Forbidden Music: The Jewish Composers Banned by the Nazis by Michael Haas

By Michael Haas

With nationwide Socialism's arrival in Germany in 1933, Jews ruled song greater than nearly the other quarter, making it crucial cultural entrance within the Nazi struggle for German identification. This groundbreaking booklet appears on the Jewish composers and musicians banned through the 3rd Reich and the implications for tune through the remainder of the 20th century. simply because Jewish musicians and composers have been, via 1933, the crucial conveyors of Germany’s old traditions and the beliefs of German tradition, the isolation, exile and persecution of Jewish musicians by means of the Nazis turned an act of musical self-mutilation.

Michael Haas appears on the genuine contribution of Jewish composers in Germany and Austria sooner than 1933, at their more and more precarious place in Nazi Europe, their pressured emigration prior to and through the struggle, their ambivalent relationships with their international locations of safe haven, resembling Britain and the USA and their contributions in the extensively replaced post-war song environment.

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Additional info for Forbidden Music: The Jewish Composers Banned by the Nazis

Example text

Their music, in his view, resides on the outer shell of virtuosity rather than within the inner spirit. By plumbing spiritual depths, something of which he believed Jews were intellectually and culturally incapable, composers communicated at a deeper level that propelled music towards the future. 5 He praises Mendelssohn for his talent, cultivation and sensitivity, while at the same time turning these attributes into barriers to deeper spiritual communication. He accuses Mendelssohn of taking his musical models, such as Bach, from the past while remaining singularly incapable of transmitting the deeper meaning of Bach’s works.

Within the broader topic of ‘culture’, hardly any discipline defines a nation more innately than its music. The distant dream of German unification had finally come to pass, but excluded the passionately chauvinistic German-­ Austrians, who had decidedly mixed feelings about being left out of the newly formed German nation state, while being fobbed off with what many perceived to be the less desirable multi-­cultural dual monarchy of Austria-­ Hungary. Where was German cultural identity to be found if not in a common German state?

The ‘old’ school, despite some bourgeois anti-­Semitism from the likes of Robert and Clara Schumann, became a by-­word for philo-­Semitism. It was this that led German nationalists and supporters of Wagner’s new-­German School to aim blatantly anti-­Semitic attacks at non-­Jewish composers such as Brahms and Bruch. Wagner’s Political and Cultural Legacy The ‘new’ school of Wagner and his father-­in-­law Liszt was largely opposed by the musical establishment in Leipzig – paradoxically, Wagner’s native city.

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