Thursday 7 January 2010

Freud and Schoenberg: Metapsychology and Serialism. Inner Circle Seminar 154 (18 July 2010)

Arnold Schoenberg
Sigmund Freud

Peter Stadlen
Marie Pappenheim

Freud and Schoenberg

Metapsychology and Serialism

The ‘unconscious’ in psychoanalysis and music
For the centenary of the pianist and musicologist
Peter Stadlen

Anthony Stadlen
Inner Circle Seminar No. 154
Sunday 18 July 2010
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This seminar will compare the work of two great Viennese-Jewish early-20th-century innovators, the psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud and the composer Arnold Schoenberg. Freud’s books on dreams and ‘hysteria’, and such works as Schoenberg’s 1909 opera Erwartung, were linked by their revolutionary phenomenological explorations of delirium and the ‘unconscious’ – as well as by that opera’s librettist Marie Pappenheim, whose portrait by Kokoschka is shown here, and who was a cousin of Breuer and Freud’s ‘hysterical’ patient ‘Anna O.’ (Bertha Pappenheim). However, after these initial ventures into the unknown, Freud and Schoenberg attempted to ‘organise the delirium’ (as Pierre Boulez would put it several decades later) by giving a structureFreuds ‘metapsychology’ and Schoenbergs ‘serialism’ – to what they claimed lay ‘behind’ experience. This seminar celebrates the centenary of Peter Stadlen (born 14 July 1910), pianist and musicologist, who gave the first performance of Anton Webern’s Piano Variations and continued to insist on the authentic articulation of extremes of phenomenological emotional expression and meaning in this music as imparted to him by Webern, but questioned both the audibility and the logic of its ‘metapsychological’ serial structure. We shall explore the implications for psychotherapy.

This seminar addresses fundamental questions for psychotherapists and musicians, and for anyone with an interest in either of these fields. No previous knowledge will be assumed.

Venue: ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra Avenue, London N22 7XE
Cost: Students £108, others £135; some bursaries; mineral water, fruit juice, coffee, tea, biscuits included
Apply to: Anthony Stadlen, ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra Avenue, London N22 7XE
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8888 6857 E-mail:
For further information on seminars, visit:
The Inner Circle Seminars were founded by Anthony Stadlen in 1996 as an ethical, existential, phenomenological search for truth in psychotherapy. They have been kindly described by Thomas Szasz as ‘Institute for Advanced Studies in the Moral Foundations of Human Decency and Helpfulness’. But they are independent of all institutes, schools and colleges.

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