Compared to his contemporaries Béla Bartók and Zoltán Kodály, Ernst von Dohnányi (1877–1960) did not leave an extensive legacy of prose writings. He rarely spoke either of himself, the background of his compositions, his musical principles or compositional aesthetics; nor was he particularly active as a musicologist, ethnomusicologist or critic. Yet, during a long life filled with wide-ranging professional activities, he authored numerous writings pertinent to the history of music and musical life. Equally informative are the interviews he gave in his various capacities as composer, performer, teacher, and institutional leader. A volume in progress, entitled Ernő Dohnányi’s Selected Writings and Interviews, will offer an annotated critical edition of these texts (collected and edited by the author, to be published in late 2019). This study is based on the collected interview-material and gives a summary of some of their most important topics such as Dohnányi’s views on modern music, creative and reproductive talents, live-, radio-, and recorded performances. Though these transcripts cannot always be considered authentic sources, this study attempts to show that there is a great deal of information, heretofore unknown, contained in the numerous new interviews our research has brought to light.
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