Principal Franz Schubert and His World
Due to the technical work on the site downloading books (as well as file conversion and sending books to email/kindle) may be unstable from May, 27 to May, 28 Also, for users who have an active donation now, we will extend the donation period.
Most frequently terms
FRANZ SCHUBERT AND HIS WORLD OTHER PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PRESS VOLUMES PUBLISHED IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE BARD MUSIC FESTIVAL Brahms and His World edited by Walter Frisch (1990) Janáček and His World edited by Michael Beckerman (2003) Mendelssohn and His World edited by R. Larry Todd (1991) Shostakovich and His World edited by Laurel E. Fay (2004) Richard Strauss and His World edited by Bryan Gilliam (1992) Aaron Copland and His World edited by Carol J. Oja and Judith Tick (2005) Dvoˇrák and His World edited by Michael Beckerman (1993) Schumann and His World edited by R. Larry Todd (1994) Bartók and His World edited by Peter Laki (1995) Charles Ives and His World edited by J. Peter Burkholder (1996) Franz Liszt and His World edited by Christopher H. Gibbs and Dana Gooley (2006) Edward Elgar and His World edited by Byron Adams (2007) Prokofiev and His World edited by Simon Morrison (2008) Haydn and His World edited by Elaine R. Sisman (1997) Brahms and His World (revised edition) edited by Walter Frisch and Kevin C. Karnes (2009) Tchaikovsky and His World edited by Leslie Kearney (1998) Richard Wagner and His World edited by Thomas S. Grey (2009) Schoenberg and His World edited by Walter Frisch (1999) Alban Berg and His World edited by Christopher Hailey (2010) Beethoven and His World edited by Scott Burnham and Michael P. Steinberg (2000) Jean Sibelius and His World edited by Daniel M. Grimley (2011) Debussy and His World edited by Jane F. Fulcher (2001) Mahler and His World edited by Karen Painter (2002) Camille Saint-Saëns and His World edited by Jann Pasler (2012) Stravinsky and His World edited by Tamara Levitz (2013) FRANZ SCHUBERT AND HIS WORLD EDITED BY CHRISTOPHER H. GIBBS AND MORTEN SOLVIK PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PRESS PRINCETON AND OXFORD Copyright © 2014 by Princeton University Press Published by Princeton University Press, 41 William Street, Princeton, New Jersey 08540 In the United Kingdom: Princeton University Press, 6 Oxford Street, Woodstock, Oxfordshire OX20 1TW press; .princeton.edu All Rights Reserved For permission information, see page xvii Library of Congress Control Number: 2014940720 ISBN: 978-0-691-16379-6 (cloth) ISBN: 978-0-691-16380-2 (paperback) British Library Cataloging-in-Publication Data is available This publication has been produced by the Bard College Publications Office: Ginger Shore, Project Director Karen Walker Spencer, Designer Anita van de Ven, Cover Design Text edited by Paul De Angelis and Erin Clermont Music typeset by Don Giller This publication has been underwritten in part by grants from Roger and Helen Alcaly and Furthermore, a program of the J. M. Kaplan Fund Printed on acid-free paper. ∞ Printed in the United States of America. 1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2 Contents Preface and Acknowledgments vii Permissions and Credits xvii Schubert: The Nonsense Society Revisited 1 RITA STEBLIN Excerpts from Beyträge zur Bildung für Jünglinge, 1817–1818 39 ANTON VON SPAUN AND JOHANN MAYRHOFER TRANSLATED, INTRODUCED, AND ANNOTATED BY DAVID GRAMIT “Those of us who found our life in art”: The Second-Generation Romanticism of the Schubert-Schober Circle, 1820–1825 67 JOHN M. GINGERICH Schubert’s Kosegarten Settings of 1815: A Forgotten Liederspiel 115 MORTEN SOLVIK The Queen of Golconda, the Ashman, and the Shepherd on a Rock: Schubert and the Vienna Volkstheater 157 LISA FEURZEIG Liszt on Schubert’s Alfonso und Estrella 183 INTRODUCED AND TRANSLATED BY ALLAN KEILER Schubert’s Freedom of Song, If Not Speech 201 KRISTINA MUXFELDT Schubert’s Tombeau de Beethoven: Decrypting the Piano Trio in E-flat Major, Op. 100 241 CHRISTOPHER H. GIBBS Schubert in History 299 LEON BOTSTEIN Index 349 Notes on Contributors 363 • v • Preface Dein Freund Schubert. These were probably the last words the composer ever wrote, about a week before he died on 19 November 1828, at age thirty-one. They were the conclusion to a heart-wrenching letter to Franz von Schober, his closest friend, that began: “I am ill. I have eaten nothing for eleven days and drunk nothing. And I totter feebly and shakily from my chair to bed and back again.”1 He then made the simple request that Schober send him some novels by James Fenimore Cooper. Schubert’s last letter points to some defining dimensions of his alltoo-brief life: that friends and family were at its center (he was living at the time with his older brother Ferdinand, having recently moved from Schober’s place); that literature was a consuming passion; and that serious illness led to early death. An obituary a few weeks later observed that the composer “lived solely for art and for a small circle of friends.”2 To this constellation of friendship, art, and a life of seemingly endless potential cut short, we should add another crucial element: Vienna. Unlike great predecessors who moved to the gloried “city of music,” Schubert was born and remained there, with only infrequent excursions not far away. An understanding of the music Schubert wrote during his brief career benefits enormously from awareness of the social, cultural, intellectual, and political context in which he lived and worked. This book, the twenty-fifth in the Bard Music Festival series published by Princeton University Press, aims more than ever to be true its title: to explore a particular composer’s world, a world that in Schubert’s case proved quite limited in duration, geography, and professional opportunities, but that nonetheless nourished astounding creative achievements, not only from contemporaries in music, such as Beethoven, but in the other arts as well. One of the many enduring myths about Schubert is that he was largely unrecognized during his lifetime, a sad situation allegedly allayed to some extent by a devoted circle of friends who embraced his music. The reality seems to have been much more complex. He enjoyed considerable success, both in Vienna and beyond, with his songs and small-scale pieces, most intended for domestic consumption. A culture of intimate music-making is epitomized by the Schubertiades of the 1820s, evenings devoted to his music at which Schubert and others played for friends and invited guests. Schubert’s ambitions, however, went much farther, extending to what he once described to a publisher as his “strivings • vii • PREFACE AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS after the highest in art.”3 He ultimately produced a staggering quantity of music, although most of it remained unpublished during his time. Already as a teenager he composed a large number of chamber, orchestral, sacred, and dramatic pieces, but it was in his twenties that he claimed real ownership of these genres. (Had he been of the mindset of Johannes Brahms, he probably would have destroyed much of his early instrumental music.) Many of these large-scale works were never performed in his lifetime and some were therefore unknown even to certain friends who viewed him, as did the public in general, principally as a composer of Lieder. Franz Grillparzer, Austria’s leading writer and an acquaintance, captured contemporaneous perceptions in the epitaph he crafted for Schubert’s grave: “The Art of Music Here Entombed a Rich Possession, But Even Far Fairer Hopes.”4 The idea of an unfinished career finds expression in Schubert’s most popular instrumental work, his Symphony in B Minor—the “Unfinished”—composed in 1822, and actually just one of a handful of his unfinished symphonies. When the work was finally premiered more than forty years later, in December 1865, critic Eduard Hanslick noted the “excited extraordinary enthusiasm” of the audience and how after hearing only a few measures “every child recognized the composer, and a muffled ‘Schubert’ was whispered in the audience . . . every heart rejoiced, as if, after a long separation, the composer himself were among us in person.”5 Three years later Schubert’s close friend Moritz von Schwind created his famous sepia drawing of a Schubertiade at Josef von Spaun’s house (see Figure 1 on page 68). Schwind also worked on a version in oils, which appears on the cover of this book, but it was not yet completed when the artist died in 1871.6 The unfinished state of both the symphony and painting helps remind us of Schubert’s unfinished life, suggesting a figurative “program” to various pieces that have none declared, not just the “Unfinished” Symphony, but also the “Quartettsatz,” “Reliquie” Piano Sonata, and other marvelous torsos. The span of Schubert’s active public career lasted less than fifteen years, from 1814 to 1828. It is fitting that this book should appear in 2014, and that the Bard Music Festival honors Schubert during its twenty-fifth season, as the year marks the bicentennial of his miraculous masterpiece Gretchen am Spinnrade, whose composition on 19 October 1814 is often hailed as the “Birthday of the German Lied.” In political history, the year also had profound consequences for Schubert and his contemporaries, as it saw the convening of the Congress of Vienna, held between September 1814 and June 1815 to negotiate borders and balances of power in the wake of the Napoleonic Wars. A period of reaction in Austria under the • viii • Christopher H. Gibbs and Morten Solvik powerful Prince Clemens von Metternich led to censorship and repression that crucially defined aspects of Schubert’s world. A better appreciation of this time and place reveals matters that contemporaries, especially close friends, would have understood but that have since been obscured or forgotten. Despite the focus of much recent Schubert scholarship on ahistorical analytic matters, there have nonetheless been enormous strides in advancing archival and documentary knowledge of Schubert’s world, all building on the pioneering work of the great Schubert scholar Otto Erich Deutsch (1883–1967). The publications of the Internationales Franz Schubert Institut between 1987 and 2005, the journal Schubert: Perspektiven, abundant conference reports, contributory volumes, and monographs continue to enlarge our historical understanding of the composer. One result is that the image of Schubert has changed considerably, from the familiar one of a poor, shy, largely unappreciated figure, surrounded by merry friends, who composed “clairvoyantly,” to a darker portrait of one who struggled valiantly with health, depression, career, and political repression.7 The revisionist portrait is built on a firmer documentary basis and is surely more nuanced, although of necessity it is still often speculative and hampered by large holes in the historical record, not least because so few verbal documents survive from Schubert himself. The most sensational repositioning of Schubert, which generated the most heated debates, concerns his sexual life, an issue still far from resolved (and probably unresolvable) that is not much discussed in this book.8 What has proved salutary is the more skeptical and subtle examination of Schubert’s own writings and of those about him, which helps construct a much more psychologically complex and professionally confident figure than the clueless one earlier trivialized in sentimental fiction, operettas, films, and biographies. There remain large gaps to fill, facts to find, and secrets to solve, a project this book seeks to advance. The order of the chapters presented here combines the roughly chronological with the thematic. The first three in various ways consider Schubert’s social sphere, his famous “circle of friends.” In some of the book’s essays, scholars revisit, revise, and expand their own earlier work. Twenty years ago Rita Steblin, a Canadian scholar living in Vienna whose formidable archival work on Schubert and Beethoven has yielded fascinating finds (and sometimes controversial interpretations), discovered newsletters of the so-called Unsinnsgesellschaft (Nonsense Society). Schubert participated in this secret society, made up largely of artists and poets, along with some familiar friends, notably Leopold and Josef Kupelwieser, but also with • ix • PREFACE AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS individuals previously not known to have had any contact with him. The Unsinnsgesellschaft was active from April 1817 to December 1818, when Schubert was in his very early twenties. The surviving newsletters—the Archive of Human Nonsense—reveal a subculture in which code names, secrets, playfulness, and irreverence were