• In composing his Reisebuch aus den österreichischen Alpen (1929), Ernst Krenek accomplished much more than a quaint, neo-Romantic travelogue in words and music (both written by him) in praise of the Austrian Alps. As the composer previously had staged a mountain journey in his 1927 jazz opera Jonny spielt auf, his subsequent 1929 excursion raises intriguing questions, above all pertaining to the purpose of art in the modern world. I argue that Krenek, in music, updates the Bildungsroman, a point he signals in the words from his first song, ‘I travel forth, to discover my homeland. ‘That’s how it is with us: racked with doubt, we meander hither and thither seeking ourselves and our homeland’.