Alban Berg on Schoenberg’s teaching:
The genius is effective from the outset as a teacher. His words are instruction, his conduct is a model, his works are revelations. Hidden within him is the teacher, the prophet, the Messiah. And the spirit of language which understands the essence of the genius far better than those who abuse it, gives the creative artist the name “Master,” and says of him that he has created a “school.” This perception alone could convince a time of Arnold Schönberg’s predestination for the teaching profession if it had any idea about the importance of this artist and human being. That it has no such idea is natural, for had a time the capability of perceiving, of sensing something that is so contradictory to its essence as is everything immortal, it would not be the opposite of eternity. And yet, only if we first assume an artist’s calling to the teaching profession in general can Schönberg’s particular method of teaching be properly judged. In addition to being inextricably linked to his artistry and his imposing humanity, his manner of teaching, which is the only justifiable kind, is supported by an express will to this profession. This will – whether it be involved with his own work, with reproduction, with criticism, or ultimately with the profession of teaching – must, like every great artistic will, produce at the highest level. To esteem highly enough such a miraculous achievement, which has come about under these presuppositions and conditions, would mean to solve the riddle of genius and to fathom the secrets of the Godhead, an effort that must of necessity fail by virtue of the impossibility of measuring the immeasurable, of fathoming the unfathomable. It can only remain an attempt, an attempt resembling the kind that would hope to describe the Beauty, richness, and sublimity of the waves of the sea. Submitting himself to its constant currents, the lucky swimmer will be carried out toward eternity, easily and proudly taking leave of those who are shattered an the rocky crags of their intellectual and spiritual infertility or who remain behind in the secure harbor of their temporality.