paramount values. They shed new light on some of Schubert’s compositions and contain marvelous illustrations, a few included here, that add to the limited supply of contemporaneous images of the composer. Schubert had graduated a few years earlier from the Vienna Stadtkonvikt, an elite boarding school to which he had won a scholarship because of his musical gifts and where he began to forge lasting friendships. His somewhat older school friends (and then friends of these friends) initially guided his career, suggested (and sometimes wrote) poems for him to set to music, and helped to facilitate various career opportunities. Most of these young men were musical, but not professional musicians. David Gramit, in his presentation of three translated articles from Beyträge zur Bildung für Jünglinge (Contributions to Education for Youths), offers another window into Schubert’s early social milieu, an altogether more serious one than that associated with the Unsinnsgesellschaft. This short-lived annual appeared for just two years (1817–18) and contained essays, poems, translations, dramatic scenes, and other edifying offerings. Today we might think of it as akin to a literary journal put together by smart graduate students at a good university. One encounters earnestness, ambition, and idealism, a search for virtue, truth, and the good—all appropriate to the age of the contributors. As these two opening chapters show, Schubert was engaged with different social networks, but posterity has nevertheless loosely lumped them all together as a monolithic “Schubert Circle,” the individuals who populate Schwind’s composite Schubertiade illustrations. John M. Gingerich demonstrates that this was not the case and examines overlapping spheres in which Schubert participated, sometimes at the periphery or, with Schober, at its center (leading Schubert to coin the name “Schobert”).9 In the fall of 1824 a major conflict divided the circle around Schubert and Schober over an issue that superficially seems a mere test of loyalty. But the subsequent paths of various members reveal fissures that mirror divergences between early and late Romanticism, or more precisely, between the Friedrich Schlegel of 1799 and the same Friedrich von Schlegel of the 1820s, which means that they were also profoundly divided over religious and political issues. Gingerich traces the connections various members of the group had to both early and late Schlegel, some of them intense and personal, as well as the varied • x • Christopher H. Gibbs and Morten Solvik involvement of the painters in the circle with the so-called Nazarenes, a movement in German painting also influenced by the Romantic writer. The essay reveals a Schubert circle profoundly divided over some of the central ideological, social, and artistic controversies of the time, and to a surprising extent personally engaged with some of the main actors in those controversies. The next three essays touch on Schubert’s engagement with dramatic works, each from a very different vantage point. In the first, coeditor Morten Solvik explores the Liederspiel, a form of semi-dramatic, domestic music-making associated with simple strophic songs. He lays out for the first time in English a case he has made in earlier work concerning Schubert’s 1815 settings of twenty poems by Gotthard Ludwig Kosegarten, demonstrating that they form a group of Lieder for three singers portraying the tragic tale of an amorous adventurer and his forlorn mistresses. Schubert’s path-breaking later song cycles to poems by Wilhelm Müller, Die schöne Müllerin (1823) and Winterreise (1827), are much more familiar today and have obscured this earlier practice, a type of song performance in private salons involving amateur acting and multiple characters. In what emerges as something of a detective story, Solvik examines Schubert’s manuscripts for the Kosegarten songs, as well as musical evidence based on tonal planning, head motives, and other compositional devices, to make the case that the composer conceived these Lieder as a unified set telling a Biedermeier story of love gone astray. In addition to such domestic spheres, including the Schubertiades, Schubert regularly attended a reading group that discussed contemporary authors including Goethe, Heinrich Heine, Heinrich von Kleist, and Ludwig Tieck. Theater was a preoccupation for the Viennese in general and an area in which Schubert also hoped to succeed as a public figure— he wrote more than a dozen theatrical works, from brief Singspiele, to incidental music, to full-scale operas. Anselm Hüttenbrenner described his friend’s typical day: Schubert would get up early and compose from six to one, he “never composed in the afternoon; after the midday meal he went to a café, drank a small portion of black coffee, smoked for an hour or two and read the newspapers at the same time. In the evening he went to one or other of the theaters.”10 Even if Hüttenbrenner exaggerated the frequency of Schubert’s theatrical attendance, there is little doubt he and his friends went to a great many plays, folk theater, and operas. Lisa Feurzeig considers how the Volkstheater tradition, plays by Ferdinand Raimund and Adolf Bäuerle with music by Wenzel Müller and Joseph Drechsler, may have found echoes in pieces by Schubert, including the “Wanderer” Fantasy, Winterreise, and Der Hirt auf dem Felsen.11 • xi • PREFACE AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Schubert’s theatrical aspirations are most apparent in his full-scale operas Alfonso und Estrella (1822) and Fierabras (1823), neither of which was staged during his lifetime. In the midst of the Rossinimania that captivated Vienna in the late teens and early 1820s, Schubert held out hopes that German opera might succeed. The triumph of Carl Maria von Weber’s Der Freischütz in 1821 made this seem reasonable, just as the failure two years later of the same composer’s Euryanthe is partly responsible for dashing those hopes. Schober wrote the libretto for Alfonso; the two friends enjoyed a secluded period in the fall of 1821 working together on the project, which was completed in January. Decades later Schober brought the opera to the attention of Franz Liszt, with whom he was closely associated at the time in Weimar. Liszt adored Schubert’s music— he once called him “the most poetic of musicians”—and although he harbored reservations about Alfonso, he nonetheless mounted its much belated premiere in 1854.12 He also wrote an extended essay about the work, which Allan Keiler introduces and translates here. Liszt does not pull his punches, pointing to the faults in the opera, but also to its many marvels. The final three chapters explore the intersection between intention and reception, Schubert’s goals as a composer and the manner in which he has been understood by posterity. Schubert won his first and most enduring fame with Lieder, the genre in which he produced his initial masterpieces to texts by Goethe and that engaged him to the very end (the playfully serious Die Taubenpost, on a poem by the Viennese poet Johann Gabriel Seidl about an esoteric mode of communication employed by both lovers and spies, was apparently the last piece he wrote). His songs have invited an astonishing range of scholarly attention and approaches. Recent German-language scholarship in particular has become attuned to political imagery in numerous poems that he chose to set in the repressive post-Napoleonic chill that came over Vienna just as his career was starting up. The hopes of so many in his generation for a spring-like renewal after the war were frustrated by an interminable winter. Kristina Muxfeldt’s essay explores how Schubert’s music deftly reshaped words and allowed unsuspected meanings to resound in the changing political climate. In a time of censorship, music with words, such as songs and operas, had to receive official approval, but Muxfeldt argues that Lieder nonetheless offered Schubert an expressive realm for political thought, “freedom of song, if not speech,” as she puts it. Beethoven was the commanding musical presence in Schubert’s world and the composer he most revered. Coeditor Christopher Gibbs returns to a topic broached in earlier writings to propose that Schubert • xii • Christopher H. Gibbs and Morten Solvik composed the Piano Trio in E-flat Major, Op. 100, in honor of Beethoven. We know Schubert was deeply affected by the master’s death and participated in his funeral on 29 March 1827. The following November, just as Beethoven’s gravestone was dedicated, he began composing the trio, which premiered publicly on 26 March 1828, the first anniversary of Beethoven’s death. Various strains of biographical and musical evidence converge to suggest that Schubert wrote the piece as a tombeau de Beethoven, which may explain why many listeners have perceived a ghost haunting the work ever since. Schubert died less than eight months after the premiere of the E-flat Piano Trio and a few days later he was buried, supposedly at his expressed request, near to Beethoven. The two composers became increasingly united in death, their graves a pilgrimage site, and the musical values embodied by their compositions compared and contrasted. The continual posthumous discovery of ever more of Schubert’s music meant that his achievement seemed more in line with Beethoven’s. With Schubert’s premature passing he entered not only a realm of myth making, but also of contest for his legacy, a subject Leon Botstein considers in the final chapter. Among the posthumous careers of the great Classical and Romantic composers Schubert’s is unprecedented and extraordinary: most of his significant instrumental, dramatic, and religious music was released in the decades following his death, a steady stream of masterpieces that surprised and delighted many. The discovery of new marvels—Hanslick commented that it appeared Schubert was “composing invisibly”13—made it seem as if he were still alive, a contemporary not only of Mendelssohn and Schumann (both of whom died well before the premiere of the “Unfinished” Symphony), but also of Wagner and Brahms. Thus Schubert could be enlisted or dismissed as a continuing presence in the contested musical politics of the century, and not simply invoked as a departed master. His close identification with Vienna accelerated, and choral groups such as the Wiener Männergesangverein and Schubertbund claimed him as a native son. Botstein takes the story into the twentieth century, including the 1928 centennial of Schubert’s death, when he continued to be extravagantly celebrated and condescendingly diminished by individuals and groups with larger ideological agendas. Great historical figures are, of course, always ripe for reassessment, provoking studies that can reveal, with the benefits of hindsight, new perspectives on the distant past while also inevitably reflecting current concerns and attitudes. Anniversary years add impetus, as shown by Schubertjahre in 1897, 1928, 1978, and 1997. As the Bard Music Festival • xiii • PREFACE AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS and this book series celebrate their silver anniversary, we are halfway now from the Schubert bicentennial to the next big anniversary in 2028. Among leading composers of the past two and half centuries Schubert, with his largely uneventful and poorly documented life, and his extraordinary posthumous career, turns out to be a fascinating and unusually inviting figure for continual reappraisal. — Christopher H. Gibbs NOTES 1. Otto Erich Deutsch, Schubert: A Documentary Biography, trans. Eric Blom (London, 1946), 819–20. 2. Otto Erich Deutsch, Schubert: Memoirs by His Friends, trans. Rosamond Ley and John Nowell (London, 1958), 10. 3. Deutsch, Schubert: A Documentary Biography, 740. 4. See Ernst Hilmar, “Zu Grillparzers Inschrift auf Schuberts Grabdenkmal,” Schubert durch die Brille 29 (2002): 125–28. 5. Hanslick’s Musical Criticisms, ed. and trans. Henry Pleasants (New York, 1978), 102. 6. For more about Schwind’s drawing and painting, see Maurice J. E. Brown, “Schwind’s ‘Schubert-Abend bei Josef Spaun,’” in Essays on Schubert (New York, 1966), 155–68. 7. Christopher H. Gibbs, “‘Poor Schubert’: Images and Legends of the Composer,” Cambridge Companion to Schubert, ed. Christopher H. Gibbs (Cambridge, 1997), 36–55. 8. Maynard Solomon first raised the issue of the composer’s possible homosexuality in “Franz Schubert’s ‘Mein Traum,’” American Imago 38 (1981): 137–54. His argument achieved wide notoriety with the article “Franz Schubert and the Peacocks of Benvenuto Cellini,” 19th-Century Music 12 (Spring 1989): 193–206; and responses in “Schubert: Music, Sexuality, Culture,” a special issue of 19th-Century Music 17 (Summer 1993). 9. Deutsch, Schubert: A Documentary Biography, 98. 