By Erik Levi
In this authoritative research, one of many first to seem in English, Erik Levi explores the ambiguous dating among tune and politics in the course of one of many darkest sessions of contemporary cultural historical past. making use of fabric drawn from modern files, journals and newspapers, he lines the evolution of reactionary musical attitudes which have been exploited by way of the Nazis within the ultimate years of the Weimar Republic, chronicles the mechanisms that have been demonstrated after 1933 to regiment musical lifestyles all through Germany and the occupied territories, and examines the measure to which the weather of xenophobia, racism and anti-modernism affected the dissemination of song both within the opera condo and live performance corridor, or at the radio and within the media.
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Early in 1933, this opposition became more pronounced when the conductor participated in a controversial production of Wagner's Tannhiiuser, mounted by the Berlin State Opera in honour of the fiftieth anniversary of the composer's death. The first performance, which took place on 13 February, barely two weeks after Hitler had seized power, was greeted with almost uniform hostility. Although Nazi sensibilities were particularly offended by the production which to many critics 'recalled the worst excesses of the Kroll' ,9 the main focus of their outrage was levelled against Klemperer.
These can be delineated under the following broad headings: the elimination of the Jews, the policy of cultural apartheid, anti-semitic musical propaganda, and the redrawing and Aryanisation of established musical repertoire. THE REMOVAL OF THE JEWS: 1933 AND BEYOND In a letter dated 16 September 1919, Adolf Hitler had already made it abundantly clear that the solution of the Jewish problem could only come about through the pursuit of what he termed a 'rational' form of anti-semitism. This policy, he wrote, 'must lead to a systematic legal opposition and elimination of the special privileges which Jews hold ...
13 Hitler, on the other hand, attempted to seek com- 22 Music in the Third Reich promise and consensus when he delivered his Address on Culture at the annual Nuremberg Party Rally on 1 September. This speech, Hitler's first public pronouncement on the role of the arts in the Nazi state, was full of so many typically vague generalisations that it managed to satisfy both the reactionary and the pragmatic wings of the Party. While Hitler was careful to avoid pronouncing in favour of either of the contending factions in such a public arena, his ultimate decision was to select Goebbels.