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Thread: German Composers and Naziism

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    Senior Member Dim7's Avatar
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    Default German Composers and Naziism

    Schoenberg = Wannabe Wagner
    Wagner = Nazi
    Schoenberg = Wannabe Nazi

    The initial posts in this thread were originally in the thread, "Karajan: Godlike genius or mad megalomaniac." These posts were moved to this areas because of the political content.
    Last edited by mmsbls; Sep-28-2015 at 01:53. Reason: Housekeeping
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dim7 View Post
    Schoenberg = Wannabe Wagner
    Wagner = Nazi
    Schoenberg = Wannabe Nazi
    Yup! (Webern = Wannabe Wagner, actual Nazi, lacking Schoenberg's obstacle in that respect.)

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    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Dim7: Schoenberg = Wannabe Wagner
    Wagner = Nazi
    Schoenberg = Wannabe Nazi


    Epilogue: Yup! (Webern = Wannabe Wagner, actual Nazi, lacking Schoenberg's obstacle in that respect.)


    A cover of (unfunny) humor doesn't make careless attributions of Nazism any less repugnant. In light of the pernicious nonsense which is still regularly manufactured by the self-righteous and venal bandwagon-hoppers of political correctness, and for the benefit of anyone who may be unsure or curious:

    Neither Waqner nor Webern were Nazis.

    Wagner was antisemitic but loathed authoritarian politics, refused to endorse antisemitic movements when approached, and would correctly have considered Hitler depraved and dangerous.

    Webern was not antisemitic, and expressed ambivalent feelings toward the National Socialist party and Hitler. The Wiki article on Webern details the matter rather well:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anton_Webern

    Now, boys, go back to your playing - but, in accordance with forum policy and good sense, leave political innuendo out of it.

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    Schoenberg: composer
    Wagner: composer
    Webern: composer
    Karajan: Nazi

    We can all go home now

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    Senior Member isorhythm's Avatar
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    The Webern = Nazi thing is mostly attributable to Richard Taruskin, a clown, who also believes that Elliott Carter was a CIA agent or something.

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    Quote Originally Posted by isorhythm View Post
    The Webern = Nazi thing is mostly attributable to Richard Taruskin, a clown, who also believes that Elliott Carter was a CIA agent or something.
    lol

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    Senior Member Dim7's Avatar
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    (Underlining is mine)

    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    Dim7: Schoenberg = Wannabe Wagner
    Wagner = Nazi
    Schoenberg = Wannabe Nazi


    Epilogue: Yup! (Webern = Wannabe Wagner, actual Nazi, lacking Schoenberg's obstacle in that respect.)


    A cover of (unfunny) humor doesn't make careless attributions of Nazism any less repugnant. In light of the pernicious nonsense which is still regularly manufactured by the self-righteous and venal bandwagon-hoppers of political correctness, and for the benefit of anyone who may be unsure or curious:

    Neither Waqner nor Webern were Nazis.

    Wagner was antisemitic but loathed authoritarian politics, refused to endorse antisemitic movements when approached, and would correctly have considered Hitler depraved and dangerous.

    Webern was not antisemitic, and expressed ambivalent feelings toward the National Socialist party and Hitler. The Wiki article on Webern details the matter rather well:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anton_Webern

    Now, boys, go back to your playing - but, in accordance with forum policy and good sense, leave political innuendo out of it.
    Comedic genius it wasn't, I'll admit, and maybe standards should be higher for Nazi jokes. Wagner couldn't have been a Nazi because Nazism didn't exist back then. I (foolishly?) thought this would be self-evident. What he would have thought about Hitler is pure speculation though.
    Last edited by Dim7; Sep-26-2015 at 06:19.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    A cover of (unfunny) humor
    If you have to say it's unfunny, it's probably funny.

    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    Wagner... loathed authoritarian politics
    Ha ha.

    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    Webern was not antisemitic, and expressed ambivalent feelings toward the National Socialist party and Hitler.
    For "ambivalent," read "I know I can't get away with anything more exculpatory than that."

    "Und es wäre noch Einiges zu nennen, das auf ein Fortschreiten der inneren Reinigung absolut hinweist. Da ist heute Deutschland. Aber eben das nationalsozialistische!!! Nicht irgend eines! Das ist eben der neue Staat, zu dem die Saat vor nun mehr 20 Jahren gelegt worden ist. Ja ein neuer Staat ist es, wie er noch niemals bestanden hat! Ein Neues ist es! Geschaffen von diesem einzigen Manne!!! Sehn sie, sie spüren was so einmalig entstand, was eben nur dieser Natur entspringen konnte, diesen einmaligen zum Urheber hat."

