viennese link between music and theatre permitted many of these to
function as theatre critics as well. It is not surprising, therefore, that Ludwig Speidel also wrote on music.
Perhaps the most notorious episode in the history of Viennese criticism was Hugo Wolfs tenure in the mid-
1880s at the Salonblatt where he regularly pilloried the work of Brahms and called into question the
standards of musical culture displayed by the Viennese audience. The most significant late 19th-century
Viennese musical periodical was the Neue musikalische Presse, published from 1892 to 1909.
By the 1890s, however, new sources of discontent were visible in Viennas musical life. Hans von Blows
Meiningen orchestra made an appearance in the 1880s. The excellence of its performance standards put
Richters Vienna Philharmonic to shame. The growth in demand for concerts in the 1890s had far
outdistanced supply. In the 1890s the Budapest Concert Orchestra made regular trips to Vienna. A leading
impresario, Albert Gutmann, tripled the number of concerts he presented between 1890 and 1900. As the
success of Gutmanns work suggests, the 1890s witnessed increased popularity not only of chamber
music concerts, given by visiting artists and distinguished local musicians such as the Ros Quartet
(headed by Arnold Ros, the long-serving leader of the Vienna Philharmonic and brother-in-law of Mahler),
but also of orchestral concerts. In a quartet comprising Philharmonic colleagues, Ros continued the
tradition of the Hellmesberger Quartet. He introduced the work of Schoenberg in 1907 and 1908.
The 1892 exhibition sparked a sustained local debate about the need for a second orchestra and another
major concert hall. Furthermore, in the 1890s, a younger generation of critics and scholars, trained at the
university and conservatory, sought to challenge and expand the tastes of the Viennese public. Guido
Adler, Mahlers boyhood friend, founded the Musikhistorisches Institut in 1898 at the university when he
succeeded Hanslick. Adler established Vienna as a centre of modern scholarship and initiated a series of
new critical editions of early music and the classical masters (e.g. founding the Denkmler der Tonkunst in
sterreich series), following in the tradition of the great 19th-century Bach, Handel, Mozart and Schubert
editions. For Adlers generation, however, contemporary musical composition and music history were
inextricably linked, as he expressed in 1885 in the first issue of the Vierteljahrsschrift fr
Adlers polemical writings mirrored the growing concern for standards in music education and taste. He,
along with Hirschfeld, encouraged the use of the city-wide celebrations of Mozarts death (1891) and
Schuberts birth (1897) as occasions to deepen and broaden access to and civic identification with
classical musical culture throughout the population in the rapidly growing metropolis. The enthusiasm for
opera and operetta only heightened the lingering suspicion among some musicians (including Josef Labor,
the first teacher of Alma Mahler and a friend of the Wittgenstein family) about debased tastes within the
public first articulated in the 1860s. With Brahmss explicit support, Mahler was brought to Vienna in 1897
as a conductor at the imperial opera in an effort to raise standards; he quickly took over the institution and
later replaced Richter (who went to England) at the Vienna Philharmonic. The generational conflict was
evident in the debate between Hirschfeld and Hanslick over the value of Renaissance music and its
appropriateness as an object of public musical performance; Hirschfeld had initiated a series of
Renaissance evenings beginning in 1884 that Hanslick derided. The changes of the 1890s were also
signalled by the deaths of Bruckner in 1896 and of Brahms in 1897 (who, as the Board of Directors of the
Gesellschaft, had exercised considerable influence in the citys musical life). The shift in the aesthetic
debate of the late 19th century from a conflict between a Brahms axis and a Wagner and Bruckner circle
was evident in Adlers 1904 university lectures on Wagner that cast Wagner as historical: a classic
master in a tradition going back to Palestrina. The new battle was between a novel post-Wagnerian
Viennese modernism and an allegiance to a neo-Wagnerian late Romantic idiom.
