Composers of the Nazi Era: Eight Portraits by Michael H. Kater

By Michael H. Kater

How does creativity thrive within the face of fascism? How can a hugely inventive person functionality professionally in so threatening a climate?
Composers of the Nazi period is the ultimate e-book in a significantly acclaimed trilogy that comes with various Drummers (OUP 1992) and The Twisted Muse (OUP 1997), which received the Wallace okay. Ferguson Prize of the Canadian historic organization. the following, historian Michael H. Kater presents a close learn of the customarily interrelated careers of 8 well-known German composers who lived and labored amid the dictatorship of the 3rd Reich, or have been pushed into exile by means of it: Werner Egk, Paul Hindemith, Kurt Weill, Karl Amadeus Hartmann, Carl Orff, Hans Pfitzner, Arnold Schoenberg, and Richard Strauss. Kater weighs problems with lodging and resistance to invite no matter if those artists corrupted themselves within the carrier of a legal regime--and if that is so, no matter if this can be discerned from their song. After chapters discussing the situations of every composer separately, Kater concludes with an research of the composers' diversified responses to the Nazi regime and an summary of the sociopolitical heritage opposed to which they functioned. the ultimate bankruptcy additionally extends the dialogue past the tip of worldwide battle II to check how the composers reacted to the hot and fragile democracy in Germany.

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144 Werner Egk 27 Today, of course, we know that Egk helped only himself; the Fachschaft was a vehicle for getting through the tides. That it could be used in no other way, whether he wanted to or not, Egk demonstrated when composer Wagner-Régeny, the friend of Blacher, von Einem, and Orff, was in a psychotic state because of unbearable service in the Wehrmacht. Egk could do nothing to get him released from it, and there is no record that he even tried. 147 As it turns out, composer von Einem provides an important piece to this latest puzzle.

4 (1923) and his opera Cardillac (1926). Still, his musical interpretation of the New Objectivity, his idea of Gebrauchsmusik or utility and applied music, and his regular appearances at the new-music festivals of Donaueschingen and BadenBaden in most contemporary minds placed him firmly in the modernist camp. 2 It seemed that politically he could be typecast as little as he could be artistically. As a musician, he left himself open to many influences. This showed in the chamber music programs he performed with the highly regarded Amar Quartet: works by J.

There was “great tension,” remembers Frau Hartmann, and in the end Egk got a sheet of paper out of him, on which Hartmann attested to Egk’s decency toward him during the regime—hardly more than cliches, really, and there was nothing at all about resistance in any way or form. 155 Egk’s final bid to convince the denazification court of his opposition status consisted of a story that once again involved the Orffs, but this time only Gertrud, as her husband would have none of it. Allegedly Frau Orff and a few other residents of Lochham and Gräfelfing had been persuaded by Egk to sign a standard statement, carbon-copied for distribution to as many neighbors as possible, to the effect that Egk had created an information network of monitors, who would await the arrival of the Americans late in April 1945, then to inform the victors about the political persuasion of known citizens, especially Nazis.

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