Music and musicians forbidden under the Third Reich

A radio program from the European Institute for Jewish Music, hosted by Hervé Roten

MUSIQUES JUIVES D’HIER ET D’AUJOURD’HUI - MARDI 2 JUIN 2015, JUDAÏQUES FM (94.8), 21H05

On the occasion of the release of the book Entartete Musik : musiques interdites sous le IIIe Reich, Elise Petit - co-author of the book with Bruno Giner - will present a new light on the setting to music of Nazi ideology between 1933 and 1945.

« Entartete Musik », « degenerate music » : it is indeed under this infamous designation that we now know the music banned under the Third Reich. An expression that refers as much to the late Felix Mendelssohn and the young Kurt Weill or the champion of modernity Arnold Schönberg, without forgetting of course jazz and light music.

What is the common point of all these different music? The unlimited hatred of Hitler and his ministers to the Jews provides the main explanation. But among these "men to be killed" are also the Communists and the representatives of the modernity of the 1920s, accused of cultural "Bolshevism" .

To the "degenerate music," Nazi ideologists will try to oppose a National-Socialist music that brilliantly embodies the "millennial Reich" far beyond its borders. At first, they will glorify and divert the late masters of the great German tradition, mainly Wagner, Beethoven and Bruckner, but also two still living personalities, Richard Strauss and Hans Pfitzner. The many aids to creation will then favor the advent of a string of young composers more or less talented, whose history will hardly retain only Carl Orff and Werner Egk. The Volkslieder’s opera and popular repertoire will also be used by a regime that will become a true "singing dictatorship".

A page of history, between official music and forbidden musicians, illustrated by many sound examples.

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  • Entartete Musik - Musiques et musiciens interdits sous le IIIe Reich - Hervé Roten (Judaïques FM 94.8)

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