10. Deutsch, Schubert: Memoirs by His Friends, 183. 11. Concerning possible influences of popular theater on Schubert’s own dramatic music, see Mary Wischusen, “Franz Schubert and Viennese Popular Comedy,” in The Unknown Schubert, ed. Barbara M. Reul and Lorraine Byrne Bodley (Aldershot, 2008), 83–97. 12. Janita R. Hall-Swadley, ed. and trans., The Collected Writings of Franz Liszt, vol. 2: Essays and Letters of a Traveling Bachelor of Music (Lanham, 2012), 327. 13. Deutsch, Schubert: Memoirs by His Friends, 383. • xiv • Acknowledgments With Franz Schubert and His World the Bard Music Festival series, published each year by Princeton University Press, reaches its twenty-fifth volume. Many of the individuals deserving thanks for their efforts with this book have long been involved with the series, some going back to Brahms and His World in 1990. First and foremost is Leon Botstein, who when he founded the festival was determined that performance and scholarship should exist in fruitful dialogue and that a lasting legacy of each year’s explorations would be a volume of essays and documents. Ginger Shore has overseen the process since 1996 and retires this year; our thanks to her for dedication to these volumes, for always keeping things moving forward, and for her sensitive oversight of design issues. Irene Zedlacher, executive director of the Bard Music Festival, brings her keen editorial eye to reading the book and deals with many other matters to make things run smoothly. Don Giller has set the musical examples since the series began and we thank him for his careful work. We are grateful to Erin Clermont for copy-editing, Karen Spencer for the layout, and Ruth Elwell for indexing. Our special thanks to another veteran of the series, Paul De Angelis, who oversees the production of the book from start to finish. His generous help and support as well as his terrific editorial comments and suggestions are what editors, authors, and contributors crave but so rarely receive in publishing ventures these days. We count ourselves very lucky. We would also like to thank our families for their patience and support as we put together this book in countless email exchanges, Skype calls, transAtlantic trips, and long nights of editing. We are grateful for their care and understanding. Finally, when a publisher asked Schubert about the dedication of one of his pieces, the composer responded: “The work is to be dedicated to nobody, save those who find pleasure in it. That is the most profitable dedication.” In that spirit we wish to thank and dedicate this book to that most precious and endangered group in classical music, the generous music-loving patrons and benefactors who have made the Bard Music Festival possible year after year. Christopher H. Gibbs, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York Morten Solvik, Vienna, Austria • xv • Permissions and Credits The following institutions and individuals have graciously granted permission to reprint or reproduce these materials: Erich Lessing/Art Resource, New York, for the front cover image by Moritz von Schwind; and for Figure 3, p. 224. Handschriftensammlung, Wienbibliothek for Figure 1, p. 2; Figure 5, p. 9; Figure 7 (and 7a–7b), pp. 18–19; Figure 4, p. 127 (from the album “Stammbuch Karl Haslinger. Herrn Karl Haslinger zur Erinnerung an den 25-jährigen Bestand seiner musikalischen Abende gewidmet 1862”); and Figure 4, p. 235. Musiksammlung, Wienbibliothek for Figure 2, p. 123. Wien Museum Karlsplatz the copyrighted © images reproduced in Figure 2, p. 4; Figure 3, p. 5; Figure 4, p. 6; Figure 6, p. 12; Figure 8, p. 24; Figure 10, p. 28. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna/The Bridgeman Art Library, for Figure 9, p. 25. Lebrecht Music & Arts for Figure 1, p. 55 and Figure 3, p. 98. Wien Museum Karlsplatz, Vienna, and Erich Lessing/Art Resource, New York, for Figure 1, p. 68; Figure 2, p. 69; and Figure 2, p. 186. Goethe House and Museum, Frankfurt, Germany/Art Resource, New York, for Figure 4, p. 103. Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, Yale University, for Figure 3, p. 124. Austrian National Library (ÖNB), Bildarchiv und Grafiksammlung, for Figure 5, p. 133; Figure 6, p. 134; and Figure 1, p. 168. Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Musikabteilung, Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz/Art Resource, New York, for Figure 7, p. 144. Beinecke Rare Books and Manuscripts Library, Yale University, for Figure 8, p. 150. National Gallery, London, U.K./The Bridgeman Art Library for Figure 1, p. 214. The Metropolitan Museum, New York for Figure 2, p. 216 (From Galerie du Palais royal, gravée d’après les tableaux des differentes ecoles qui la composent : avec un abrégé de la vie des peintres & une description historique de chaque tableau, par Mr. l’abbé de Fontenai / par J. Couché, vol. 2 [Paris: Chez J. Couché, J. Bouilliard, 1786–1808], held by the Metropolitan Museum). Archiv, Bibliothek und Sammlungen der Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Wien, for Figure 2, p. 256; Figure 3, p. 257; Figure 4, pp. 265–66; Figure 5, p. 285. The authors and publishers have made every effort to trace holders of copyright. They much regret if any inadvertent omissions have been made. • xvii • FRANZ SCHUBERT AND HIS WORLD Schubert: The Nonsense Society Revisited RITA STEBLIN Twenty years have now passed since I discovered materials belonging to the Unsinnsgesellschaft (Nonsense Society).1 This informal club, active in Vienna from April 1817 to December 1818, consisted mainly of young painters and poets with Schubert as one of its central members. In this essay I will review this discovery, my ensuing interpretations, and provide some new observations. In January 1994, at the start of a research project on Schubert iconography, I studied some illustrated documents at the Historisches Museum der Stadt Wien (now the Wienmuseum am Karlsplatz), titled “Unsinniaden.”2 The documents comprise forty-four watercolor pictures and thirty-seven pages of text recording two festive events celebrated by the Nonsense Society: the New Year’s Eve party at the end of 1817 and the group’s first birthday party on 18 April 1818.3 The pictures depict various club members, identified by their code names and dressed in fanciful costumes, as well as four group scenes for the first event, including Vivat es lebe Blasius Leks (Long live Blasius Leks; Figure 1), and two group scenes for the second event, including Feuergeister-Scene (Fire Spirit Scene; Figure 6 below).4 Because of the use of code names—and the misidentifications written on the pictures by some previous owner of the materials— it was not initially possible to interpret these documents correctly.5 A few months later, in April 1994, I discovered a second set of papers, housed in the manuscript collection of the Wiener Stadt- und Landesbibliothek (now Wienbibliothek) in Vienna’s City Hall, and these made it easier to unravel many of the society’s secrets.6 This second set of materials had been purchased in 1937 from a descendant of the club’s vice-editor, code-named Zeisig (a type of finch).7 It consisted of handwritten newsletters titled Archiv des menschlichen Unsinns (Archive of Human Nonsense). One numbered issue of the newsletter was apparently produced each week, although the collection contained only twenty-nine newsletters, those between 17 April 1817 and 10 December 1818 (nine from • 1 • SCHUBERT: THE NONSENSE SOCIETY REVISITED Figure 1. Vivat es lebe Blasius Leks: Zur Unsinniade—5ter Gesang (Long Live Blasius Leks: For the 5th Song of Nonsense), 31 December 1817. Watercolor by Carl Friedrich Zimmermann (Aaron Bleistift). 1817 and twenty from 1818). Each issue, penned in Kurrentschrift (German running script) and usually eight pages long, begins with a motto and ends with a watercolor picture; in between are humorous and rather off-color texts spoofing contemporary politics, social mores, scientific discoveries, art, drama, and literature, each signed with the writer’s code name. At the beginning of the first issue, in Zeisig’s hand, is a key headed “Namen der Unsinnsmitglieder” that identifies most of the club members—twenty-two in all. This is what made it possible to link the newsletters to the documents in the Wienmuseum and, after intensive biographical research on the club’s participants, establish Schubert’s important role in the secret society. Most of the members were young painters—students at the Vienna Art Academy—with code names that reflect their profession: for example, August Kloeber (1793–1864), famous for the portrait he sketched of Beethoven in 1818, was called Goliath Pinselstiel (Giant Paintbrush) and Johann Nepomuk Hoechle (1790–1835), who would paint Beethoven’s studio a few days after the composer’s death, was called Kratzeratti Klanwinzi (Little Scratcher). Three Kupelwieser brothers are also clearly • 2 • Rita Steblin identified on this list: Blasius Leks (Josef), Chrisostomus Schmecks (Johann), and Damian Klex (Leopold).8 Not all of the club’s members are initially listed; Schubert’s name, for example, is missing. Moreover, various code names that occur in the newsletters or on the individual portraits, for example that of Quanti Verdradi (Totally Mixed-Up), whom I have identified as Schubert’s friend Franz von Schober, are also not on the initial list. Compounding this, at least two-thirds of the newsletters originally produced by the club are now missing (including the twentythree issues immediately after the first one), a loss that makes a definitive interpretation of all the complicated allusions difficult. Schubert’s connection to the society was referred to in at least two memoirs by his friends but was misinterpreted by the great scholar Otto Erich Deutsch (1883–1967), who was only aware of another group, the so-called Ludlamshöhle (Ludlam’s Cave). The first reference comes from Heinrich Anschütz (1785–1865), a famous Burgtheater actor, who delivered Franz Grillparzer’s celebrated oration at Beethoven’s funeral. He wrote in his memoirs: I had spent my first Christmas in Vienna at the end of 1821. . . . This Christmas was of special interest to me because it brought Schubert to my house for the first time. Franz Schubert was one of the most active members of the late Nonsense Society. In this my brothers had been most intimately associated with him for years and it was through my [brothers] that he came to my house.9 There is no reason to doubt Anschütz’s assertion about Schubert’s active participation in the “late” Nonsense Society—“late” meaning that the group no longer existed in 1821. Moreover, the first two names on the list of Nonsense Society members are the actor’s two brothers: “Anschütz Eduard . . . Schnautze, Redacteur” and “Anschütz Gustav . . . Sebastn Haarpuder” (see Figures 2–4).10 Eduard Anschütz (ca. 1797–1855) was actually the club’s leader, as well as the main editor (Redacteur) of the newsletters; most of the texts were written in his hand. His code name Schnautze, meaning (big) snout, is an anagram of Anschütz. The second reference to the Nonsense Society, although the group was not mentioned by name, appears in an obituary for Schubert by Eduard von Bauernfeld (1802–1890): At the time Schubert came out into the world several young men in his native city, mostly poets and painters (e.g. the • 3 • SCHUBERT: THE NONSENSE SOCIETY REVISITED Figure 2. Die Redaction: Herr Schnautze (The Editorial Board: Mr. Snout), 31 December 1817. Watercolor by Ernst Welker (Kritzli Batzli). • 4 • Rita Steblin Figure 3. Schnautze Redacteur (Snout Editor), 18 April 1818. Watercolor by Johann Nepomuk Hoechle (Kratzeratti Klanwinzi). • 5 • SCHUBERT: THE NONSENSE SOCIETY REVISITED Figure 4. Sebastian Haarpuder (Sebastian Hairpowder), 31 December 1817. Watercolor by Franz Goldhann (Ultimus). • 6 • Rita Steblin esteemed [Leopold] Kupelwieser), gathered together, whom genuine striving after art and similarity of views soon united in sincere friendship, and into whose circle Schubert too was drawn. The mutual communication between these youths and their artistic conversations had a great effect on him and stimulated him, if not so much to talk, at any rate to the most varied musical productivity. To several of these friends he was most cordially devoted to the end of his life, and he often expressed regret, in letters as well as conversation, that the friendly union of so many worthy young men, as will happen, became disrupted by their pursuing different careers and by other chances.11 Bauernfeld’s mention of “other chances” having led to the disruption of this circle of poets and painters was probably a hint that the increasingly strict police measures against club formations in Prince Clemens von Metternich’s Vienna made it