The stirrings of the late 1890s coincided with new movements in literature (Jung Wien) and visual arts (the
Vienna Secession, founded in 1897). Even more relevant to new music were rival radical modernists in
literature, art and architecture (Kraus, Loos, Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka). Mahler participated in
the 1902 Secession exhibition, devoted to Max Klingers statute of Beethoven, to which Gustav Klimt also
contributed. Mahlers appointment at the Hofoper fuelled the debate about contemporary music that took
place in a local context, in which taste had become increasingly tied to the past and the level of musical
literacy was insufficient to ensure the capacity to follow new developments. Among the most controversial
figures in fin-de-sicle Viennese musical life was Richard Strauss, whose orchestral music was first heard
in the city in the late 1880s and throughout the 1890s, sparking both outrage and devoted partisanship.
During his ten-year directorship of the opera, Mahler explicitly sought to spearhead a radical renaissance.
He performed Wagner without cuts; he darkened the house during performance (to encourage
concentration on the part of the audience and eliminate distracting socializing during performance); he
deepened the orchestra pit; he collaborated with Alfred Roller, a painter and designer and a member of the
Vienna Secession. They sought to realize the theories of Adolphe Appia, creating new productions of the
works of Wagner and Mozart that used colour symbolism and departed from traditions of stage-set realism.
Mahler expanded the repertory by presenting dozens of new works by Puccini, Pfitzner, Strauss, Wolf,
Saint-Sans, Tchaikovsky and Leoncavallo. Mahler attempted to improve performance standards by
reining in the egos of star singers, creating an integrated musical ensemble. At the same time, despite
constant newspaper criticism of his attitude towards opera stars, he introduced such luminaries as Anna
Bahr-Mildenburg, Marie Gutheil-Schoder, Leo Slezak and Richard Mayr. He became a living legend and
was idolized, particularly by a younger generation of musicians, notably the circle around Alexander von
Zemlinsky. This included the young Arnold Schoenberg and his students, Alban Berg and Anton von
The 19th-century tension between a carefree surface attitude and reactionary historicist cultural taste
within the Viennese public and a younger generations progressive engagement with music as the most
noble of the arts (cast in the image of the era of Viennese Classicism) came to a head in the first decade of
the 20th century. Mahler came under fire for his own music and the presumed arrogance evident in his
reorchestrations of Beethoven and cuts in Bruckner. His effort to mount the premire of
Strausss Salomefailed when censors declared the work unfit for the imperial stage. Much to Mahlers
embarrassment, the Vienna premire took place in 1905 under the aegis of a travelling company from
The opposition to Mahler in the popular press also mirrored the growing significance of the Jewish
question. Although he had converted to Catholicism to assume the position at the Hofoper, he and Bruno
Walter, his young assistant, remained Jews by the terms of contemporary anti-Semitic discourse. The
economic difficulties of Vienna in the 1870s and 80s, the reactionary Viennese adherence to artisan and
shopkeeper traditions (and therefore the citys relative economic, commercial and industrial backwardness
by comparison with Berlin and London) and the consequences of rapid migration to the city had, by the
late 1880s, spawned radical reactionary political attitudes, skilfully exploited by the Christian socialism of
Karl Lueger (who would become the powerful mayor of the city in 1897, despite monarchical reluctance).
By 1900 anti-Semitism was a vivid and constant dimension of Viennese culture and politics; the 1891
Verein zur Abwehr des Antisemitismus boasted nearly 5000 members by 1895. In these numbers were
many of Brahmss closest friends (for example, Viktor Miller zu Aichholz). Wagners local popularity helped
fuel anti-Semitism. An anti-Semitic Bruckner cult, supported by the reactionary right and its allies in the
local press, was already in evidence long before the composers death. Brahms and his circle, because of
the composers close friendship with leading Jews, were castigated as philo-Semitic. The influential
Akademischer Wagnerverein, founded in 1873, boasted many Jewish founders and members; Bruckner
allowed himself to become the honorary president of a rival Wagner society founded in 1890 that explicitly
excluded Jews.
