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SERGIO: Mr. Schoenberg’s brand new “Second Symphony” is surely one of
your prize offerings…    Mr. Schoenberg, let me have the great privilege of introducing you, as a person, to the audience, which knows you only through your works and will certainly be thrilled to hear you say a few words about this new and still unperformed composition… Mr. Arnold Schoenberg:

SCHOENBERG: Thank you Miss Sergio… If you will be kind enough to ask me some questions, I shall be glad to try to answer them…

SERGIO: Why, certainly… When did you compose your “Second Symphony” Mr. Schoenberg?

SCHOENBERG: To be sure, Miss Sergio, this work really is not really a symphony, but a Chamber Symphony… it was written for a Chamber orchestra and the restriction to small orchestration also means a restriction both in content and form…

SERGIO: Thank you for making that clear…

SCHOENBERG: Now to go back to your question. After finishing my first Chamber symphony, in 1906, I started at once an a second one, but just at that time a change in my style occurred to what is generally but erroneously called my “atonal style”… it is illustrated in my three piano pieces, for instance… and I did not complete the symphony. Last summer, my friend Fritz Stiedry, who conducts the New Friends of Music Orchestra, asked me if I would write something especially for this group…

SERGIO: …and after all these years, since 1908, you went back to your unfinished Second Chamber Symphony?

SCHOENBERG: Just so, and I wrote it to meet the particular instrumental requirements of the New Friends orchestra. It was interesting to me to go back to my notes of some thirty years ago, and re-write the work with the use of my present knowledge of orchestration....

SERGIO: It is in how many movements?

SCHOENBERG: Two. The first is an adagio, the second an allegro with an adagio epilogue. I have not yet heard it played, because this will be its first performance.

SERGIO: It is Mr. Stiedry who will conduct it next Sunday at Carnegie Hall, is it not?

SCHOENBERG: Yes, and I am sorry that I must return to Los Angeles before the rehearsals start.

SERGIO: The audience will be sorry not to have you there, Mr. Schoenberg… Last Sunday’s Performance of your Pierrot Lunaire under your baton was indeed unforgettable…

SCHOENBERG: Thank you… and now, Miss Sergio, I hope you will forgive me if I say good bye rather hurriedly… I only have a few more hours in New York… again thank you!

Radio talk, December 1940, unknown radio station; transcribed from typescript, Arnold Schönberg Center, Wien (T 57.02)