too dangerous for the Nonsense Society to survive. One of the friends to whom Schubert “was most cordially devoted to the end of his life” was Franz Goldhann (1782–1856), the society’s oldest member—aged thirty-five—and thus code-named Ultimus. His father had helped Mozart out financially, and he himself would become a member of Ludwig Mohn’s reading circle in late 1823, using the new euphemism “Dr. Faust.” His family name Goldhann actually means golden rooster, and the portrait painted of him for the club’s first birthday party depicts him holding a shield displaying a barnyard fowl of this color. The pictures are full of such hidden clues to the members’ real identities. Fortified by the references from Anschütz and Bauernfeld regarding the importance of this society for Schubert and his musical output, I began the search for his presence in this extremely secretive, encoded material. Iconographic Evidence The most immediately compelling evidence for Schubert’s participation in the Nonsense Society could be gleaned from the many illustrations that accompanied the various issues of the newsletter. One particularly striking example is Zur Unsinniade—5ter Gesang (For the 5th Song of Nonsense) a watercolor containing the banner “Vivat es lebe Blasius Leks” (Long live Blasius Leks) and illustrating the last poem or song that Josef Kupelwieser wrote to describe the New Year’s Eve party on 31 December 1817 (see Figure 1). The term Unsinniade suggestively resembles a later, • 7 • SCHUBERT: THE NONSENSE SOCIETY REVISITED far more famous word-creation: Schubertiade. Could the former have served as the inspiration for the latter? Standing in the middle of the scene is a short man with curly sideburns and wearing eyeglasses, dressed in a brown suit, whom I have identified as Schubert. He is accompanied by two young women attired in formal white dresses and blue accessories, arriving at the end of the party, perhaps after attending another festivity elsewhere. The little man on the left, wearing a hat with fancy feathers, is the still-life painter Johann Carl Smirsch (1793–1869), whose code name was Nina Wutzerl. He is mentioned in the Schubert literature for having provided the composer with the opportunity to send the deeply moving letter of 31 March 1824 to his close friend Leopold Kupelwieser in Rome.12 The man on the right, dressed as a roughneck from Berlin and offering a toast to the two female guests, is Carl Friedrich Zimmermann (1796–1820), the one Jewish member in the club. He painted this picture, which is signed with his code name Aaron Bleistift (Bleistift meaning pencil, used by a Zimmermann, meaning carpenter). The two women are most likely Babette and Therese Kunz, sisters with whom Schubert gave concerts in March 1818 and for whom he arranged, in December 1817, his two Overtures in Italian Style as fourhand piano works (D592 and D597). The person playing the violin at the left of the complete picture is the amateur painter Ludwig Kraißl (1792– 1871), code-named Pinselmo Schmieraliri (Brushy Smearup). He was also a friend of Leopold Kupelwieser and played the violin in the well-known picture Ball Game at Atzenbrugg (dating from 1823), in which Schubert sits on the grass, smoking a pipe.13 Kraißl’s prominent position at the forefront of the Unsinniade scene means that he serves as a kind of musical herald, announcing the arrival of his superior: the musical genius Schubert—who is placed so prominently in the center of the picture.14 Other illustrations also point to Schubert. The caricature in Figure 5, The Kaleidoscope and the Draisine, was painted by Leopold Kupelwieser (signed with his code name Damian Klex) and is attached to the newsletter of 16 July 1818.15 It spoofs the composer as a portly schoolteacher, holding a stick and peering through a kaleidoscope, and the artist himself as a young student riding the newly invented draisine, a forerunner of the bicycle. The picture’s meaning is explained in the accompanying article “Zum Kupfer” credited to the editorial board—that is, Eduard Anschütz: The latest example of contemporary history proves just how dangerous the new invention of ice-slides is in Paris. But even the seemingly harmless inventions of the kaleidoscope and the draisine have their dangers, as the accompanying • 8 • Rita Steblin Figure 5. Das Kaleidoskop und die Draisine (The Kaleidoscope and the Draisine), 16 July 1818. Watercolor by Leopold Kupelwieser (Damian Klex). picture illustrates. The stout gentleman is absorbed in the contemplation of the kaleidoscope’s wonderful play of colors—the dark glass makes him even more nearsighted than usual. He is about to be knocked to the ground by a passionate draisine rider, who likewise has his eye fixed only on his machine. Let this be a warning for others. There is already supposed to be a police order in the works on the strength of which every blockhead is strictly forbidden, on account of the danger, from using both new inventions.16 The nearsighted Schubert was habitually associated in the newsletters not only with eyeglasses, but with other optical devices as well, such as the kaleidoscope.17 This new invention was patented by Sir David Brewster in 1817 to create inexhaustible forms of symmetrical geometric patterns; the draisine was likewise invented in 1817, by German Baron Karl Christian Ludwig Drais von Sauerbronn. • 9 • SCHUBERT: THE NONSENSE SOCIETY REVISITED These illustrations provide vital clues for unlocking coded references to Schubert in the newsletters. Once a word or object was associated with a member, subsequent issues developed the association in other creative ways, which in turn could lead to further associations. Thus Gustav Anschütz, using the kaleidoscope as a coded allusion to Schubert, writes as follows in a newsletter dated 10 September 1818: The undersigned has the honor of faithfully informing the venerated public that he has for sale a kind of kaleidoscope (also known as looking-through-tube) with the unique property that one can use it to see through all kinds of clothing. The great benefit of this optical device should be apparent to everybody since it discloses some items that are at present carefully kept hidden. Especially for young men who like to go walking on the Graben. Today the Graben is filled with expensive shops, but in Schubert’s time it was associated with prostitutes, the notorious “Graben nymphs.” In another account, Josef Kupelwieser warns that the kaleidoscope can have a strong effect not only on the eyes, but also on the nose. He may be alluding to an advanced stage of syphilis in which the nose is eaten away. It is known that Schubert eventually contracted this disease, most likely in late 1822—probably through contact with a prostitute. The exact nature of Schubert’s illness was hushed up by his contemporaries, but Wilhelm von Chézy, whose mother, Helmina, in 1823 penned the text to the drama with incidental music Rosamunde (D797), came close to revealing this in his recollection of the composer, published in 1841: “Schubert adored women and wine. Unfortunately this taste had caused him to stray into wrong paths from which he could no longer find his way back alive.”18 Indeed, as we shall see, there is enough evidence provided by the surviving Nonsense Society materials to suggest strongly that Schubert was already using prostitutes in 1817. Kupelwieser’s caricature also alludes to Schubert’s work as an assistant at the school where his father was headmaster, for it shows him carrying a stick. This attribute—associated with the disciplining stick used by teachers, sometimes known as a “Spanish rod”—occurs repeatedly in the newsletters, again pointing to the composer. For example, the issue dated 24 September 1818 describes the invention of a new machine called the Hiebeidoskopf—a play on the words Hiebe (blows, strokes) and Kaleidoskop— whereby a quantity of installed Spanish rods could give out the desired number of blows.19 The machine could also be used to beat the dust from • 10 • Rita Steblin clothing. Directly following is a newsletter article by Josef Kupelwieser describing the search for a theater librettist and the conditions under which he is to serve. The article closes as follows: “A composer is also required, under similar terms, except that he must also clean the boots and clothes of the director.”20 Thus, in this encoded manner, a composer (Schubert) is associated with both the kaleidoscope and the stick. The stick occurs again in connection with “Ritter Zimbal” (Knight Cimbalom), in a newsletter dated 5 November 1818: here Schubert’s code name follows the phrase “25 blows with a stick on the backside of a Hungarian soldier.” What is more, a long serial drama by Schnautze Redacteur that appeared in the last five surviving newsletters (dated 12 November to 10 December 1818) satirizes Schubert as a Genie (genius) who flies out of a Schublade (a drawer) to the sound of music. After being transformed into a stick, this Genie warns about how dangerous it is to consort with a prostitute, disguised as a seductive woman in white. Der Feuergeist These allusions to Schubert in 1818 all refer back to an article in the second surviving newsletter, dated 25 September 1817, in which Schubert’s role as composer emerges in a context completely unknown to music historical accounts. Under the rubric “Theateranzeige” (Theater News), Eduard Anschütz announces that the Nonsense Society was about to begin rehearsing a drama in four acts with choruses and stage machinery called Der Feuergeist (The Fire Spirit). The text was written by Blasius Leks (Josef Kupelwieser), and Schnautze himself was to play the role of the fire demon.21 Schubert must have composed the music for this work; this is attested by the watercolor titled Feuergeister-Scene, painted to document a production of the drama that took place at the club’s first birthday party in April 1818 (see Figure 6). This picture is remarkably similar to a scene in Schubert’s three-act melodrama Die Zauberharfe (The Magic Harp; D644), a work he supposedly composed in a mere few weeks in the summer of 1820. Although the libretto to Zauberharfe is lost, the program for the 19 August 1820 premiere at the Theater an der Wien names such characters as Sutur, an evil fire demon; Count Arnulf; his estranged wife, Melinde; and their son Palmerin, who plays the magic harp. The plot, as reconstructed on the basis of Schubert’s music and the first newspaper reviews, contains a scene in Act 3 that unfolds as follows: Arnulf is happy and wants to reconcile his differences with Melinde, but the demonic Sutur appears and reminds her of • 11 • SCHUBERT: THE NONSENSE SOCIETY REVISITED Figure 6. Feuergeister-Scene (Fire Spirit Scene), 18 April 1818. Watercolor by Franz Goldhann (Ultimus). an oath she had made to him earlier. With the help of his fire demons, Sutur tries to destroy her. Palmerin flies in to the rescue, playing on his magic harp. His music overpowers the evil forces and saves the true love of his parents. This is exactly the situation depicted in the illustration. In keeping with the nonsense theme of the society, Arnulf is portrayed here as a Bierhäuselmensch (a beer-house person) and Melinde—the role played in 1817 by Schnautze—is a barmaid. In Eduard Anschütz’s prose description of the birthday party—“Il giorno di nascitá”—he identifies the players and their parts, and we learn that they were assigned roles different from the original production. Schnautze concludes: “The fire demons drank everything up. All the actors competed honorably with each other, the choruses fell apart beyond all expectation and the piece disintegrated marvelously. What a wonder therefore that the performance ended with much laughter, art’s beautiful reward.”22 Role reversal, that is, spoofing the identities of other members, was one of the defining features of the club, and the exchanged parts no doubt led to the performance’s disintegration. • 12 • Rita Steblin An additional clue pointing to Schubert’s involvement with Der Feuergeist is Schnautze’s use of the word Schub (push, thrust) in describing the birthday performance. This is how he begins the introduction to his prose account: “When a woman gives birth, a human being is born and this is a Hauptschub [major event]. But, if an exceptional person is born, this is a little bit more, and if a God of Nonsense is born, this is still two bits more.”23 Thus, by using the word Schub and referring to an “exceptional person,” Anschütz gives an encoded allusion to Schubert’s important role in this celebration, although the composer himself was not present at this particular event. Later, in a newsletter dated 15 October 1818, Schnautze builds on this analogy in a children’s ballet titled Insanius auf Erden (Insanius on