    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    Now, boys, go back to your playing - but, in accordance with forum policy and good sense, leave political innuendo out of it.
    You do realize that saying somebody wasn't a Nazi is just as political as saying he was, yes?

    (Rhetorical question.)

    Quote Originally Posted by isorhythm View Post
    The Webern = Nazi thing is mostly attributable to Richard Taruskin, a clown, who also believes that Elliott Carter was a CIA agent or something.
    There was a time when I really despised Richard Taruskin.

    Then I started meeting some of the other people who despise Richard Taruskin.

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    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Epilogue View Post
    You do realize that saying somebody wasn't a Nazi is just as political as saying he was, yes?
    Since there was no such thing as a Nazi until 1920, it's a safe bet to say that Wagner wasn't one. Not a political statement at all. He was just another 19th-century ant-Semite. And, some people think, a pretty good composer.
    Last edited by KenOC; Sep-26-2015 at 07:12.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Dim7 View Post
    (Underlining is mine)



    Comedic genius it wasn't, I'll admit, and maybe standards should be higher for Nazi jokes. Wagner couldn't have been a Nazi because Nazism didn't exist back then. I (foolishly?) thought this would be self-evident. What he would have thought about Hitler is pure speculation though.
    Not at all. His loathing for authoritarian politics was lifelong - from his early devotion to anarchism to his late-life, quasi-religious belief that only inner, spiritual regeneration could save mankind from destruction - and this is one of the major dramatic themes of his work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    Not at all. His loathing for authoritarian politics was lifelong - from his early devotion to anarchism to his late-life, quasi-religious belief that only inner, spiritual regeneration could save mankind from destruction - and this is one of the major dramatic themes of his work.
    My understanding is that Wagner proposed a highly innovative and in my opinion workable scheme whereby society would be governed by revolutionary music dramas.

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    Senior Member Marschallin Blair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ComposerOfAvantGarde View Post
    Schoenberg: composer
    Wagner: composer
    Webern: composer
    Karajan: Nazi

    We can all go home now
    No, not really.

    The National Socialists made it so that Karajan and Schwarzkopf or any other professional of consequence 'had to' have a Nazi party membership card in order to have a job.

    Blame the government, not the artist.

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    Senior Member Marschallin Blair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blancrocher View Post
    My understanding is that Wagner proposed a highly innovative and in my opinion workable scheme whereby society would be governed by revolutionary music dramas.
    The young Wagnerphile Fritz Nietzsche certainly thought so.

    His first book, The Birth of Tragedy, which hints at how Wagner's music-dramas are the culturally-regenerative wave of the future, was such a brilliant and original work of classical philology, that he was made a FULL PROFESSOR at the University of Basel in Switzerland at the age of twenty-four- something absolutely UNHEARD OF at the time.

    - and he did this without writing a doctoral thesis or undergoing any type of intensive oral examinations by the professoriate.

    Yeah, Wagner's music dramas are definitely something akin to high Renaissance art.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    belief that only inner, spiritual regeneration could save mankind from destruction
    That's not "loathing for authoritarian politics," that's acquiescence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blancrocher View Post
    a highly innovative and in my opinion workable scheme whereby society would be governed by revolutionary music dramas.
    ^ Unfortunately we live in a world - more precisely a classical music scene - where it's impossible to tell if this is meant ironically or not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marschallin Blair View Post
    The National Socialists made it so that Karajan and Schwarzkopf or any other professional of consequence 'had to' have a Nazi party membership card in order to have a job.
    Interesting scare quotes around "had to" - meaning what, that they actually didn't have to? (Which of course they didn't - for example, Furtwängler never joined the party.) Then why write it at all?

    And of course this leaves out the question of whether it would be an adequate excuse even if it were true.

    More broadly, the question is: Why are you making these excuses?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marschallin Blair View Post
    His first book, The Birth of Tragedy, which hints at how Wagner's music-dramas are the culturally-regenerative wave of the future
    And then he actually saw the Ring - the work that was supposed to save the world, as opposed to that towering masterpiece of a side project, Tristan und Isolde, which had given him such hopes for the man - and recanted so powerfully that the Wagnerites are still mad at him for it.

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    Senior Member Balthazar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marschallin Blair View Post
    No, not really.

    The National Socialists made it so that Karajan and Schwarzkopf or any other professional of consequence 'had to' have a Nazi party membership card in order to have a job.

    Blame the government, not the artist.
    This is wholly false.

    To make this false claim debases the courage and valor of those who actively resisted the regime, as well as the suffering of those persecuted by the same regime.

    But it is a discussion not appropriate for the main boards.
    Last edited by Balthazar; Sep-26-2015 at 17:20.
    "We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.
    And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh."
    -- Nietzsche

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