Anti-Semitism intersected with a distaste for the style and substance of modernism, even though,
ironically, many of the leading figures in the world of operetta were Jews. Mahler came under fire not only
for his innovations at the opera but also for his role as symbolic protector of new music. His own
compositions experienced limited success in Vienna. But he was the honorary president of Zemlinskys
1904 Vereinigung schaffender Tonknstler, a new organization devoted to young composers and their
work that gave the first performances of Schoenbergs Pelleas und Melisande and Bartks First Orchestral
Suite. In 1907 and 1908 the premires of Schoenbergs chamber music resulted in disruptions and open
conflict. Mahler defended Schoenberg. Critics and outraged audience members had allies among
professional and accomplished amateur musicians. The new seemed to challenge their taste and
judgment. Even Brahmss friend Theodor Billroth, in a posthumous collection of essays entitled Wer ist
musikalischand edited by Hanslick (1896), articulated the mix of social cultural criticism directed at modern
musical practices and tastes characteristic of Viennese aesthetic conservatism. Mahler encountered
opposition from conservative musicians in the orchestra of the Vienna Philharmonic, including the cellist,
pianist and composer Franz Schmidt who resented his style and presumed favouritism. The controversy
surrounding Mahler marked the beginning of a sustained 20th-century tension in Viennese music between
progressive modernist cosmopolitanism and reactionary nativism. In the 1912 Wiener Musikfestwoche, for
example, the Vienna Philharmonic did not play a single work by a living Viennese composer. Among the
associations formed on behalf of the new were the 1903 Ansorge Verein and the older Hugo Wolf-Verein
(18971905), as well as the 1908 student-based Akademischer Verband fr Literatur und Musik that
sponsored concerts. In 1907 Mahler resigned from the opera and accepted a position in New York. His
departure became a public scandal and the widest range of Viennas lite expressed its dismay and
Mahlers successor at the opera, Felix Weingartner suffered by comparison, despite his outstanding
qualities as a conductor and composer who he brought Strausss Elektra and Johann
Strausss Zigeunerbaron into the repertory. He was succeeded in 1911 by Hans Gregor who led the house
until the end of World War I. Gregor was not a musician but a brilliant producer who brought Der
Rosenkavalier, Ariadne and Salome into the repertory, alongside Debussys Pellas et Mlisande and
Puccinis La fanciulla del West. During Gregors tenure, Lotte Lehmann and Maria Jeritza made their
dbuts. A retrospective account of the Hofoper repertory from 1869 to 1900 reveals that the most
frequently performed works were Aida, LAfricaine, Carmen, Cavalleria rusticana, Der fliegende
Hollnder, Les Huguenots, Der Freischtz, Lohengrin, Faust, Le prophte and Tannhuser. This indicates
an important distinction between the Viennese audience for instrumental music (the public at the
Gesellschaft concerts, the Philharmonic and for chamber music) and for opera. The latter was far less tied
to a notion of classicism. But the audience-pleasing spectacle and dramatic accessibility of early Wagner,
French grand opera and verismo during the last decades of the century only deepened the suspicion of
conservative critics such as Brahms and Billroth that a decline in musical culture had taken place. Local
operatic taste fuelled the ambitions of a younger generation, particularly Mahler, to rescue the music in
opera by emphasizing the total ensemble and the works of Mozart (and even Haydn, one of whose operas
Mahler attempted to revive) and the later works of Wagner.
