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posted 10 June 2003
Newsletter No. 5, May 2003


We are fortunate in this issue in having two articles written by close relatives of their subjects: Randol Schoenberg on his grandfather Eric Zeisl and Michael Freyhan on his father, Hans; an article, by André Laks on his father, Szymon, is in preparation for the next issue. The work of the IFSM to date has naturally concentrated on composers; Michael Freyhan's article points to the contribution to the musical life of their adoptive countries made by the other musicians who fled from Nazis persecution. In that spirit I have also included here my obituary of the Austrian musicologist Georg Knepler, which was published (in a much shorter form) in The Independent this spring. Another piece written for The Independent, an interview with Vladimir Ashkenazy heralding his series of concerts of music by Prokofiev and Shostakovich written under Stalin, is directly relevant to the interests of the IFSM and, at the risk of over-stuffing this newsletter with writing by its editor, I have likewise reproduced it here, since many readers will not have seen it when it first appeared. This article was written to introduce the concert series presented in the South Bank Centre, London; since the series was presented also in New York and Prague, it has an international relevance.

In the News section you will find Michael Haas' introduction to quasi una fantasia: Jews and the Music Metropolis Vienna, the exhibition of which he is Music Curator; since the subject will be of particular interest to our German-speaking readers, we have included the German version of the press release.

This newsletter now reaches over 600 musicologists, conductors, festival directors, critics, musicians and writers all around the world. If you no longer wish to receive it - roughly quarterly - please let us know and we will remove your name from the list. By the same token, if you know someone who may like to receive it, please let us have their details. The Suppressed Music e-mail discussion group has now been now up and running for several months. To subscribe, unsubscribe, or change your subscription settings, visit Please introduce yourself when you first post to the list.

I renew my plea for contributions to this e-newsletter: information on forthcoming events, reviews of those past, and of CDs, books and other publications, profiles of like-minded organisations, requests for information, and so on. One constant source of surprise and satisfaction is the repeated discovery of unsuspected institutions and organisations likewise dedicated to the rehabilitation of music written in conditions of oppression. One such is Musica Judaica, run by pianist-conductor Francesco Lotoro, and dedicated to the performance and recording of all the music written in imprisonment during the Second World War - in the internment camps run by the British government as well as the better-known examples such as Terezín. And the British pianist Jacqueline Cole has founded the Viktor Ullmann and Pavel Haas Foundations, the ambitious aims of which she announces in this Newsletter. Interest in this repertoire seems to be growing exponentially.

Martin Anderson

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I. Articles

1. Eric Zeisl- a centenary to be marked by Randol Schoenberg

The year 2005 marks the centenary of the birth of my maternal grandfather, the Austrian-American composer Eric Zeisl (Vienna, 1905-Los Angeles, 1959). The music of my other grandfather, Arnold Schoenberg, is certainly well known to you. But you may have not yet heard of Zeisl, which is something that I hope to correct. At the bottom of this text is some biographical information that can also be obtained from the Eric Zeisl Web Site at

There are a large number of published and unpublished works by Zeisl that are available from my family and the Eric Zeisl Archive at UCLA ( I would particularly recommend his Requiem Ebraico (1944-45) for orchestra, baritone, soprano, alto and chorus, dedicated to the memory of his father and the countless other victims of the Jewish tragedy in Europe. This work, a setting of the 92nd psalm, has always been among Zeisl's most performed compositions and was released on CD by Decca in 1999 as part of the acclaimed "Entartete Musik" series. As always with Zeisl, the reviews were universally glowing, and have led to a number of performances and renewed interest in Zeisl's unjustly forgotten music.

Both Schoenberg and Stravinsky were said to have praised the Requiem Ebraico when it was premiered on radio in Los Angeles. At the Canadian premiere in 1947 the reviewer for the Toronto Globe and Mail wrote: 'This is one of the most gripping pieces of elegiac composition in the history of music', continuing that 'it is great music, rather [than] a social document . [. . . it reduces] all one's reactions to a single emotion about as deep as the heart can bear'. A more recent review in Fanfare called the work 'very deeply moving [. . . ] a surge of intense, unemphatic, even melancholy optimism arising from a profound sadness. It is less than 20 minutes in length but it contains centuries of feeling: Zeisl achieves a kind of timelessness by blending ancient Jewish cantilena with an understated orchestral fabric'.

I know how many of this type of solicitations concert-planners receive and how difficult it is to programme little-known works. Zeisl's music has always been well received by audiences, performers and other composers. What he has lacked is a conductor or orchestra to champion his works, and that is probably why his music is so little heard. I am hoping that during his upcoming centennial celebration we can rectify this situation. The Jewish Museum of Vienna is also planning a large exhibition on Zeisl in 2005 and we expect that there will be a number of musical events surrounding that exhibit.

Please let me know if you might be interested in programming the Requiem Ebraico" or some other work during the 2005 centennial. I would be very happy to send you a CD or score for your perusal. I am committed to preserving my maternal grandfather's legacy and hope that you will be at least intrigued enough to explore his music for yourself. In my experience, just listening to Zeisl1s music has been enough to convince even the most skeptical audience. I hope that you will also give his music a chance to convince you too.

