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People can go on about consistency all they like and we realise we cannot be consistent. Who knows whether all the sportsmen or artists who are effective support Putin anyway? But what we are doing is making a general statement of disapproval. If people doesn't want to join us in that it's up to them.
The thing is, not everyone agrees with this so-called general statement. If you want to be inconsistent, then you'll have to come up with something better than we can do it, because we're right.

...the US was at war with North Vietnam from 1965-1973. Would the US have been totally within "right" to jail all anti-war activists and to require celebrities to denounce Hanoi? Of course not, and you know it.
I'd guess that most creative types where against American involvement in Vietnam. Whatever popular support the USA had at home quickly evaporated, certainly after the Tet Offensive of 1968.

The few who supported it - even indirectly - where controversial.

I'll give Merle Haggard as an example. His song Okie from Muskogee comes across as lampooning the anti-war movement as hippies who need a shower. Later, Haggard said the song was meant as a parody of the pro-Vietnam side. Whatever the political content, this song has remained one of his biggest hits.


I also remember reading James Brown's autobiography, and he went into detail about how his decision to visit Vietnam to entertain the troops was controversial. He didn't express any views (pro or con) on the war at the time, and said that he just did it for the men who where fighting. Some never forgave him for making what he thought was an apolitical decision.


Performing a song which is apparently pro-war and going to entertain troops are examples of direct action by musicians during war.

Can Gergiev even express his views as part of his job? I doubt it, unless we want to read into his programming of some dead composer's music as supporting Putin. Entertaining the troops is, of course, out of the question.
 

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^^ "if you want to be inconsistent.. "

Eh? I don't understand.
Justifications for things like this are bound to be inconsistent, as historical examples demonstrate. If a person wants to go down that path, then so be it. But their reasons have to be stronger than something like we're right and they're wrong.

Let's just cut the wordplay, and get down to the nitty gritty. If your boss gave you the ultimatum that Gergiev has been handed, and said your job is on the line if you don't give in to his demands, would you think it to be fair?
 

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Frankly, I don't think "wanting" to be "consistent/inconsistent" comes into it.

There is no problem in making decisions based on each unique set of circumstances. That's simply acknowledging the complexity I referred to above.

I wouldn't be in Gergiev's position in the first place...neither a world class conductor, nor a supporter of Putin. Only Gergiev can answer the problem you pose.
 

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Here's another question that troubles me a little:
Forget Gergiev-Putin. Does a politician have a right to demand that a performer make any specific political statement?
The simple answer is no.

But thinking about UK employment law (I'm unaware of German law) an employer has the right to protect his business (in UK law an employer is always a man!) if he feels the employee's behaviour could damage the enterprise, even if the employee has not broken any laws or breached the explicit terms of his contract. The reason has to be substantial and evidenced. My opinion is that if Gergiev does not make a statement that disassociates him from supporting the invasion, terminating his contract falls within the range of reasonable responses available to the mayor of Munich ti protect his business
 
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Frankly, I don't think "wanting" to be "consistent/inconsistent" comes into it.
It does because consistency implies application of logic, while inconsistency leaves the door open for all sorts of things. I know the latter is in the realm of realpolitik, but as I stated earlier, I'm arguing this matter based on principle. I am not a fan of Gergiev, neither am I committed to either side in the Ukraine-Russia conflict.

There is no problem in making decisions based on each unique set of circumstances. That's simply acknowledging the complexity I referred to above.
True, which is why I have attempted to make comparisons with not just any examples, but ones which are relevant to this case. The ones I find most relevant are Karl Bohm (supporting Hitler, who was by all standards worse than Putin), Itzhak Perlman (opposing proposed boycotting of Israel due to the Palestine issue), and Dalton Trumbo (arguing against retroactive prosecution).

Sure, each period in history presents its own unique circumstances, but looking back we can draw parallels between things if the issues are connected. Here, its obvious we're not just talking about whether someone should throw away Gergiev's records. The crux of the issue crosses the line of party politics to something more fundamental, which is fairness.

I wouldn't be in Gergiev's position in the first place...neither a world class conductor, nor a supporter of Putin. Only Gergiev can answer the problem you pose.
In issues like this, its wise to try and put yourself into another person's shoes. Arguably we wouldn't have a need for things justice at all if all we looked at where the differences between people. Most people work for a living, and they have political views. That's the basis I'm starting from, its pragmatic rather than complicated.
 

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It's not been 12 hours yet, but let's give it another try. Reminder: no pure politics (it has to be clearly related to classical music), and be civil to one another in the discussion.
 

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I will certainly not be binning any of the Gergiev recordings I own, especially not the LSO Prokofiev symphony cycle, which I still regard as among the finest Prokofiev recordings of all time, nor his fabulous Scriabin or many terrific Russian operas, just to name a few.

I may refrain from purchasing any for a time, but there are none on my radar at present, as it happens.

I have found Gergiev's politics regrettable, to say the least, for years. But he's only a conductor; there are 60+ other musicians involved in every orchestra recording. And, more importantly, I support free speech.