Earth). Schubert is featured here as the ABC (primary school) teacher called Hymen Halbgott (Hymen Half-God); the God of Nonsense “Insanius” appears as a “3/4 Gott”—three-quarters being “a little bit more than half,” and also alluding to dances in 3/4 time. In the summer of 1820, when Schubert was under great time constraints, he must have reused some of the music of Der Feuergeist for Die Zauberharfe. Other evidence supports this supposition. The overture to Die Zauberharfe contains music that he had already composed in November 1817. Much comes from the introduction and coda for the Overture in the Italian Style in D Major (D590) that Schubert arranged in December 1817 in a four-hand piano version (D592) for the Kunz sisters. An earlier dating of the music to Zauberharfe would also explain the great confusion that exists in the numbering of the scenes in the manuscript material. When Schubert’s Zauberharfe was staged for the first time in August 1820 at the Theater an der Wien, its librettist remained officially anonymous. A diary entry by Josef Karl Rosenbaum names him as Georg von Hofmann, who usually wrote for the Kärntnertortheater. I suspect that Rosenbaum may have been mistaken. Moreover, one of the newspaper reviewers of the Zauberharfe production, “B. S.,” generally thought to be the poet and Schubert-friend Baron von Schlechta, called the librettist “ein ehrlicher Kämpfer für den Unsinn” (an honorable fighter for nonsense).24 Perhaps Schlechta was here admitting his inside knowledge that the real librettist was Josef Kupelwieser. Schubert’s melodrama was criticized by contemporary reviewers for its many drinking choruses. Since the picture from 1818 shows the ensemble of fire demons behind a table loaded with drinks, Schubert must have written many such choruses for the Nonsense Society. The early collaboration between Schubert and Kupelwieser is important in light of their later joint venture, Fierabras (D796), usually considered Schubert’s best opera.25 • 13 • SCHUBERT: THE NONSENSE SOCIETY REVISITED The Knight of the Keyboard It should come as no surprise that Schubert’s ingenious talents as a composer found their way into a wide range of allusions in the newsletters. In fact, his primary code name in the Nonsense Society was Ritter Juan de la Cimbala (Don Giovanni of the Keyboard), Cembalo being the German— actually Italian—word for harpsichord.26 This name, although not found on the list of members attached to the first newsletter, is the only code name for any of the members with a musical meaning. It occurs in the issue dated 13 August 1818, written by the vice-editor at a time when Schubert was away from Vienna serving as music master in the home of Count Johann Esterházy at his summer residence in Zseliz, in what is today southeastern Slovakia but what was then part of Hungary: According to reports from Spain, the inquisition has arrested the famous painter Juan de la Cimbala because, owing to his own admission, he has been occupied with black magic in addition to his usual duties. Nevertheless, we hope that he will get out of this alive, in that even before his arrest he had severely burned himself. Zeisig, the author of this extremely encoded entry, has in typical nonsensical fashion turned Hungary into Spain and the musician Cimbala into a painter. The passage “owing to his own admission” probably indicates that Schubert had recently sent a letter to his friends in the Nonsense Society, relating his activities in Zseliz. This must have been similar to the well-known account addressed on 8 September 1818 to Schober and six of Schober’s friends in which he describes in great detail the people at the Esterházy estate, including “the chambermaid very pretty and often my companion . . . the manager my rival.”27 Other letters make it clear that the composer had two groups of Viennese friends at this time—“the city friends” and the Schober circle.28 (It goes without saying that many of Schubert’s letters are lost.) I interpret the “black magic” in Zeisig’s account as referring to the compositional activities of the Spanish Don Juan (Schubert), in addition to his usual teaching duties for the Esterházy family in Zseliz, where he was “confined” for about five months. He had “burned” himself earlier by writing a secretive 19-bar palindrome for Feuergeist. When musicologist Brian Newbould discovered this amazing feat in its later version in Die Zauberharfe, for music associated with the fire spirit Sutur, he described this achievement as the “product of intellectual manipulations, the willful reversal of values, as in the ‘black mass.’”29 • 14 • Rita Steblin There may also be a double meaning in the word burned. Since Schubert had hinted in his correspondence that he was having a love affair with the maid-servant (Pepi Pöckelhofer), he was again “playing with fire”— having severely burned himself earlier in his relations with prostitutes. Another newsletter, written on 5 November 1818 while Schubert was still in Zseliz, uses the name “Ritter Zimbal,” an appropriate reference to cimbalom, the Hungarian hammered dulcimer. The next newsletter, one week later, is headed with the motto “Heidideldum! Heidideldum! Hopsasa hopsasa Heidideldum!” and opens with an article by Blasius Leks (Josef Kupelwieser) about the Spanish nobleman “Hans from the Hinterland” riding back to Austria on a Hanselbank (sawhorse). The words “Hans in Wien” are underlined for emphasis. Hans, of course, is the diminutive for Johannes, the German form of (Don) Juan, hence another allusion to Schubert as Ritter Juan de la Cimbala. Kupelwieser elaborates on the name to announce that Schubert is about to arrive back in Vienna from his long stay in the “hinterland” of Hungary.30 A remarkable observation regarding Schubert’s sojourn in Hungary is his composition there of a work that explicitly refers to his moniker in the club: Variations on a French Song (D624). This is the four-hand piece consisting of eight variations on Le bon chevalier (Der treue Ritter or The Good Knight) that Schubert later dedicated to Beethoven as Op. 10. It seems highly likely that Schubert chose this particular song about a faithful knight relating the tale of hopeless love (no doubt with autobiographical elements as well) as a tribute to his role as Ritter Juan in the Nonsense Society. The code name Cimbala/Zimbal is clear in its reference to his musical instrument, the keyboard. But what about the Spanish nobleman— Don Juan? There are, in fact, many jokes in the newsletters about Ritter Juan’s pursuit of women.31 In the same month that Schubert composed his piano duet variations—September 1818—we find the following tale about “Chevalier Touchetout” in the newsletter: L’observateur curieux [The Curious Observer] has reported— that in the dilemma in which Madame Culronde [Roundbottom] has felt herself placed as the ardent Chevalier Touchetout [Touches Everything], who casually undertook some physicalanatomical investigations with her, and his hand, to the misfortune of the lady and the great astonishment of the Chevalier, instead of the assumed natural curves pulled out some socks—nothing further other than that her dilemma was without end. • 15 • SCHUBERT: THE NONSENSE SOCIETY REVISITED There are numerous clues that point to Schubert in this passage. The immediately preceding newsletter item mentions Schuhe (shoes)—Schubert actually means “shoemaker”—and the item directly following discusses a “Caleidoscop.” The French word touche (German Tasten) means not only “touch,” but also piano keys. Chevalier is the French word for Ritter (knight), Ritter Juan is the only code name with this title. In the newsletter dated 12 February 1818, the poem “Impromptu”—which dealt with a sock—follows an article about “a fortepiano for sale.” The poem also jokes about Ritter Cimbala’s lack of expertise as a painter—obviously an inside joke among the many visual artists in the society. From such passages we can already begin to see the value of this material in uncovering details about Schubert. A close look at the text and illustrations of the Nonsense Society reveals something of a running commentary on what scholarship has been able to piece together from other sources regarding these twenty-one months of Schubert’s life. By April 1817, Schubert, having passed his pedagogy exams in 1814, had been working for some time as an assistant teacher at his father’s school in the district of the Rossau, and the major event of 1818 was his appointment working for Count Esterházy in Zseliz. This remarkably detailed chronicling, or rather spoofing, of the main activities of Schubert’s life during his membership in this club sheds light on other events as well. The Rossau According to Deutsch, Schubert moved to the Rossau—the suburb closer to the inner city than the parish of Lichtental, where he grew up—at the end of 1817, after his father was appointed director of the new schoolhouse there.32 Interestingly, the Rossau is mentioned in two Nonsense Society newsletters from November 1817, the very month that the school year began.33 The suspicion therefore looms large that there was already a connection to the Rossau in the newsletters from this month and that these texts contain hidden messages involving Schubert. The fifth surviving newsletter, dated 6 November 1817, begins with the following item, titled “Politisches Allerley” (Political Miscellany), and is signed by Schnautze: According to reports from the Rossau, a ship is being built there, but we have not yet been able to discover its purpose. However, it is not to be used for war, and one suspects, on account of its build, that it will not at all serve as a transport or • 16 • Rita Steblin merchant ship. But, from its interior furnishings, we believe we may conclude that it will function as it had previously—as a place of eating and drinking [Einkehrwirthshaus]—especially as a man who has already shown himself to be a good host is supposed to be appointed as its commander.34 On 28 October 1817 a petition had been made by the parish priest in the Rossau to appoint Schubert’s father as the new school director. He is praised for having raised all of his sons to be worthy schoolmen. Moreover, he had promised that his sons would provide the music services for the Rossau church for free, thus amounting to a savings for the parish of several hundred Gulden annually. Schubert’s activities for the Nonsense Society, however, help to explain the lack of any substantial sacred music dating from 1818 and suggest that he was now more interested in writing theater music for his friends. The petition was submitted to the higher authorities for approval on 5 November 1817 and one day later the Nonsense Society was already joking about how a ship in the Rossau—meaning the newly built schoolhouse, which would also have included the home of the Schubert family, the only new building constructed in that suburb— would serve them as a place of refreshment. The next item, also written by Eduard Anschütz, begins: The Klosterneuburger ship’s captain Blaser has safely arrived at the Schanzel this morning with his ship, called Herr Dekan. But, according to his own report, he had to withstand a great deal of adverse wind which he attributes to the load carried by his vessel, since it consisted mainly of garlic and green beans. The rest of the article is about a rather obscene battle with women selling fruit at the Schanzel, a marketplace alongside the Danube Canal. The ship’s captain “Blaser” is obviously Blasius Leks, that is, Josef Kupelwieser, and his ship—with its name meaning a school dean (Dekan)—is Schubert. Since Josef had a short time earlier written the text to Feuergeist, which the club had begun rehearsing in September 1817, it makes sense that the two friends—librettist and composer—would then have been in close contact. This ship’s tale, with its mention of wind created by eating gassy foods, probably inspired the story of the voyage through Vienna’s suburbs that appeared in the next surviving newsletter, dated 20 November 1817, illustrated by the picture Windhosen: Der sechste Welttheil in Europa (Wind Trousers: The Sixth Area of the World in Europe; see Figure 7). There • 17 • SCHUBERT: THE NONSENSE SOCIETY REVISITED Figure 7. Windhosen: Der sechste Welttheil in Europa (Wind Trousers: The Sixth Area of the World in Europe), 20 November 1817. Watercolor by Johann Carl Smirsch (Nina Wutzerl). are many clues pointing to Schubert here, including his profile on the section of the map labeled “Rossau”: his snub nose and cleft chin are especially visible on the shoreline (to the lower left). The round glass on Schubert’s cheek, with its compass pointing to Frass (gluttony) and Suff (boozing), harks back to the previous mention of eating and drinking. The long