The Collaboration of Richard Strauss and Stefan Zweig, 1931-1936: A New Translation and Critical Edition of the Letters and Documents

Edited by Jeffrey B. Berlin and Matthew Werley

This volume offers a new English translation and critical commentary of the complete correspondence between the German composer Richard Strauss (1864-1949) and the Austrian author Stefan Zweig (1881-1942). Strauss and Zweig's vibrant artistic relationship, which began in 1931 and was cut short by the rise of National Socialism, has been the subject of numerous essays, scholarly debates, and even dramatization on the English stage. This new edition - itself an international and interdisciplinary collaboration between Werley and Prof. Jeffrey B. Berlin, a leading authority on Zweig - offers a long-overdue critical appraisal and fresh translation of the letters and related documents. It will also be the first to include a number of newly discovered letters between Zweig, Strauss and Joseph Gregor (1888-1960), the erudite Austrian theatre historian whom Zweig clandestinely groomed as his replacement librettist in 1935. By supplying an appendix with previously overlooked and hard-to-obtain contextual materials that further illuminates the nature and times of their relationship, this volume will be a welcome addition to the growing body of literature on Strauss and Zweig, as well as of great relevance to anyone interested in understanding the conditions of artistic collaboration under fascism.

Publisher: Plumbago Books and Arts ('Defining Opera' series), forthcoming 

A project generously funded by the Gerda Henkel Stiftung.

Highlights:

  • Includes 8 newly discovered letters not included in the 1957 German first edition
  • Weaves in approximately 30 letters with Joseph Gregor, who mediated for Zweig in 1935
  • Reproduces roughly 30 relevant items in an appendix to enrich the context of the letters
  • Provides a forward and detailed commentary to illuminate the tensions and shifting contours of the historical context
  • Corrects numerous errors and omissions transmitted by previous editors
  • Reflects first-hand examination of original documents in Garmisch, Vienna, Berlin, Salzburg, Munich, London, Fredonia (New York) and various archives across Europe
  • Features helpful tools such as an index, personalia entries, chronology and bibliography to help orient the reader, producer or performer toward additional sources and secondary literature

Additional project dissemination:

A complete critical edition in German is also planned (details tba)