The demand for more orchestral concerts, already a matter of public debate in the 1890s, led to the
founding of the Wiener Konzertverein in 1900. In 1907 the composer and conductor Oskar Nedbal formed
the Wiener Tonknstlerorchester. Unlike the Vienna Philharmonic, these orchestras were not made up of
members of the opera orchestra but were the first free-standing professional orchestras in the city. These
two organizations were the first orchestras exclusively created for concert performance. Ferdinand Lwe,
the protg of Bruckner, directed the Konzertverein (he also served as director of the Gesellschaft
concerts from 1900 to 1904). Lwe emerged as an important figure. He supported new music and brought
all of Bruckners symphonies to the concert stage using the Konzertverein orchestra. In 1905, along with
the Arbeiter-Zeitung music critic Josef David Bach, Schoenbergs friend and a leading socialist, Lwe
helped start the workers symphony orchestra concerts, part of an effort (which lasted until 1934) among
less conservative musicians to extend concert music to the largest segment of the city, the working
classes. A notable event in those concerts was an appearance in 1913 of Furtwngler with George Szell
as soloist. Eventually the Wiener Konzerthausgesellschaft, a new music society, was founded in 1900. A
year later, in 1901, Emil Hertzka, who started his career with the Weinberger publishing firm, founded the
Universal Edition that was to become a pioneer in the publication of 20th-century music, including that of
Schoenberg, Webern, Schreker, Marx and Mahler. The creation of new orchestras and the
Konzerthausgesellschaft led to the construction of Viennas second major concert hall, the Konzerthaus, in
1913 marks the end of an era, not only on account of the creation of a new concert hall, but also because
of two spectacular events which symbolized the divided character in Viennas musical life. Franz Schreker
(using an expanded Tonknstlerorchester and the Philharmonischer Chor, founded in 1907) conducted
two enormously successful performances of Schoenbergs Gurrelieder. Nonetheless, in March 1913
Schoenberg conducted a performance of music by himself, Berg, Webern, Zemlinsky and Mahler at which
a riot took place requiring police intervention.
(iv) 191334.
The most important new factor in musical life in the immediate postwar years was the new
Konzerthausgesellschaft. It was directed until the Anschluss by Hugo Botstiber. Nedbal remained active
until 1917. Owing to the post-World War I political and financial crises, the two new orchestras created at
the beginning of the century merged in 1921 into the Wiener Sinfonie Orchester and ultimately, in 1933,
into the Wiener Symphoniker (the Vienna SO). Lwe led the combined orchestra until 1924. This orchestra
provided the concerts at the new Konzerthaus; its repertory was less conservative than that of the
Gesellschaft or Philharmonic. The new orchestras of Vienna that ultimately merged were responsible for
the first performances of works by Dohnnyi, Elgar, Franck, Pfitzner, Sibelius, Debussy, Bartk, Busoni,
Reger, Szymanowski and Skryabin. The aesthetic agenda was not only progressive, it challenged a
distinct local provincial prejudice on behalf of German and Austrian composers. The new society also
sought to offer popular concerts at low prices (continuing in a more serious vein a tradition begun in the
late 19th century by Eduard Strauss at the Musikverein and later by Lwe before the war with the
Konzertverein orchestra), including Tuesday events in the Volksgarten. Eventually, beginning in 1933, the
new orchestra also spun off a group to broadcast lighter music on the state radio and consented to have
its regular concerts broadcast. In the absence of imperial patronage and with the creation of a republic with
a city government controlled by socialists, the economic support for musical life was in disarray after 1918.
The pre-war populist agenda of the Konzerthausgesellschaft and the new orchestras and the fact that
some concert life continued uninterrupted through the war years gave some glimmer of optimism despite
the evident difficulties. Furtwngler became a primary conductor in 1919; the orchestra gave a complete
Mahler cycle under Oskar Fried in 1921. Between 1921 and 1933 conductors included Leopold Reichwein,
Clemens Krauss, Paul von Klenau, Knappertsbusch and Walter. Oswald Kabasta took over as music
director in 1933.