Those of you binning Gergiev, are you also purging your collections of the likes of Shostakovich (who openly supported Lenin, and Stalin early on, and the USSR in general) and Prokofiev (who early on supported and returned to Stalin's USSR despite the option of living permanently in the West)? I bet not.

Putin is absolutely detestable: a warmonger, a tyrant, and a criminal. No question. And this is a time to support Ukraine and her people. Destroying art is not a good way to do that, in my view.
 

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No I don't think anybody should be throwing out their Gergiev CDs. But we are at a new level now of unjustified war and frankly anyone that has a grain of support for Putin or the war - should be excluded totally from the civilised world - so I support moves to isolate Gergiev and exclude him from the musical world while he implies any support for Putin at all. His position is pretty much clear - once the war is over there should be no coming back for him or anyone with similar stance. This will serve as a lesson for the future.
 

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The ones I find most relevant are Karl Bohm (supporting Hitler, who was by all standards worse than Putin),

I dont think Bohm was a personal friend of Hitler and I am not sure what evidence there is that Bohm supported Hitler openly in the way that Gergiev sucks up to Putin. Obviously Gergiev has an understanding with Putin - they have shared beluga caviar and laughed at the naivety of the west together in Putin's $1 billion mansion - there is quite a brotherhood between them and while I am certain that Gergiev frowns upon the invasion - he dare not put his friendship - and perhaps safety - in jeopardy.
 

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No. There are many great composers/performers with questionable morals. FYI Wagner.
 

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No. There are many great composers/performers with questionable morals. FYI Wagner.
I don't think you can compare modern "enlightened" times with past eras. Many composers of the 18thC may have held views which we would now consider unacceptable - on race for example - so we need to act in accordance with a modern context.

It's a shame the OP was worded that way - no - I don't think you should throw out his CDs if they are good and you enjoy them. But frankly it's not what he did before which is at issue - but what he is going to do from now on.

I can see half empty concert halls at his concerts in the west wherever he conducts because while many will say he is a great conductor and don't let politics interfere with art - as many will take the other view and abstain. Which is one reason why they are letting him go back to Russia where he can find a willing audience.
 

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The ones I find most relevant are Karl Bohm (supporting Hitler, who was by all standards worse than Putin),

I dont think Bohm was a personal friend of Hitler and I am not sure what evidence there is that Bohm supported Hitler openly in the way that Gergiev sucks up to Putin.
I didn't say he was a friend of Hitler. While not a member of the party, Bohm supported the Anschluss and was a believer of Nazi ideology. He helped to purge the Vienna Philharmonic of Jews, and also facilitated imposition of Nazi cultural policy, such as the ban on the music of Mahler.
 

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I didn't say he was a friend of Hitler. While not a member of the party, Bohm supported the Anschluss and was a believer of Nazi ideology. He helped to purge the Vienna Philharmonic of Jews, and also facilitated imposition of Nazi cultural policy, such as the ban on the music of Mahler.
and how did he account for that after the war? Did he express any remorse? If he maintained his anti Semitism - I am surprised that great Jewish artists appeared on the stage with him.
 

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and how did he account for that after the war? Did he express any remorse? If he maintained his anti Semitism - I am surprised that great Jewish artists appeared on the stage with him.
He obviously didn't continue his support for the Nazis after the war. It was up to individual musicians whether they wanted to work with him, same with orchestras who chose to hire him. I'm not sure, but perhaps there where restrictions on his travel to the USA, as was the case with Furtwangler and Karajan.

The Vienna Philharmonic only opened its archives related to the Holocaust about ten years ago. Even before then Bohm's activities where known in the industry. I remember reading comments by Otto Klemperer, who said he wanted to distance himself from Bohm and Clemens Krauss due to their strong ties to the Nazi party.

I think that in terms of impact, Bohm's actions had direct consequences for other people. His career and those of others also clearly benefited from the purging of Jews from the musical scene during the 1930's. Responses in the music industry after the war varied, and people kept going to his concerts and buying his records. None of that changes what he did, which was clearly wrong, and worse than what Gergiev is being accused of.
 

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He obviously didn't continue his support for the Nazis after the war. It was up to individual musicians whether they wanted to work with him, same with orchestras who chose to hire him. I'm not sure, but perhaps there where restrictions on his travel to the USA, as was the case with Furtwangler and Karajan.

The Vienna Philharmonic only opened its archives related to the Holocaust about ten years ago. Even before then Bohm's activities where known in the industry. I remember reading comments by Otto Klemperer, who said he wanted to distance himself from Bohm and Clemens Krauss due to their strong ties to the Nazi party.

I think that in terms of impact, Bohm's actions had direct consequences for other people. His career and those of others also clearly benefited from the purging of Jews from the musical scene during the 1930's. Responses in the music industry after the war varied, and people kept going to his concerts and buying his records. None of that changes what he did, which was clearly wrong, and worse than what Gergiev is being accused of.
I didn't know that about Bohm - thanks. It wont stop me listening to his recordings - he is dead now and nothing can be done about those historical events. But we have an ongoing tragedy to deal with so with Gergiev Netrebko Steven Segal Depardieu etc it is useful and worth excluding them.
 
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