Hitler’s victims’ music


This video is called Sarah Chang: Mendelssohn Violin Concerto Mvt.1 Part1.

By Fred Mazelis in the USA:

New York concerts examine “lost music” of twentieth century

7 January 2009

Classical works by composers who died at the hands of the Nazis or who were forced to leave the lands of their birth, in some cases never to return, have been receiving increased attention in recent years. James Conlon, an American-born conductor with a long and fruitful career in both Europe and the U.S. and now the music director of the Los Angeles Opera, has taken the lead in this project to rescue unjustly neglected and in some cases unknown work.

The list of the musical victims of Nazism is a long one. It includes well-known figures like Kurt Weill, the collaborator of Bertolt Brecht in The Threepenny Opera and other works, who came to America in the mid-1930s and had a successful career on Broadway until he died at the age of 50 in 1950. Other émigrés, like Erich Korngold and Friedrich Hollander, had some success in Hollywood. Some of the older generation, like Alexander Zemlinsky, Arnold Schoenberg’s brother-in-law, who was in his late 60s when he came to New York in 1938, were unable to find their footing in America.

Noted composers in the 1930s, if they were Jewish or opponents of fascism, were demonized by the Nazis in the notorious Entartete Musik (Degenerate Music) exhibition in Düsseldorf in 1938, which was patterned on the Entartete Kunst (Degenerate Art) [exhibition] in Munich a year earlier. While the Hitler regime naturally denounced the musical avant-garde, the work of some of the most famous musicians in the German musical tradition also had to be excluded. The bizarre efforts by the Nazis to rewrite the history of German music in order to repudiate the historic role of German-Jewish composers and musicians, including Mendelssohn and many others, is a subject which deserves separate treatment.

One point should be clearly understood: these composers worked squarely in the German classical tradition. As Conlon has explained, they were “an integral part of German music.… They have the same roots and came out of the same environment as everyone else in their time.” This is what made the Nazi cultural campaign so utterly reactionary and historically doomed, despite the awful crimes that were carried out.

While many were forced to flee fascism, there were other composers, especially those who were younger and lesser known, who for various reasons could not or did not leave in time. Erwin Schulhoff, Hans Krasa, Victor Ullmann and others perished in the concentration camps. (See The rediscovered music of Erwin Schulhoff.)

Felix Mendelssohn vs. Richard Wagner: here.

3 thoughts on “Hitler’s victims’ music

  1. Pingback: British nazis abuse anti fascist song | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: The Wagner dynasty and Hitler | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Hitler’s crackdown on Jewish composers | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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