The Gesellschafts economic situation had become precarious before 1914. In 1909 the conservatory was
turned into a state institution; the viability of private support had run its course. Lwe was the
conservatorys director after the war. However, the leading figures in conservatory education in the 1920s
and early 1930s were the composers Joseph Marx and Franz Schmidt. The open conflicts surrounding
Mahler and Schoenberg before 1914 had created a division between modernism and neo-romanticism;
that division ran parallel with implicit and explicit anti-Semitism. The protagonists of the new, notably
Schoenberg, Berg, Webern, Wellesz and Eduard Steuermann, were either Jews or allied with Jews; the
defenders of tradition, Marx and Schmidt, were Catholic and thoroughly Austrian. The postwar era
heightened the old debate. Austrian identity, cultural and political, in a post-monarchical era was now at
issue. The new republic was for the first time linguistically homogeneous; the Jews became the leading
minority. Arguments for unification with Germany recurred between 1918 and 1938. At the same time, in
the construction of a new Austrian cultural ideal, Marx and Schmidt served as foils against a seemingly
rootless and lawless foreign modernism. Ultimately, by 1926, Schoenberg and Schreker had abandoned
Vienna, having taken up posts teaching in Berlin. Berlin replaced Vienna as the centre of modernism, even
though Wellesz, Webern and Berg remained tied to Vienna.
However, immediately after the war the eventual victory of the conservative musical and critical community
and audience was still uncertain. Modernists rallied to the socialist cause. In 1918 Schoenberg and Berg
organized a utopian rival notion of concert life through the Verein fr Musikalische Privatauffhrungen. This
evoked the exclusive traditions of intimate connoisseurship and enthusiasm for new music characteristic of
the era of Haydn and Beethoven. Initially its concerts were closed to all but members. No critics were
permitted and no applause allowed. Ultimately the society gave some public concerts. It performed a
staggering number of new works, many in reduced arrangements for small ensemble and multiple
keyboards. Even music by J.M. Hauer was presented, who later developed his own 12-note system and,
like Schoenberg, conceived of music as closely allied to painting (notably that of Johannes Itten).
Transcriptions of music by Johann Strauss and Mahler (including a Zemlinsky arrangement of the Sixth
Symphony for two pianos) were included. The society was unable to continue beyond 1921.
The brief enthusiasm for modernism in the immediate postwar years dissipated throughout the 1920s; as
early as 1921 Paul Stefan observed, new music in Vienna has beaten a long retreat. It gradually gave
way to the triumph of reactionary aesthetics and politics. This can be observed despite the quality and
reach of key pro-modernist periodicals, Der Merker (190922; founded by Ludwig Hevesi, the advocate of
the Secession whose music editor was Richard Specht, the author of monographs on Mahler and Strauss),
the Musikbltter des Anbruchs (191937), and Pult und Taktstock (192430; edited by Erwin Stein, a
Schoenberg pupil). In 1932 Willi Reich, who studied with Berg, founded 23 Eine Wiener Musikzeitschrift,
designed to combat the smug conservative journalistic critical discourse on music of the day. The
modernist movement was given impetus by two chamber music ensembles, the Kolisch Quartet, led by
Rudolf Kolisch, and the younger Galimir Quartet. The Kolisch Quartet gave premires of works by Berg,
Webern, Bartk and Schoenberg (playing from memory), as did the Galimir ensemble (led by Felix Galimir
with his sisters) which also championed the music of younger composers.
In the area of music history, Adler continued to dominate the scene, producing several generations of
scholars and scholar composers, including Hans Gl. The fine archival and editorial standard set by
Eusebius Mandyczewski, the long-time archivist of the Gesellschaft and friend of Brahms, remained intact
even after Mandyczewskis death in 1929. It was in the postwar era that Heinrich Schenker produced and
published his seminal work in music theory. He had been a teacher, editor, critic and composer before the
war. But his major contributions to analysis date from a postwar environment in which the defence of
tonality and its formal consequences was at the centre of the debate over 20th-century music. Schoenberg
and Schenker had both written harmony treatises before the war. They both celebrated the significance of
Brahms and both were critical of contemporary habits of listening. But they diverged fundamentally with
regard to the possibilities for the future. Schenker edited the periodical Der Tonwille between 1921 and
The role of the Gesellschaft as guardian of tradition in the postwar era was mirrored in its programmes
which included a German Bach festival in 1914, a Schubert festival in 1923, a Johann Strauss centenary in
1925, the Beethoven centenary in 1927, a second Schubert festival in 1929 and a Brahms celebration in
1933. With respect to contemporary music, its tastes in the 1920s were limited to Reger and Richard
Strauss. The pivotal figure in the first postwar years was Franz Schalk, who led the Gesellschaft concerts
until 1921; he was succeeded by Furtwngler, who stayed until 1934. Other conductors included Robert
Heger and Reichwein. Criticism in Vienna after 1918 sustained the more conservative direction of the pre-
war era. Julius Korngold, Hanslicks successor at the Neue Freie Presse, had little use for Schoenberg and
focused on the fortunes of his son, the prodigy Erich Wolfgang, whose brilliant operatic music made him a
rival to Richard Strauss in a new generation. Other notable critics of the era included Max Graf, Paul
Stefan, Heinrich von Kralik and Elsa Bienefeld.
