Arnold Schönberg, the representative of the newest musical trend whose melodrama Pierrot lunaire has just been performed in Paris with great success, was interviewed by an editor of the theater journal Comoedia:
I met Schönberg, who was accompanied by his graceful blond wife and surrounded by a large number of male and female admirers, in the anteroom. In greeting me he told me that he had studied French in high school with the result that now he was not able to speak a single word of it. But even though he could not speak French, he still was able to understand it quite well. To my question regarding his new plans he replied:

“I have been working on the incidental music [Bühnenmusik] for a drama for a long time. I have to keep its title a secret, however. I don’t think it will be performed for some years. At present I am also writing the Variations for Orchestra, and finally I am thinking of composing a violin concerto which – I hope – will be introduced publicly by Kreisler. I want to provide new inspiration for music for the violin. And I use my leisure time for work on a book explaining my ideas about music. Its title will be On the Structural Logic in Music [Von der Logik im Aufbau der Musik].”

“Would you like to say something about German music, its development, and its relationship to French music?”
My question obviously embarrasses Schönberg because he starts nervously playing with his wedding ring. A young woman helps him out of this embarrassment by handing him a plate of cake. The creator of Pierrot lunaire smiles ironically, takes a piece of torte from the plate, and answers me while lifting a cup of tea to his lips: “Let me think for a moment.” The cake seems to be excellent, and apparently hinders Arnold Schönberg from coming to a conclusion. At last he pushes back the plate, and turns to me with the words: “In my view the development of German and French music runs parallel. Both are against the ‘pathos’ that was in full bloom twenty years ago.” – “Pathos and Romanticism,” I interrupt. “No,” was his answer. “Romanticism no longer exists. If one chooses to use that word, one does so without any justification, because there is nothing behind it. I want to emphasize ‘pathos’ once more – the grandiloquence of music of the past. It was music that didn’t operate through the ideas it contained, but only through the composer’s emotion, yes, sometimes only through his sentimentality. Today, be it France or Germany, we demand a music that lives through ideas and not through feeling.”

To my objection that the younger generation, after all, had rediscovered a certain Gounod, Schönberg quickly replied: “I am not speaking about the younger generation, I’m talking about myself. I have brought music a good deal forward. I can claim that without false modesty. I am quite conscious of this. There is a gap between the point to which I have led music and where it was before. It is a gap today’s musicians must attempt to fill.”
“You mean to say,” I replied in my rebuttal, “Germany’s entire musical movement has as its purpose and goal the discovery of a woman who can convey to a large audience the understanding of a music that we want to triumph. It shall bring back the listeners after many artists and critics have spoken out against our music, which in its theoretical approach comes dose to the formula of l’art pour l’art.”
“That is right.” replied Schönberg. “In Germany we have a large number of individuals who can be mentioned alongside your most famous musicians. The styles may be different, but the tendencies are the same. These mainly concern form and the problems of modern harmony that have somewhat disrupted the permanence of forms. Hindemith is a kind of Darius Milhaud, and with his short musical aphorisms Webern reminds one of your Debussy.”
“Do you believe then,” I remarked, “that there is a return to the lyrical mode as a reaction to the directions you are taking?”
“I do not believe so,” Schönberg answered my question. “It only falls a gap. That is all. They only build the bridge which will permit the audience to come to me.”
“But it is said,” I continued, “that your election as a member of the Berlin Academy of Arts must be considered the expression of Germany’s will to fight the influence of Debussy and french music in general. It is, on the other hand, therefore the expression of the wish to draw closer to the Austrian movement. I admit, the question is somewhat brutal, but it would be desirable for you either to refute or to correct this hypothesis.”

At that moment the young lady again approaches Mr. Schönberg to offer him a glass of port and a plate of delicious looking cake. Schönberg again smiles ironically, takes the glass of port and prepares to eat the cake. “I will think about it further,” he says as he sits down at the table. Since Schönberg was still thinking about it half an hour later, I considered it high time to leave.

Berliner Börsenzeitung (December 16, 1927)