Over the last two decades, scholars started investigating the figure of Schenker within the wide cultural horizons of the turn-of-the-century central Europe. Following their footsteps, this book considers the full range of cultural and musical issues in Schenker’s interpretation of Chopin, in particular it investigates the path by which Schenker ended up considering Chopin as a German composer – a master in the art of diminution – which constitutes a very important chapter in the wider discourse of Chopin’s reception.
Divided in five chapters, after an introduction to Schenker’s working material preserved in the Oster Collection at the New York Public Library, the book contextualises Schenker’s critique of Chopin’s reception across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries against the backdrop of music criticism and aspects of gender in fin de siècle Vienna. It then follows Schenker’s investigation of the music of Chopin through his harmony and counterpoint treatises and through a series of working materials from the Oster Collection: the Preludes op. 28, the last movement from the Sonata op. 35, the Scherzo op. 31.
By bringing together analytical rigour and a broad cultural vision, this book will be a highly valuable addition to the understanding of both Schenker and Chopin.