During the postwar era the Vienna PO worked under Weingartner until 1927; his long tenure was followed
briefly by Furtwngler and then by Krauss. Richard Strauss toured with the orchestra and was a frequent
guest. The orchestra, organized as a self-governing body, provided the appropriate patriotic service during
the war and continued to give concerts. Despite its historicist leanings, in the 1920s works by Stravinsky
and Ravel were programmed. Not surprisingly, however, most of the new music presented was of
conservative or local character: works by Marx, Julius Bittner, Richard Strauss, Reger, Respighi, Gustav
Holst, Korngold, Bloch and Pfitzner. During the postwar period the Vienna PO began to exploit an
international aura as an authentic link to the Viennese classical past, through tours and its service at the
Salzburg Festival from 1925 on. It cultivated a well-rehearsed conceit about its sound, instruments and
interpretative traditions. This self-appointed role as guardian of an authentic Viennese sound world and
legacy, which led to the rewriting of its actual historical relationship to Brahms, Bruckner and Mahler, would
dovetail all too neatly in the 1930s with Austrian fascism and Nazism.
Of all Viennas musical institutions, the opera was the most directly affected by the fall of the monarchy in
1918. The Hofoper became a state institution, the Staatsoper. It now had a rival, the Volksoper, which
Zemlinsky directed until 1911. In 1919 Weingartner, once director of the Hofoper, took charge at the
Volksoper and Franz Schalk (who, together with his brother Josef and Ferdinand Lwe, had been a loyal
advocate and disciple of Bruckner) assumed control with Richard Strauss (who signed a five-year contract)
at the Staatsoper on the Ring. Schalk and Strauss brought new works to the stage. During the war, in
1917, Jenfahad been produced. But from 1919 to 1924 the public encountered works that were either
new or had never been performed in Vienna, by Pfitzner, Schreker, Weingartner, Puccini, Korngold,
Bittner, Zemlinsky, Richard Strauss (including his ballet Schlagobersand his reworking of Beethovens Die
Ruinen von Athen), Kienzl and Walter Braunfels. The arrangement with Strauss was inherently unstable
and Schalk assumed sole control until 1929. Schalk continued his innovative policies, bringing several
Strauss operas and works by Krenek, Hindemith, Ravel and Korngold to the stage. He also produced the
first Viennese Boris Godunov,Andrea Chnier (in a translation by Kalbeck) and La forza del destino in a
German version written by Franz Werfel. Alfred Roller continued to design productions and the standard of
singing and sets remained extraordinarily high. Some productions took place in the Redoutensaal in the
Hofburg. Clemens Krauss succeeded Schalk and remained until 1934. Krauss brought in more light opera,
including works by Lehr, Supp, Jaromr Weinberger and Heuberger. Wozzeck was first heard in 1930,
and MozartsIdomeneo in 1931. Noted for his collaboration with Lothar Wallenstein, Krauss understood the
forces of aesthetic and political reaction on the rise in German-speaking Europe after the financial crises of
the later 1920s and readily catered to them. In 1927, when Kreneks Jonny spielt auf was produced, a
public protest was staged, organized by the Nazi movement, accusing the opera house, the pride of all
Viennese and the pre-eminent cultural institution of the world, of succumbing to a vulgar Jewish-Negro
defilement. With Schalk, the last great era of using the leading Viennese opera house to present new
works passed.
