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Composers under National Socialism


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Author Topic: Composers under National Socialism  (Read 400 times)
dhibbard
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« on: December 15, 2016, 05:15:28 am »

Thought I would start a thread under this title.  As a history buff and WW2 history buff, I've been interested in reading about composers living under the Nazis and the National Socialist Party.  One particular composer was Paul von Klenau.  Here is some info from wiki.  Feel free to add others to this thread:


Klenau's role under National Socialism has been the subject of discussion. Fred Prieberg characterizes Klenau's relationship with the Nazis as one of mutual opportunism: for the régime, he could be useful as a campaigner for cultural ties between Germany and Denmark; for Klenau this attitude opened doors that remained closed to others. By way of example, Prieberg cites the seemingly unproblematic premiere of Klenau's three twelve-tone operas in a time when twelve-tone techniques were condemned as "cultural Bolshevism".[5]

According to Schoenberg,[6] Klenau once defended his use of the twelve-tone technique as the basis of an opera as an example of National Socialist art, making an analogy with the Führerprinzip, where everything in the piece needed to follow the leader. This, and a political analogy made by Socialist composers, Schoenberg equally derided as "nonsense." He refers to Klenau as "the German composer, Paul von Klenau".

Klenau's musical output, some of which is undergoing recording revival, includes nine symphonies,[3] three string quartets, and a setting (1919) of Rainer Maria Rilke's "Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornets Christoph Rilke"[3] among other works.
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erato
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« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2016, 06:23:26 pm »

premiere of Klenau's three twelve-tone operas

Nothing could be more repellent. I hope they burn the scores so that this garbage is never revived.
Why in the world would you deny others the chance to hear them?
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shamus
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« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2016, 07:21:45 pm »

Since I am not sure how bravely I would have stood up to fight fascism (may have to learn that soon here in good old USA) I try not to judge too harshly composers who seemed to survive but also to some extent collaborate with authoritarian governments. Kind of a double-edged sword perhaps, but some of the music is beautiful enough on its own (Trapp, Butting, et al). I remember enjoying very much the music of the East German composers that was on all those wonderful Nova and Eterna LPs along with the Muza LPs from Poland, Supraphon and Panton from what was Czechoslavia. I also like some of the western-style orchestral music from China. I will have to say, however that I hate the committee-composed stuff from North Korea! Don't care for some of the boiler-plate Russian music written for Stalin and Lenin, but even nasty guys like Pfitzner and Khrennikov wrote some pretty stuff and everybody knows Wagner's story and I just can't resist the beauty of his music. So, guess this discussion has to devolve to personal choice of what to listen to, even if it is sometimes hard to "forgive" those who wrote it. And I shall cast not the first stone, (maybe the second one?), but there again who knows. I have been brave, cowardly, kind, mean, tolerant, intolerant, smart, stupid sometimes all in the same day, kind of try to use the nice ones more often than the others. And I like Klenau's sounds.
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erato
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« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2016, 07:28:11 pm »

Why in the world would you deny others the chance to hear them?

On the same basis that the major works of Nazi propaganda remain banned in Germany to this day.

But I am sure that this is exactly the kind of response user DHibbard hoped to provoke.
[/quote]I didn't see any mention of them being propagandistic? Sure, the composer may have been a nazi, but if that is the sole criterion of burning them we're opening a can of worms, seeing that the nazis were enthusiastic burners of things produced by perople they didn't like. If they are propagandistic that may be another matter, but well, some works by Shostakovich and Prokofiev are pretty stalinist.....
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dhibbard
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« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2016, 07:50:14 pm »

Thought I would start a thread under this title.  As a history buff and WW2 history buff, I've been interested in reading about composers living under the Nazis and the National Socialist Party.  One particular composer was Paul von Klenau.  Here is some info from wiki.  Feel free to add others to this thread:


