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 booklet in a severely acclaimed trilogy that incorporates diversified Drummers (OUP 1992) and The Twisted Muse (OUP 1997), which received the Wallace ok. Ferguson Prize of the Canadian ancient organization. right here, historian Michael H. Kater presents an in depth research of the usually 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 felony regime--and if this is the case, even if this can be discerned from their track. After chapters discussing the situations of every composer separately, Kater concludes with an research of the composers' assorted responses to the Nazi regime and an outline of the sociopolitical heritage opposed to which they functioned. the ultimate bankruptcy additionally extends the dialogue past the tip of worldwide warfare II to envision how the composers reacted to the recent and fragile democracy in Germany.

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Fritz Piersig, but also by former Melos editor Dr. Heinrich Strobel. 90 Egk’s role in wartime Germany stands out in contrast with that of other German musicians, who scrupulously avoided taking on a politicocultural stance on behalf of the Nazi regime in territory conquered by Hitler’s army and being especially sensitive with regard to France, which had such an overwhelming cultural tradition of its own. ”94 Not surprisingly, various financial bonuses and official honors came his way in good time, to mark Werner Egk’s success.

There was a foil: Egk’s new deputy was to be Franz Grothe, wisely a man from the U-Musik sector, who as a writer of popular film scores (Watch out! ; Roses from Tyrol) not only knew Goebbels well but actually was considered a Nazi. But evidently he had not been the minister’s or Graener’s first choice. Originally, the honor was supposed to have gone to Grothe’s film composer friend Theo Mackeben (Ohm Krüger), who, unlike Grothe, had a late-Weimar left-wing past, culminating in a collaboration with Brecht and Weill, which in that respect actually resembled Egk’s own.

In any event, Brigitte Bergese developed a liaison with Werner Egk, whom throughout 1945 she saw on a regular basis. 122 On 24 December 1945, Captain Jenkins, driving in from Stuttgart, made his first personal visit at the Orff home to join them in the celebration of Christmas. Brigitte Bergese today remembers Orff and Jenkins, both in a jolly good mood, arriving at the house in the afternoon together, where they met Elisabeth and Werner Egk. Orff and Jenkins obviously had had a lot to talk about already—presumably with respect to Orff’s own political clearance at the hand of the Americans.

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