The Vienna of the late 1920s and early 30s continued its romance with operetta and new forms of dance
music. In response to this widespread local craze for the traditions of Viennese operetta, Korngold created,
with Julius Bittner, a pastiche of music by Johann Strauss and turned it into the Singspiel Walzer aus
Wien, which opened in 1930. Korngold added a tango and other contemporary touches in harmonizations
evocative of the commercial popular music of the day. Korngold and Bittner offered an explicit sympathetic
expression of the unique Viennese lightheartedness and, in its natural affinity with song and dance,
musicality. Over 150 new operetta productions opened in Vienna between 1919 and 1934. During the war
years alone nearly 100 new operetta productions opened. Yet beneath this alluring surface of carefree
spirit and love of music and nature was a bitterness and resentment within Vienna concerning the direction
of musical culture and the identity of its protagonists that would bring disastrous consequences between
1934 and 1945.
(v) 193445.
Since 1922 tension had existed between the Christian socialists and the Socialist party. A general strike
took place in 1927, and in 1931, as a result of the failure of a customs union project with Germany, the
leading bank of Austria collapsed. Christian socialism triumphed throughout the country, bolstered by
nationalism and by a domestic fascist movement. Yet throughout the interwar period Vienna was the
centre of Austrian socialism, despite the strength of local Christian socialism and pan-German sentiment.
Dollfuss formed a new government in 1932, based on an anti-socialist coalition. In 1933 he dissolved
parliament and curtailed civil liberties. The Austrian attempt to compete with the growing popularity of the
Nazis failed as Hitler and the domestic Nazi party became openly defiant of what had clearly emerged as
Austro-fascism. By the end of 1934, both the Nazi party and the socialist party were banned. The self-
governing autonomy of Vienna (a legacy of its unique status as an imperial city during the monarchy),
which had sustained cultural life during the interwar period, was taken away. A Nazi coup failed after
Dollfusss assassination in July 1934. In its wake, from 1934 to 1938, a semi-fascist, single-party state
existed, with both Nazis and socialists relegated to underground status. However, the Vienna PO, whose
membership had become more rabidly nationalistic, quickly became heavily nazified, as did many other
Austrian cultural institutions. Anti-Semitism, long a festering problem, exploded. As the late 19th century
had made clear, despite the relative success of the socialist movement in Vienna, the lure of a non-
internationalist mix of nativism and socialism was far more powerful. Between 1934 and 1938 the
Gesellschaft concerts gave an inkling of what would dominate during the Nazi period: a thoroughly anti-
modern repertory. During this period the leading composer of international stature in Vienna was
undoubtedly Berg. Webern was the other major figure who represented the new traditions of Viennese
modernism. Neither were Jews. Berg died in 1935. However, in the one performance of his Violin Concerto
in Vienna, the entire Philharmonic staged a protest, not only against the Jewish soloist Krasner and
conductor Klemperer, but against Bergs music as representative of the sort of insidious Jewish cultural
bolshevism derided by the Nazis. The only other work by Berg to be performed after 1934 were excerpts
from Lulu in December 1935. Representative of modern music was Franz Schmidt, whose Das Buch mit
sieben Siegelnwas enthusiastically received at its premire in June 1938, shortly after the Anschluss. No
modernist music was heard at the opera. The conservative tradition was represented by the music of
Richard Strauss, Wolf-Ferrari, Kienzl, Franz Salmhofer, Respighi and Weinberger. Certainly, Austria
became a refuge for many musicians fleeing Nazi Germany after 1933, including Walter, who briefly
worked at the opera between 1936 and 1938, and Klemperer. Walter also conducted during this period at
the Vienna PO. But the longer term outlook was grim. The one modernist figure without connection to the
Schoenberg circle, Hauer, worked in the 1930s in obscurity. Webern, was eventually cut off from all work,
despite considerable acclaim as a conductor, and his music was left unperformed.
