Composers of the Nazi Era: Eight Portraits

 
9780195152869: Composers of the Nazi Era: Eight Portraits
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How does creativity thrive in the face of fascism? How can a highly artistic individual function professionally in so threatening a climate?

Composers of the Nazi Era is the final book in a critically acclaimed trilogy that includes Different Drummers (OUP 1992) and The Twisted Muse (OUP 1997), which won the Wallace K. Ferguson Prize of the Canadian Historical Association. Here, historian Michael H. Kater provides a detailed study of the often interrelated careers of eight prominent German composers who lived and worked amid the dictatorship of the Third Reich, or were driven into exile by it: Werner Egk, Paul Hindemith, Kurt Weill, Karl Amadeus Hartmann, Carl Orff, Hans Pfitzner, Arnold Schoenberg, and Richard Strauss. Kater weighs issues of accommodation and resistance to ask whether these artists corrupted themselves in the service of a criminal regime--and if so, whether this may be discerned from their music. After chapters discussing the circumstances of each composer individually, Kater concludes with an analysis of the composers' different responses to the Nazi regime and an overview of the sociopolitical background against which they functioned. The final chapter also extends the discussion beyond the end of World War II to examine how the composers reacted to the new and fragile democracy in Germany.

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About the Author:


Michael H. Kater is Distinguished Research Professor of History at the Centre for German and European Studies, York University, Toronto. He has published widely on modern Germany and is a Guggenheim Fellow as well as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

From Library Journal:

With this volume, Kater has completed a remarkable trilogy of books about music during the Nazi era. This final book, the logical successor to The Twisted Muse (LJ 1/97), focuses on the works and activities of eight German/Austrian composersAEgk, Hindemith, Weill, Hartmann, Orff, Pfitzner, Schoenberg, and StraussAand their relationships to the people and politics of the Third Reich. Each is given his own chapter, with a telling subtitle (e.g., "Werner Egk: The Enigmatic Opportunist") that summarizes Kater's view of the composer's degree of complicity, acquiescence, or, all too rarely, principled opposition to the Nazi regime. Complexities and contradictions abound, but overall the reputations of Egk, Hindemith, Orff, and the odious Pfitzner suffer, while that of Richard Strauss, perhaps surprisingly, is somewhat restored. Secondary players, such as Thomas Mann, Wilhelm Furtw?ngler, and Joseph Goebbels, make frequent appearances; indeed, the entire socio-politico-musical landscape of post-Weimar Germany is as thoroughly and engagingly chronicled as the achievements of the individual composers. Kater, as usual, is rigorous in his attention to detail; his research is up-to-date, and his conclusions are persuasive. This bookAindeed, the entire trilogyAshould be a part of every collection.ALarry Lipkis, Moravian Coll., Bethlehem, PA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description Oxford University Press. Paperback. Condition: New. 416 pages. Dimensions: 9.1in. x 6.0in. x 1.1in.How does creativity thrive in the face of fascism How can a highly artistic individual function professionally in so threatening a climate Composers of the Nazi Era is the final book in a critically acclaimed trilogy that includes Different Drummers (OUP 1992) and The Twisted Muse (OUP 1997), which won the Wallace K. Ferguson Prize of the Canadian Historical Association. Here, historian Michael H. Kater provides a detailed study of the often interrelated careers of eight prominent German composers who lived and worked amid the dictatorship of the Third Reich, or were driven into exile by it: Werner Egk, Paul Hindemith, Kurt Weill, Karl Amadeus Hartmann, Carl Orff, Hans Pfitzner, Arnold Schoenberg, and Richard Strauss. Kater weighs issues of accommodation and resistance to ask whether these artists corrupted themselves in the service of a criminal regime--and if so, whether this may be discerned from their music. After chapters discussing the circumstances of each composer individually, Kater concludes with an analysis of the composers different responses to the Nazi regime and an overview of the sociopolitical background against which they functioned. The final chapter also extends the discussion beyond the end of World War II to examine how the composers reacted to the new and fragile democracy in Germany. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9780195152869

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