Klenau's role under National Socialism has been the subject of discussion. Fred Prieberg characterizes Klenau's relationship with the Nazis as one of mutual opportunism: for the régime, he could be useful as a campaigner for cultural ties between Germany and Denmark; for Klenau this attitude opened doors that remained closed to others. By way of example, Prieberg cites the seemingly unproblematic premiere of Klenau's three twelve-tone operas in a time when twelve-tone techniques were condemned as "cultural Bolshevism".[5]

According to Schoenberg,[6] Klenau once defended his use of the twelve-tone technique as the basis of an opera as an example of National Socialist art, making an analogy with the Führerprinzip, where everything in the piece needed to follow the leader. This, and a political analogy made by Socialist composers, Schoenberg equally derided as "nonsense." He refers to Klenau as "the German composer, Paul von Klenau".

Klenau's musical output, some of which is undergoing recording revival, includes nine symphonies,[3] three string quartets, and a setting (1919) of Rainer Maria Rilke's "Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornets Christoph Rilke"[3] among other works.
Works (selection)


well of course, I'm not condoning the Nazi Party or obviously anything promoting that... just trying to get collect some of the information about the composers that lived thru that horrible era, and had the "boot on their face"  as far as what they could compose and what was allowable under the Nazi's.     Paul Kletzki is another example...because he was Jewish, he left Nazi Germany in 1933 and moved to Italy, however due to the anti-semitism of the Italian Fascist regime he moved to the Soviet Union in 1936. He later went to live in Switzerland. 





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Toby Esterhase
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« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2017, 12:59:00 am »

This on musical life during Mussolini's government
https://www.apemusicale.it/joomla/recensioni/14-libri/3115-libri-zignani-la-storia-negata
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Toby Esterhase
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« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2017, 04:05:38 am »

On same subject:https://www.google.it/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=4&ved=0ahUKEwipn5jh9KPXAhVHZ1AKHR1BC7oQFgg4MAM&url=https%3A%2F%2Friviste.unimi.it%2Findex.php%2Fgilgames%2Farticle%2Fdownload%2F7782%2F7579&usg=AOvVaw00WMKgfWt83aWDjjfGzD3H
IMHO is concerning that both conservative and progressive composers claimed that their music was "fascist".
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dhibbard
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« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2017, 07:34:00 pm »

I guess we could start a thread called "Composers under Communism"  hope those would not want to burn all the scores also.
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Dundonnell
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« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2017, 11:59:13 pm »

God Help Us Sad In Nazi Germany they burned books Angry Any talk of burning musical scores fills me with total and utter horror!! That is anathema in a civilised society. Have we really lost all sense of proportion?
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Gauk
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« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2017, 07:42:17 am »

I guess we could start a thread called "Composers under Communism"  hope those would not want to burn all the scores also.

Hardly necessary, since that subject is widely discussed and the composers are well-known. What happened to music in NDSAP Germany is more of a black hole.
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Toby Esterhase
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« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2017, 02:00:54 am »

http://www.chronicle.com/article/A-Composers-Ties-to-Nazi/49256
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dhibbard
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« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2017, 02:39:29 am »

Thanks Toby... interesting article. 
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dhibbard
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« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2017, 04:16:29 am »


that may have been the sentiment at the time.... my grandfather (who died in 1970) told me that in Tallinn, they preferred the Germans to the Russians....neither were preferred...but they had more freedom under the Germans.  Then there was the surrender by Konstantin Päts of the Republic of Estonia to the Russians..... a sore topic.
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Gauk
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« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2017, 10:52:33 am »

A good balanced article. It seems to me the case against Sibelius is extremely weak.
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Dundonnell
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« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2017, 03:23:20 pm »

Given that the Swede Kurt Atterberg's Symphony No.7 was given its premiere in Frankfurt in 1943 I hardly think that the reputation of the Finnish giant of 20th century music is likely to suffer, especially since he had stopped composition by the time the Nazis came to power in Germany. Does any of this really matter now?
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