The Anschluss of March 1938, therefore, reflects not a radical change, but a logical conclusion to interwar
politics. Jews were removed from musical life and fled if they could. Nothing symbolized the ironies
inherent in the myth of Viennas musical culture and its relationship to modern politics better than the
embarrassing necessity faced by the Nazis with respect to the music of Johann Strauss. The baptismal
records in the Stephansdom had to be falsified in order to prevent the operettas and waltzes of Strauss,
the epitome of local greatness, from being banned.
Among the migrs were the aged orchestra leader Arnold Ros; the operetta composer Benatzky; the
pianists Serkin, Steuermann, and Paul Wittgenstein; the composers Marcel Rubin (to Mexico), Ernst Toch,
Karl Weigl, Paul A. Pisk, Wellesz, Korngold, Zemlinsky and Emmerich Klmn; the scholars and critics
D.J. Bach, Hugo Botstiber, O.E. Deutsch, Karl Geiringer, Hans Gl, Paul Stefan, Eric Werner and Hans F.
Redlich; and a staggering number of performers and writers, ranging from Mosco Carner to Rudolf Kolisch,
the librettist Alfred Grnwald, Lotte Lehmann, Bernhard Paumgartner, Marcel Prawy, Josef Reitler, Robert
Starer and Elisabeth Schumann.
The journalist Hugo Bettauer, who was assassinated in 1925, had published a satirical book in 1922
entitled Eine Stadt ohne Juden: ein Roman fr bermorgen (A city without Jews: a novel for the day after
tomorrow). That day after tomorrow became an immediate reality after 1938. The Gesellschaft was
nazified and even the aged Guido Adler was informed that he had been stripped of his honorary
membership. The Austrian association of composers was disbanded and replaced by a new organization
of German composers from Austria. The opera house was also purged and nazified as was the
Konzerthausgesellschaft. Furtwngler took over the Philharmonic and Kabasta the Gesellschaft concerts
along with the Vienna SO concerts at the Konzerthaus. The breach was filled by an embarrassingly large
number of distinguished non-Jews, including Karl Bhm, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Sena Jurinac, Rudolf
Moralt, Wolfgang Schneiderhan, Wilhelm Backhaus, Clemens Krauss, Eugen Jochum, Franz Konwitschny,
Josef Kleiberth, Leopold Reichwein, Joseph Marx and Hans Knappertsbusch. Krauss served during the
Nazi era as the Hofmusikkapelldirektor. Bhm directed the opera from 1943 to 1945.
During the war years the opera produced music by composers sympathetic to the regime, including Carl
Orff, Werner Egk and Franz Lehr. The wartime Gauleiter of Vienna, Baldur von Schirach, fancied himself
a patron of the arts. Strauss moved to Vienna and participated in the massive 1941 Mozart festival which
was designed as a propaganda event. He also celebrated his 80th birthday in the city. Despite his
commitment to aesthetic modernism, Webern became an enthusiastic proponent of the Nazis. Webern
was not the first or only modernist to attempt an accommodation. Krenek had been an enthusiastic
supporter of Dollfuss and his successor Schuschnigg, openly declaring his allegiance to Austro-fascism.
However, by 1936 Krenek, a non-Jew, was, unlike Webern, clearheaded enough to choose emigration.
The late 19th-century nostalgia for a pre-industrial Vienna, local ambivalence to modernity and virulent
anti-Semitism all found expression in the Viennese enthusiasm for the Anschluss and the arrival of
Nazism. The repertory favoured during the war years focused on Bruckner and Schubert; a special
emphasis was placed on the music of Reger, Schmidt and Wolf. In the arena of musical scholarship,
matters were no better. Nazification extended to musicology and criticism; key representatives were Max
Morold, Erich Schenk (who took over the music section at the university), Alfred Orel, Robert Lach (who
had joined the Nazi party illegally in 1933) and, above all, Robert Haas, the Nazi who was responsible for
the now suspect critical edition of Bruckner. Vienna suffered severley in the final years of the war, during
which the opera house was destroyed.