text, signed by Blasius Leks, contains the following passage: Now we sailed to the Rossau where we thought we could fix our foremast which had suffered significantly during the Spittelberg storm and which we, because we lacked help [Hülfe], were in danger of losing completely. The Rossauers might have already noticed us from afar because we saw clearly how they brought wood onshore from the timber rafts in the harbor, in order to defend themselves as we drew closer. Thus we did not find it advisable to land directly at • 18 • Rita Steblin Figure 7a. Detail from Windhosen, showing the suburb of Spittelberg, with Leopold Kupelwieser’s nose middle right. Figure 7b. Detail from Windhosen, showing the suburb of New Lerchenfeld. • 19 • SCHUBERT: THE NONSENSE SOCIETY REVISITED the harbor, but disembarked at a place some distance away, next to the Schanzel bath. There we snuck around via some detours, undergoing cannon fire from the Bear, Eagle, Ship and Star (forts skirting the harbor), deeper into the countryside and finally arrived at the main goal, the Swan, where we—unrecognized—had some refreshments and then continued on our journey.35 Spittelberg was a Viennese suburb notorious for its prostitutes. The foremast seems to be Schubert, who as we have seen is often associated in the newsletters with sticks, but also with wood—and, of course, with the Rossau, which was a place where piles of wood were stored. An additional clue is the word Hülfe since Schubert’s official profession at this time was that of a Schulgehülf (assistant school teacher). The word Swan in the text, and the prominent inscription “Zur Schwane” next to the throne (or armchair) topped by a crown and the letter S, was probably added because of the association of Schubert with a “singing swan” (desiring a euphemistic death). The prominent stack of wood labeled “Am Schanzel” next to Schubert’s face has a tiny drawing on it: of a couple making out behind the woodpile. Since Schubert’s first teacher was named Michael Holzer, this may have been a source of the many jokes associating him with wood (Holz).36 The boot at the top of the map, resembling Italy (see Figure 7a), contains the names of various inns—some real, some nonsensical—located in the suburb of Spittelberg, including the made-up name “Zur Nasen” (At The Nose), written on a drawing of Leopold Kupelwieser’s nose.37 Next to his mouth is the sign “Schwimmschule” (Swimming school)—referring to Leopold’s noted skill in swimming. Next to the fortress of “Thuri”—the small suburb directly adjoining Schubert’s birthplace—is a green “tower,” obviously pornographic, labeled “Neu Lerchenfeld” (see Figure 7b). This was the suburb where Josef Kupelwieser—a notorious womanizer—lived, in the house “Roter Stiefel” (Red Boot), as is indicated by the caption “Die Wiesen des Koppers Wohnung” (The Meadows of Kopper’s Residence), with its wordplay on his name, Koppel meaning a fenced-in grazing meadow. Fortress was a term used for a prostitute in Schubert’s (and Beethoven’s) Vienna, and the erect green tower indicates the promised land next to the Egyptian desert of Hernals, another of Vienna’s suburbs. I suspect that Schubert’s Lied Auf der Riesenkoppe (D611), which translates as “On the giant peak” and which he set to a text by Theodor Körner in March 1818, may have been inspired by this map. The song begins: “High on the summit / Of your mountains / I stand and marvel • 20 • Rita Steblin / With glowing fervor, / Sacred peak, / You that storm the heavens.”38 Schubert may have been spoofing Josef ’s prowess with women here. (Later, in 1823, Josef would suddenly abandon his Court Theater position to run after the actress Emilie Neumann, with disastrous results for the planned production of Fierabras.) Swimming from the Spittelberg next to the “Narrenhaus” (House of Fools, the Viennese insane asylum), is a fish wearing eyeglasses— Schubert. He is about to swallow the name “Antifi,” which as we will see has musical significance. The island in the middle of the map is labeled “Landstrasse” and contains a cage with a rooster on top—the regular meeting place of the Nonsense Society. Under the cage is a beckoning finger. This clue, together with the throne topped by a crown and the letter S already mentioned, again point to Schubert’s important role in the society. The newsletters often parodied the works of the popular Viennese theater writer Joachim Perinet (1763–1816), whose hit piece at the time was the travesty opera Aschenschlägel, a Cinderella story with the genders reversed. Schubert, perhaps not surprisingly, was the club’s Cinderella. One of the lines in Perinet’s play reads: “Aschenschlägels Ebenbild ist ein unschuldiger Schwann” (Cinderella’s image is an innocent swan). He sits at the hearth baking buns—hence the necklace of buns which Schnautze wears in his second individual portrait, the one with the gesturing finger (Figure 3). But, instead of losing a slipper, this male Cinderella finds a glove (lost by Insanius, the club’s God). This story line is especially evident in the children’s ballet Insanius on Earth featuring the half-god Hymen (Schubert). Scene 6 contains this passage: Hymen and the children as geniuses. They have ABC books in their hands and are supposed to learn how to read. They refuse and Hymen gets mad. The children throw their books at his head. Hymen runs around the theater like a fool [Narr] and looks for his stick. He finds Insanius’s glove and dances a minuet with the children who are so astonished that they run away. Hymen alone. He studies the glove and recognizes it. He is happy that Insanius is also here. An armchair (like the throne on the map) also makes an appearance in the play about Hymen; it is transformed into a tree trunk (that is, wood). Returning to the map and another favorite writer parodied by the club, Friedrich von Schiller, in particular his poem “Der Handschuh” (The Glove): among its opening lines are the phrases: “Saß König Franz / Und wie er winkt mit dem Finger, / Auf tut sich der weite Zwinger” (King • 21 • SCHUBERT: THE NONSENSE SOCIETY REVISITED Franz sat / And as he gestured with his finger, the distant prison cell opened). Thus, in this cleverly encoded way, the club joked that Schubert was their “King Franz.” The upper left-hand corner of the map shows a woman sitting in front of a three-legged object that looks remarkably like a spinet. Next to a keg of wine is a man dancing the Austrian “Schuhplattler”—a courtship dance in 3/4 time in which the man slaps the sole of his shoe. Thus, we have here the nonsensical version of “wine, women, and song”—with “song” being replaced by “dance.”39 A similar scenario to the Rossau map is suggested by a two-part tale written by Eduard Anschütz, “Die Fee Musa oder Die verwandelten Jünglinge” (The Fairy Musa or The Transformed Youths) that appeared in the newsletter on 10 and 17 September 1818.40 This fairy tale relates that two members of the Nonsense Society had been so mesmerized by the sensuous charms of the water-nymph Aqualine that they abandoned the virtuous Musa for damp, swampy regions. The two youths were transformed into a fat singing frog (Schubert) and a tall, eloquent carp (Schober), and were so delighted with catching flies in the water that they refused to be rescued by their draisine-riding friends (led by Leopold Kupelwieser). The serialized tale was accompanied by two illustrations: the first one, showing the frog and carp diving into the swamp, was painted by August Kopisch (1799–1853). This young painter and poet from Breslau, whose code name was Galimathias Hirngespinst (Gibberish Headspinner), would later become famous for discovering the Blue Grotto of Capri (in 1826) and for penning the tale about the “Heinzelmännchen of Cologne” (in 1848)—the elves who worked secretly in the night for the tailor, the baker, etc. The second illustration is by the landscape painter Tobias Raulino (1785–1839)—code name Bubone di Stivali (Bubo of the Boots)—and depicts the frog and carp cavorting in an accurate representation of the swimming pool in Vienna at the time. Both pictures also show the incensed Musa and the enticing Aqualine. This illustrated tale is actually a moral message presaging the upright Josef Kenner’s later report to Ferdinand Luib about Schober’s “lasting and pernicious influence over Schubert’s honest susceptibility,” and how this “false prophet, who embellished sensuality in such a flattering manner” helped to drag the composer’s “soul down to the slough of moral degradation.”41 The illustrations that accompany Schnautze’s tale about Musa and the transformed youths are full of sexual innuendos. Clever wordplay clearly identifies Schubert and Schober as the frog and the carp. For example, such words as écossaise, Posaune, Flötentöne, and Genius are used in connection with the fat singing frog, while the carp is described with such terms as alles Reden (full of talk) and Krümmungen seines Schweifes (his crooked • 22 • Rita Steblin tail)—referring to Schober’s reputed eloquence and bowed legs. The mysterious appearance in the tale of an antagonist—the coach-driver “Sepperl” (the name is a diminutive of Josef)—is probably a reference to Josef Kupelwieser and his rivalry with Schober. In my opinion, many other words—some of which are associated with Schubert elsewhere in the newletters—point to the composer: Auge (eye), Zedernholz (cedar wood), Fuß (foot), Musik, Aqualine’s enticing singing “mit bezaubernder Laubfroschstimme” (with a spell-binding tree frog voice), Stiefel (boot), ein dummer Spitzbub (a silly rascal), Zauberstab (magical stick), and so forth. And, the words Persian and Chinese in the subtitle of the tale “Fragment eines persischen Mährchens aus dem chinesischen übersetzt” (Fragment of a Persian Fairy Tale, Translated from the Chinese) point to the exotic lady’s man: Schober. Since wordplay was such a favorite pastime in the Schubert circle, in particular, the making up of poems or short stories on a set number of given words, I believe that Schubert’s later allegorical tale “My Dream” (1822) may have been written as part of such a game.42 Indeed, it is not hard to determine what might have been the given words, for example: Bruder, Vater, Liebe, Lustgelage, Speise, Schmerz, Tod, Leiche, Augen, Garten, Jungfrau, Seligkeit. Schubert’s Friends Franz Schubert is not, of course, the only person of interest in the pages of the Archiv des menschlichen Unsinns. We have already seen open allusions to two friends well known to Schubert research, Leopold Kupelwieser and Franz von Schober, but there are others whose presence in the composer’s life was previously unknown and who add to our picture of the Viennese cultural scene in sometimes surprising ways. Carl Friedrich Zimmermann, who had come to Vienna from Berlin in 1816 to study at the Art Academy and who roomed with August Kloeber, likewise from Berlin, painted the final group scene for the New Year’s Eve’s party in 1817, signed with his code name Aaron Bleistift.43 As mentioned, this image (Figure 1) shows Schubert in a brown suit next to two young women and the artist himself as a duel-fighting roughneck. Earlier in the evening, however, Zimmermann had worn a different costume and, in my opinion, had come disguised as Schubert (see Figure 8). This double portrait, painted by Kloeber, shows Aaron Bleistift on the left as a fine gentleman with curly hair, clad in a brown suit and peering through double glasses at Leopold Kupelwieser. A conspicuous handkerchief hangs from the gentleman’s suit tail—similar to the piece of linen wrapped around the tail of the fish with eyeglasses • 23 • SCHUBERT: THE NONSENSE SOCIETY REVISITED Figure 8. Play with Double Glasses. Carl Zimmermann (as Schubert) and Leopold Kupelwieser, 31 December 1817. Watercolor by August Kloeber (Goliath Pinselstiel). • 24 • Rita Steblin Figure 9. Franz Schubert. Oil portrait attributed to Josef Abel, ca. 1814. swimming toward the Rossau in the Windhosen map—and he wears exaggerated signet rings at his waist. I believe these valuable items were meant to parody Schubert as he was depicted in the oil portrait attributed to Josef Abel (1764–1818),44 which shows the nearsighted composer, gripped by inspiration while seated at a fortepiano, with a number of signet rings at his waist (Figure 9). The dress, the glasses, the hair reproduce the Abel portrait with stunning accuracy. Perhaps the pencil (Bleistift) placed so prominently on the • 25 • SCHUBERT: THE NONSENSE SOCIETY REVISITED piano even became an inside joke, associating Aaron Bleistift—whose father in Berlin was actually a “Holz-Inspector”—with Schubert, who as we have seen is often connected with wood in the newsletters. In the Abel portrait, a name is inscribed on the fortepiano with the decipherable letters reading “[?]enie.”45 I now believe that the artist, who was famed for incorporating symbolic attributes in his paintings, meant the nameplate to indicate: Genie, a designation that finds prominent mention in the newsletters in association with Schubert. Zimmermann, who painted four surviving pictures for the society, was a popular member, praised for his artistic talent and teased for his pursuit of women. One of the newsletter reports, titled “Psychologische Beobachtungen” (Psychological Observations) and dated 2 April 1818, begins with an obscene spoof on pretentious intellectual writing, using passages in pseudo-Yiddish, and then describes Zimmermann proudly riding a horse down the Rotenturmstrasse. The article ends with the following passage mentioning a shoemaker apprentice named “Hansel”— that is, Schubert: But let us consider a small group of shoemaker boys, full of innocence. . . . He [Zimmermann] stops suddenly in front of a house in the Rotenturmstrasse and his whistling mouth closes in silence. His eyes are directed upwards and he smiles gently. What is the object of his fixed gaze? It is a maid, washing the windows on the second floor. To balance herself, she has stretched out her right leg rather carelessly into the street. The shoemaker apprentice, absolutely delighted, calls to one of his comrades: Hansel, stop! Here you can see the whole city of Paris! The double mention here of shoemaker and Hansel, implying Ritter Juan, reinforces the connection made in the double portrait between Zimmermann and Schubert. The artist’s unexpected death in 1820 in a drowning accident, soon after he had married a member of the extended Mendelssohn family, was a tragic loss to art: his stunning illustrations of Goethe’s Faust are the visual counterpart to Schubert’s 1814 masterpiece in song: Gretchen am Spinnrade (D118).46 Since Eduard and Gustav Anschütz have scarcely been mentioned previously in the Schubert literature, it is worth devoting a few lines to them here.47 Among the pictures in the Wienmuseum are individual portraits of the brothers, showing how they were dressed for each of the celebratory events. Figures 2 and 3 depict the younger brother, Eduard, • 26 • Rita Steblin the club’s leader and newsletter editor. In each portrait he holds a staff or scepter topped by a rooster. The club’s Stammlokal (regular haunt), where the members met every Thursday evening, was the inn called the Roter Hahn (Red Rooster)—still standing today as a hotel with that name—in the suburb of Landstrasse just southeast of the inner city. (Although Schubert was working at his father’s school in 1817, he would normally have had Thursday afternoons and evenings free.) Eduard was a poet—in 1816 the Vienna Theaterzeitung published a poem by him criticizing the Italian prima donna Angelica Catalani for her vanity—and he later pursued a career as an actor. Gustav Anschütz (1793–1839) used the code name Sebastian Haarpuder. In the portrait depicting his costume for the New Year’s Eve party, he wears a late Baroque outfit, including a wig from which a sign hangs reading “Extra fein Haarpuder” (Extra fine hair powder), and he is deep in discussion with a portrait of Pythagoras (see Figure 4). Since he grew up in Leipzig, his code name probably had some connection with Johann Sebastian Bach, especially since the “mathematical” Bach wore a powdered wig. It has also been argued that Bach composed the Art of the Fugue to display Pythagorean principles, including mirror images.48 Was Gustav aware of this inside information? Gustav later worked as a jeweler and was a passionate dancer. At his death in 1839 he was survived by his wife, who taught singing, and his two young children. Since his brother Eduard died unmarried, the question arises: Who inherited the still-missing Nonsense Society materials? Perhaps they will be found one day, owned by descendants of either Gustav or Heinrich Anschütz. In the context of this predominantly male society of close friendships it would be remiss to disregard the question of sexuality, especially in light of the plethora of contributions to this topic in recent Schubert literature. Indeed, even a casual glance at the newsletters and watercolors at times suggests feminine allures and cross-dressing among some of the members of the club. Closer inspection, however, reveals a rather more heterosexually oriented form of banter. A case in point is Smirsch, alias Nina Wutzerl (see Figure 10).49 Although this member took on a woman’s role in the club and was teased for his “tender” traits, the hat he wore decorated with peacock feathers represented his teaching specialty at the Polytechnical Institute: painting flowers and feathers. (Smirsch later sang with the Wiener Männergesangverein, amassed a huge fortune as a financier, and married his longtime cook at the age of seventy-seven.) He is featured in a picture, Nina’s Triumph, attached to the newsletter dated 12 November 1818. This sacrilegious triptych spoofs a barbershop scene in which Nina introduces an untutored new member to culture. • 27 • SCHUBERT: THE NONSENSE SOCIETY REVISITED Figure 10. Nina Wutzerl. 31 December 1817. Watercolor by Johann Nepomuk Hoechle (Kratzeratti Klanwinzi). • 28 • Rita Steblin This member, named “Alebrand,” as well as a witness to the scene named “Mordschlag” are still unidentified. The text describing the picture explains that it was painted by Rafaele van der Riso di Zaardam (Carl Peter Goebel, a prize-winning student at the Vienna Art Academy) as a form of penance for his having produced bad art for the society. In an earlier newsletter, Riso di Zaardam had been punished by Zeisig with a disciplining stick for being lazy in his creative efforts. The stick would seem to be an allusion to Schubert and his high artistic ideals. An earlier picture, attached to the newsletter dated 23 July 1818, shows another sacrilegious scene: a parody of Da Vinci’s The Last Supper, with the club gathering for their Thursday meeting in a shed topped by a huge red rooster, thus representing their Stammtisch. This picture was painted by Goldhann, who included himself, his wife, and two young daughters as a family of golden chickens in the left foreground. A chicken in a fancy hat decorated with colorful feathers— Nina—stands in front of a music stand and sings. Goldhann, who also wrote the accompanying text, explains that we see in this pretty bird “the unfortunate capon [eunuch] whose single pleasure is in singing and whose only listener is the splendidly dressed-up gallus galinaceus or turkey.” This turkey, who judges the singer, is obviously meant to represent Schubert. He is placed right in the middle of the picture, directly under the huge red rooster, but faces in the opposite direction, thus suggesting a “verkehrte Welt” (topsy-turvy world), another favorite theme, in addition to the “ship of fools,” that characterized this society. There is also the case of the super-macho former soldier Ferdinand Dörflinger (1790–1818), the author of many unsavory articles in the newsletters about cooking and prostitutes.50 He had adopted the persona and dress of the notorious actress Elise Hahn, who had cuckolded her husband, the famous poet Gottfried August Bürger. Dörflinger’s hasty marriage on 14 September 1817—his bride was already pregnant— served as the butt of many jokes, including Schnautze’s literary parody of Schiller’s poem “Hektors Abschied” with the travestied title “Lisels Abschied, als sie Mariage machte” (Lizzy’s Farewell, as She Got Married), and Nina Wutzerl’s painting of a Parisian fashion plate of fancy hats dedicated to “her” disreputable girlfriend “Elise Gagarnadl von Antifi.” The Windhosen map (dated 20 November 1817) shows the voyage of a fish wearing eyeglasses—Schubert—swimming from Spittelberg, with its loose women, toward the Rossau with its piles of wood. The fish, with a piece of (dirty?) linen wrapped around its tail, is about to swallow the name “Antifi.” In December 1817 Schubert composed the original (longer) • 29 • SCHUBERT: THE NONSENSE SOCIETY REVISITED version of Das Dörfchen (The Little Village, D598) for four unaccompanied male voices in what I believe is the musical counterpart to the earlier literary and painterly jokes on “Elise.” Schubert must have chosen this text—the author of the poem is none other than Bürger—not only because of the connection to Elise Hahn, but also because of the wordplay (Dörfchen) on Dörflinger’s name. The absolute giveaway is Schubert’s selection of several verses mentioning “Elise”—for example, “Schön ist die Flur; / Allein Elise / Macht sie mir nur / Zum Paradiese”; that he omitted these humorous verses, with their private message, when he published the work later in 1822, in the shorter, better-known version of the work in Op. 11, No. 1 (D641) is itself revealing. Schubert likely composed other works “für Elise,” including the Lied fragment Entzückung eines Lauras Abschied (Delight at the Departure of Some Laura, D577), on a text by Schiller, in August 1817. The title is not a mistake, as Deutsch had thought, but a deliberate attempt to spoof “some kind of woman’s” pending farewell. The Schiller text “Elysium” (D584), which Schubert set in September 1817, ends with the celebration of an eternal wedding feast: the word ewig (eternal) is stretched out in an exaggerated word parody for an incredible ten bars. Since it is set for high tenor voice, I suspect that Schubert sang this himself at a wedding party for Dörflinger, hosted by the club. Johann Nepomuk Hoechle became famous as the painter of battle scenes for Emperor Franz—and is still remembered today for his Beethoven depictions: these include an ink wash drawing of the composer walking in the rain, the well-known music-studio scene painted on 30 March 1827 with the bust of Schubert in the window, and a quick sketch of Beethoven’s funeral procession.51 Under his code name Kratzeratti Klanwinzi, Hoechle drew eleven surviving pictures for the Nonsense Society, including the group scene Zur Unsinniade—2ter Gesang, an “action shot” of the New Year’s Eve party, and the illustration “Zebedäus” in His Studio in the newsletter dated 8 October 1818. This image makes fun of the extremely old director of the Vienna Art Academy, Martin Fischer (1741–1820), identified in the double wordplay: “Mr. Zebedäus from Fisher Alley.” The name of the biblical fisherman Zebedee is reinforced by the name of the street where he lives. A similar kind of wordplay points to Schubert: for example, in the reports about a musician who lives in the “ABC house” or a curly-headed “Jean” who lives at Erdberg (where Schubert stayed with the Watteroth family in 1816).52 Hoechle’s picture shows old Fischer making some anatomical investigations of a woman’s bottom, the same theme found in the tale about Chevalier Touchetout pulling out some socks. This in turn reflects the mention of • 30 • Rita Steblin Ritter Cimbala in the poem “Impromptu” about a sock, in the newsletter dated 12 February 1818. The poem follows immediately a tale about a fortepiano signed by Quanti Verdradi (whom I assume to be Franz von Schober), and which reads as follows (note the double wordplays): Fortepiano to play out. A completely new played-out Fortepianoforte, fitted with many notes and provided with a quantity of fine and coarse [grob] strings, as one would wish to have it, and which in addition has already been admired by many admirers, is to be had by a certain gentleman for playing purposes—because the drums and trumpets produce tones by themselves when one presses the so-called Turkish Turkish [!] music stops up and down with one’s foot. The beginning of this play is on the third of this [month] in the house of the person playing. Quanti verdradi. The mention of grob here was probably a deliberate reference to Therese Grob (1798–1875), Schubert’s beloved singer, whom he had hoped to marry in 1816.53 In mid-November 1818, after Schubert returned to Vienna from his five-month stay in Zseliz, he abandoned his teaching position and moved into an apartment with the older poet Johann Mayrhofer (1787–1836).54 A lengthy account written by Josef Kupelwieser for the newsletter dated 26 November 1818 spoofs Mayrhofer’s daytime job with the government police office as a censor of books. Here are a few excerpts: Advertisement. The following prohibited and permitted works are on public sale at the editor’s publishing house: 1. Prohibited Multiplication tables from 1 to 1000 and back again in reverse order. ABC book with pictures by a priest of the Jacobin order. . . . 