×

Notice

By using this website, you agree that cookies are placed on your device. ATTENTION: If you click on "decline", the online shop will not be working and some areas of the site may not be displayed properly!

View infos on Cookies and Privacy Policy

You have declined cookies. This decision can be reversed.
VR18

Unable to embed Rapid1Pixelout audio player. Please double check that:  1)You have the latest version of Adobe Flash Player.  2)This web page does not have any fatal Javascript errors.  3)The audio-player.js file of Rapid1Pixelout has been included.

Zurück zur Übersicht

Aufnahmedatum: 1947 May 22
Dauer: 4:27
Beschreibung: On Schoenberg's struggle to follow his musical instincts in composition. Also known as the "Boiling water" speech. In English.
Signatur: 22/C (3:46); 40/C (4:27); 48/R7 (4:27); 105/R7 (4:21)
Publikationen: keine

Transkription:

SCHOENBERG:
Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen. I am proud about the formulation under which this award has been given to me.
That all I have endeavoured to accomplish during these fifty years is now evaluated as an achievement seems in some respects to be an overestimation.
At least not before I could sum it up--that is: while it still looked to me like a pell-mell of incoherent details, at least then did I fail to understand it as a direction leading toward an accomplishment. Personally I had the feeling as if I had fallen into an ocean of boiling water, and not knowing how to swim or to get out in another manner, I tried with my legs and arms as best as I could.
I do not know what saved me; why I was not drowned or cooked alive. I have perhaps only one merit: I never gave up! But how could I give up in the middle of an ocean. Whether my wriggling was very economical or entirely senseless, whether it helped me to survive or counteracted it--there was nobody to help me, nor were there many who would not have liked to see me succomb. I do not contend it was envy--of what was there to be envious? I doubt also that it was absence of good will--or, worse--presence of ill wishing.
It might have been the desire to get rid of this nightmare, of this unharmonious torture, of these unintelliglble ideas, of this methodical madness--and I must admit: there were not bad men who felt this way--though, of course, I never understood what I had done to them to make them as malicious, as furious, as cursing, as agressive. I am still certain that I had never taken away from them something they owned; I had never interfered with their rights, with their prerogatives; I never did trespass their property; I even did not know where it was located, which were the boundaries of their lots and who had given them title to these possessions.
Maybe I didn't care enough about such problems, maybe I myself failed to understand their viewpoints, was not considerate enough, was rough when I should have been soft, was impatient when they were worried by time pressure, was ridiculing them, when indulgence was advisable, laughed when they were distressed. I see only that I was always in the red; but I have one excuse: I had fallen into an ocean, into an ocean of overheated water and it burned not only my skin, it burned also internally. And I could not swim.
At least: I could not swim with the tide, all I could do was to swim against the tide--whether it saved me or not. I see that I was always in the red and when you call this an achievement, so--forgive me--I do not understand of what it might consist. That I never gave up? I could not--I would have liked to. I am proud to receive this award under the assumption that I have achieved something. Please do not call it false modesty if I say: Maybe something has been achieved, but it was not I who deserves the credit for that. The credit must be given to my opponents. They were the ones who really helped me. Thank you.

COMMENTATOR: [unintelligible two or three words].

Zurück zur Übersicht