A design from Hans Mersmann’s ‘Modern Music’
While moving material from one bookshelf to another in the study of my flat in Vienna, I stumbled on a copy of Hans Mersmann’s ‘Modern Music’ from 1928. Mersmann was one of the editors of Schott’s new music monthly ‘Melos’ and from 1933 would be unemployable in Hitler’s Germany, despite having built up the Prussian Archive of Folksongs, something that otherwise would have appealed to the Kinder-Kirche-Küche wing of the NSDAP. His book offers a number of marvellous plates in gorgeous colours – indeed, for a book from 1928, it offers some of the most brilliant reproductions I’ve ever seen. I couldn’t resist including Ludwig Sievert’s design for Ernst Krenek’s opera ‘Der Sprung über den Schatten‘ (‘The leap over one’s own Shadow’ a German expression meaning to go against one’s own instincts) – it’s entitled: ‘The poet Goldhaar’s quarters’
I’m guessing it comes from the 1924 premiere in Frankfurt conducted by Ludwig Rottenberg.