Transcription of Krenek Papers

I am doing a transcription of some of Krenek’s papers in preparation for a paper I am writing on his Solo Viola Sonata.  Below are some of the notes from the work I’m doing and an excerpt from the beginning of the transcription (I am not sure whether I am allowed to post it all.)

Transcriber’s Notes:

Below is a transcription of 3 pages of analysis that were written by Ernst Krenek in preparation for a lecture that was broadcast by KPFA in Berkeley, CA in August of 1957.  The analysis is on Krenek’s own Sonata for Solo Viola, op. 92/3 (1942), which is published by Universal Edition.

In this transcription I have tried to leave everything as Krenek wrote it, down to the punctuation.  This transcription is mainly for ease of reading for future researchers as Krenek’s handwriting can be more difficult to read at some points.

I have also included images of the examples that Krenek cites, in some cases where he refers to a tone row in a piece, I have included the row and the excerpt of the row in its musical context.

Eric Lemmon, 2/2/2013


Notes for KPFA, Aug. 1957

Krenek Music, Berkeley

The Sonata for Viola solo was written in August 1942 at Bear Lake in the Rocky Mountains National Park of Colorado.  In that time I was interested in adapting the twelve – tone technique, that I had studied and employed for more than twelve years, to the purposes of a type of structural design which was derived from the traditional concept of the sonata form.

The Sonata is based on two different twelve – tone rows which are constantly brought into variegated interplay until in the last movement they are integrated with each other.  From the viewpoint of dodecaphonic procedure the treatment of the tone – rows may be called “free” in that the order of succession of the tones is occasionally modified in order to satisfy both the demands of the structural concept of the piece as well as the intention of gradually revealing the internal kinship of the two tone – rows which originally seem to be quite different from each other.

If anyone is interested in the works of Krenek, the Krenek Archive in Austria is an invaluable resource and many of the composer’s documents that were originally scattered about the US and Europe twenty years ago are being consolidated there.  The staff are also incredibly helpful.

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