2. Permitted Books Introduction to the art of revolution. Paris 1792. . . . On the art of deceiving the course of nature, for the benefit of the population, by a misanthrope. . . . Introduction to the art of defrauding people, along with thorough instructions on how to declare a false bankruptcy. Vienna, Police House, 1818. • 31 • SCHUBERT: THE NONSENSE SOCIETY REVISITED Among the clues pointing here to Schubert and his roommate are “ABC book” and “Jacobin order”—the house where Schubert now lived, Wipplingerstrasse 2, had originally been occupied by the Jacobins.55 In addition, there is the reference to a “misanthrope,” a word used to describe Mayrhofer’s character.56 There is no evidence that the poet himself belonged to the Nonsense Society—membership in such a secret society would have been extremely dangerous for someone working for the police—but his biographer, Ernst von Feuchtersleben, reported that “every morning [Mayrhofer] entered into his diary the jokes of one such instinctive, humorous, natural person [Schubert], who was the soul of wit of a merry evening society.”57 Conclusion Although the episodes recounted in this overview point to the presence of the composer, one should keep in mind that there are many other passages where we are left, at best, to interpret. Certain words appear over and over again in what I believe are encoded references to Schubert. One of these is Schuh (shoe)—also found in combinations, such as Handschuh (glove)—as well as various appearances of Auge (eye), Brille (eyeglasses), or Glas. The words Fest (festival) or Festung (fortress/prostitute) also seem to be associated with the composer. I have already discussed such words as Holz (wood) and various items made of wood, including sticks—Stab, Stock, etc. I assume that the many references to music, to dance (especially the écossaise), and to musical instruments (especially the Posaune) refer to Schubert. Since he most likely composed the music for Feuergeist, the many jokes about Feuer (fire) probably involve him as well—as do the frequent occurrences of ABC (standing for the primary school class that he taught). A wonderful example of word combinations pointing to Schubert is the expression “handfester Holzhacker” used to describe the person who lives “beym goldnen A B C” (at the golden A B C) and who is studying Beethoven’s fantasies and variations (newsletter of 23 October 1817). I also believe that variants of the name Juan—for example, Johannis, Hans, Hansel, Jean, etc.—may as well refer to Schubert. Other members are also associated with particular words or concepts: Leopold Kupelwieser, for example, is represented by the draisine, swimming, and comets. And, if I am correct in assuming that Schubert’s close friend Franz von Schober was regarded as the enemy—or at least as a rival to Josef Kupelwieser (in writing librettos for the composer)—then he appears everywhere in the newsletters not only as the evil Turk, Arab, • 32 • Rita Steblin or Chinaman, but also as the stupid traveler to the topsy-turvy world, “Ulf Dalkensohn,” the dumbbell with a Swedish sounding name. Schober, who was born in Sweden, is thus the “Dummkopf ” (blockhead) who leads the “Narr” (innocent fool), that is, Schubert, on sexually promiscuous adventures, for instance to Aqualine’s swamp, as told in the long tale about Musa and the transformed youths. We can only also guess at the extent of the direct impact of this social circle on Schubert’s musical output, although some works in particular suggest a strong connection to his participation in the Nonsense Society: Der Feuergeist, an early version of Die Zauberharfe (D644); Entzückung eines Lauras Abschied (D577); Elysium (D584); Das Dörfchen (D598); Auf der Riesenkoppe (D611); Variations on a French Song, Op. 10 (D624).58 There is also much more to discover in the annals of the Nonsense Society beyond Schubert: how a young generation of Viennese artists understood their world in the late 1810s, their awareness of current events and scientific discoveries, their view of morality and sense of humor, their artistic talents and mutual admiration. That Schubert was an integral part of this circle only adds to the richness of this discovery in the history of art and social interaction. As I expressed in 1997 in “Schubert Through the Kaleidoscope,” my first English-language article describing this new material: This documentary find will not only open up new perspectives for research on the composer, it will also give new impetus to the fields of literature, art and theater, in particular as they relate to the sociological and cultural study of the Biedermeier period. I hope then that the future collegial work on this material by serious scholars in many fields will add innumerable splendid colors—kaleidoscope-like—to our current picture of Schubert and his Viennese circle of friends.59 The time is still ripe for other scholars to be enticed by this rich and fascinating material and award it serious attention. • 33 • Notes This is a heavily edited version of the article I wrote in November 2012 for the Bard Music Festival of 2014. That article provided a more detailed account of how my research progressed and highlighted my new, unpublished ideas on this topic and was published, in its original form, in late 2013 as “New Thoughts on Schubert’s Role in the Unsinnsgesellschaft,” Schubert: Perspektiven 10/2 (2010): 191–223. It can be consulted there for comparative purposes. 1. All the surviving materials created by the Nonsense Society, including seventythree watercolor pictures, have been interpreted and published in my book Die Unsinnsgesellschaft: Franz Schubert, Leopold Kupelwieser und ihr Freundeskreis (Vienna, 1998), 490 pages. As yet, little of this material has been examined by other scholars. The present article, in English, summarizes my findings. 2. My project to conduct new research on Schubert iconography was initially suggested by Ernst Hilmar, founder of the International Franz Schubert Institute in Vienna, and was later supervised by Gerhard Stradner, director of the Collection of Ancient Musical Instruments in Vienna. Funding was provided by the Austrian National Bank, Jubiläumsfonds, with two research grants, 1994–97. 3. These documents had been purchased by the museum in 1943 from the Viennese antiquarian dealer Gilhofer but were mistakenly identified as belonging to the Ludlamshöhle, a different club—with older members—that was also founded in 1817. For a discussion of this second club, which was raided by the police in April 1826 just as Schubert was about to become a member, see Alice Hanson, “The Significance of the Ludlamshöhle for Franz Schubert,” in Essays on Music and Culture in Honor of Herbert Kellman, ed. Barbara Haggh (Paris, 2001), 496–502. 4. For the record, these illustrations do not have titles. I devised the titles referred to here from the captions on the individual portraits and group scenes, as well as from the written explanations in each newsletter, titled “Zum Kupfer” (About the Copperplate). 5. Rupert Feuchtmüller made a valiant attempt to explain this material in his book Leopold Kupelwieser und die Kunst der österreichischen Spätromantik (Vienna, 1970), 14–15, but he confused the Nonsense Society with the Ludlamshöhle. He also published two of the costumed portraits on pages 84–85 with the following identification: “Josef Kupelwieser/als Mitglied der Unsinnsgesellschaft/Blasius Lecks/1818” and “Leopold Kupelwieser [sic] / als Mitglied der Unsinnsgesellschaft/Gallimatias Hirngespinst/1818.” The second picture shows August Kopisch, not Leopold Kupelwieser, whose code name was Damian Klex. 6. I wish to thank Morten Solvik for showing me the book by Gerhard Renner, Die Nachlässe in der Wiener Stadt- und Landesbibliothek: Ein Verzeichnis (Vienna, 1993), that led me to make the discovery of Nonsense Society materials located in Vienna’s City Hall. These items, divided according to year, have the call numbers Jb 86.125 (for 1817) and Jb 86.126 (for 1818). 7. The vice-editor’s real name was Franz Zöpfl (ca. 1791–1871), a bookkeeper who later became an official at the Austrian National Bank. I wish to thank Michael Lorenz for establishing the biographical connection between Zöpfl and Marie Schuster, the person who sold the twenty-nine newsletters to the Vienna City Library in 1937 (see Steblin, Die Unsinnsgesellschaft, 8). These surviving issues make up only about one-third of the original number of weekly newsletters that must have been created (between April 1817 and the end of 1818), and it may be that Eduard Anschütz, the editor, took the other two-thirds (about 58 issues). These newsletters are still missing. The material in the Wienmuseum apparently once belonged to Josef Kupelwieser, who penned the poems called “Unsinniaden” for the New Year’s Eve celebration in 1817. However, both the poem and the picture belonging to the third “Unsinniade” are missing. • 34 • Notes to SCHUBERT: THE NONSENSE SOCIETY REVISITED 8. In 1997 I read a paper at the American Musicological Society Meeting in Phoenix titled “Leks, Schmecks and Klex: Three Kupelwiesers and Franz Schubert in the Unsinnsgesellschaft” devoted to these three brothers: Josef Kupelwieser (1791–1866), Johann Kupelwieser (1794–1856), and Leopold Kupelwieser (1796–1862). 9. Heinrich Anschütz, Erinnerungen aus dessen Leben und Wirken (Vienna, 1866), 264–65, cited in Otto Erich Deutsch, Schubert: Memoirs by His Friends, trans. Rosamond Ley and John Nowell (London, 1958), 222–23; translation amended by Christopher Gibbs. Deutsch commented that by the Nonsense Society “Anschütz probably meant ‘Die Ludlamshöhle’ to which Anschütz, though not Schubert, had belonged” (224). 10. For a facsimile of this list of Nonsense Society members, see Steblin, Die Unsinnsgesellschaft, 9. 11. Deutsch, Schubert: Memoirs, 32. 12. Otto Erich Deutsch, Schubert: A Documentary Biography, trans. Eric Blom (London, 1946), 338–40. The letter is discussed in Christopher Gibbs’s essay in this book as well as in John Gingerich’s. 13. See ibid., plate 18, Game of Ball at Atzenbrugg, facing page 465. 14. According to my research on Ludwig Kraißl, funded in 2000 by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council SSHRC grant administered by the University of Victoria, B.C., Canada, this member of the Schubert circle was christened on 11 December 1792 (Vienna, Pfarre Maria Rotunda, Taufbuch Tom. I, fol. 125). He died on 10 February 1871 in Klagenfurt, where he had lived since 1824 as a painter employed by the wealthy family of the industrialist August von Rosthorn. 15. See Steblin, “Schubert durch das Kaleidoskop” (Schubert Through the Kaleidoscope), Österreichische Musikzeitschrift 52/1–2 (Schubert Special Issue 1997): 52–61. 16. For the original German, see Steblin, Die Unsinnsgesellschaft, 335–36, which reprints the newsletter dated 16 July 1818. Since such information can readily be found in my book under the date of the newsletter (as well as through the footnotes of my articles), I will dispense with further references here. 17. The kaleidoscope could now be associated with Schubert’s music, as I suggested in “Schubert Through the Kaleidoscope” in 1997: “The inexhaustible variety of his melodic invention and in particular the sudden, abrupt changes between harmonic motives and keys have a kaleidoscopic effect about them” (56). My idea was then further developed by Brian Newbould in his article “Schubert im Spiegel,” Musiktheorie 13 (1998): 101–10, esp. 105. I later expanded this thought, connecting it with Donald Tovey’s term “star clusters” and Richard L. Cohn’s discussion of this term, in my article “Schubert‘s Pepi: His Love Affair with the Chambermaid Josepha Pöcklhofer and Her Surprising Fate,” The Musical Times 149 (Summer 2008): 47–69, esp. 52–53. 18. This passage by Wilhelm von Chézy was discovered by Till Gerrit Waidelich and published in his book Rosamunde: Drama in fünf Akten von Helmina von Chézy. Musik von Franz Schubert. Erstveröffentlichung der überarbeiteten Fassung (Tutzing, 1996), 53–54. 19. Franz Lachner told the following anecdote about Schubert’s strict discipline: “Once, when with a group of friends, Schubert told of a sweetheart, who left him for the reason that she wanted to avenge herself for the beatings he had given her in the ABC class when he was a schoolteacher. He added: ‘It is quite true; whenever I was composing, this little gang annoyed me so much that the ideas always went out of my head. Naturally I gave them a good hiding then.—And now I have to suffer for it!’” See Deutsch, Schubert: Memoirs, 292. 20. Steblin, Die Unsinnsgesellschaft, 375. 21. Ibid., 214–15. The theater announcement is signed with another code name for Eduard Anschütz: “Michael Karthaunerknall Schauspieler.” Knall (bang, explosion) refers to the meaning of his real name Schütz (shot), and Schauspieler (actor) refers to his profession. 22. Steblin, Die Unsinnsgesellschaft, 195. 23. Ibid., 190. • 35 • Notes to SCHUBERT: THE NONSENSE SOCIETY REVISITED 24. See Otto Erich De