Biographical Outline
In Armseelchen: The Life and Music of Eric Zeisl (Greenwood Press 1984)
Professor Malcolm Cole, writes as follows:

'Eric Zeisl was born in Vienna on 18 May 1905. From childhood, he demonstrated an unshakable resolve to compose. Against strong family resistance, he entered the Vienna State Academy at age fourteen. Two years later his first publication, a set of songs, appeared. Despite acclaim as one of Austria1s brightest young compositional lights, Zeisl eventually fell victim to Europe's gathering political storm. In November 1938, he fled Vienna for Paris and temporary refuge, but it was only upon reaching America in September, 1939 that he found permanent sanctuary. Against formidable odds, he achieved recognition in his adopted land, with praise for his work coming from fellow composers Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Darius Milhaud, Igor Stravinsky, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Alexandre Tansman, Hanns Eisler, Ernst Toch, and Alma Mahler-Werfel, among others. Then, on 18 February 1959, at the age of 53 and at the height of his creative powers, Eric Zeisl suffered a heart attack after teaching an evening class at Los Angeles City College. He died that night'.

Zeisl's music is richly tonal, but with a modern sensibility. Professor Cole describes his style as 'notable for expressive melody, rich harmonies, strong dance-derived rhythms, and imaginative scoring'. He was perhaps the youngest of the once successful emigré composers who were forced to abandon their careers and flee Europe. Zeisl was hurt more than most because his reputation had not yet been secured. He won an Austrian state prize in 1934 (for a Requiem Mass), but because he was a Jew he could not secure a publishing contract since his works would have by that time been banned in Germany, the primary market (he was just 29 years old). Despite this disadvantage, the Viennese publishers Universal Edition and Ludwig Doblinger published Zeisl's orchestral works and songs in the 1930s. The Anschluss in March 1938 abruptly ended hopes of any future central European publications or performances including the planned premieres of Zeisl's comic opera Leonce and Lena (after Büchner) by Radio Prague and at Vienna's Schönbrunn Schlosstheater. After narrowly escaping capture during the 'Kristallnacht; pogrom of 9 November 1938, Zeisl and his wife fled from Vienna, settling first in Paris, where Zeisl began his lasting friendship with Darius Milhaud. Upon his arrival in New York at the end of 1939, Zeisl obtained a number of prominent radio broadcast performances (and received an unused recommendation from Hanns Eisler for study with Arnold Schoenberg), but he was soon lured to Hollywood, where he suffered from being a late-comer to the movies. He worked on a number of well-known films, but never received a screen credit. He soon abandoned film music and returned to serious composition. He was composer-in-residence at the Brandeis-Bardin Institute and at the Huntington Hartford Foundation. At Los Angeles City College, his students included Oscar-winning film composer Jerry Goldsmith and ragtime composer Robin Frost. The composers Leon Levitch and Julie Mandel also studied with Zeisl. In Hollywood, Zeisl composed a piano concerto, cello concerto (for Gregor Piatigorski), four ballets, numerous choral and chamber works, and half of an unfinished opera, before being felled by the heart attack after teaching the composition theory class (later taught by Ernst Krenek) at Los Angeles City College on 18 February 1959.

Contact Details:
E. Randol Schoenberg
Burris & Schoenberg, LLP
12121 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 800
Los Angeles, CA 90025-1168
Tel: (310) 442-5559

Fax: (310) 442-0353

Email: randols[at]

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2. Hans Walter Freyhan (b Berlin, 8 December 1909; d Bedford, 7 July 1996) by Michael Freyhan

Hans Walter Freyhan grew up in Berlin in a flourishing artistic environment. His diary records the rich concert life of Berlin between the Wars. His father, a lawyer by profession, was prominent as a theatre critic, writer and lecturer, specialising in Greek, Latin, German, English, French and Italian texts. His mother never pursued a profession but was passionate about music.

Hans Freyhan studied musicology at Freiburg University under Wilibald Gurlitt; he also attended philosophy lectures given by Martin Heidegger. Under the Nazis, with employment opportunities restricted to Jewish circles, he developed an interest in synagogue music. An invitation to take up a teaching post at a Jewish school in Brighton enabled him to come to England with his family early in 1939. The following year he was interned on the Isle of Man, in accordance with government policy towards refugees from Hitler. He used the time to contribute to the cultural life of the camp as a lecturer and pianist. On his release the family moved to Bedford, which became his home for the rest of his life. He taught in several schools in Bedford as well as in nearby St Neots and Huntingdon. For a few years in the 1950s he was Head of the Music Department of Huddersfield Technical College (now the University of Huddersfield).

His most enduring legacy is as a writer on music. Admired for the elegant style of his native German, he quickly became equally comfortable writing in English, and for half-a-century he contributed book reviews mostly to the refugee press and wrote programme notes for the annual Self-Aid concerts in the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, as well as for Bedford Musical Society concerts. He reviewed concerts for The Bedfordshire Times, regarding the encouragement of music as important in the life of the town. After his death the Hans Freyhan Trust was set up, giving financial support to young singers in Bedfordshire Youth Opera. He was proud of the achievements of young British musicians and on different occasions accompanied both the National Youth Orchestra (of which his two sons had been members) and the Bedfordshire Youth Orchestra on tour in Germany and Austria. The appearance of his son with a British orchestra at the Berlin Philharmonie was a moving moment for him, a kind of closure on the terrible events of his youth and the Nazis' attempt to destroy him and his family.

He was fired by a life-long passion for music, which made him a compelling teacher and lecturer. His roots were in the German tradition, but his knowledge of music was wide-ranging, extending from the Renaissance to the twentieth century. In England he came to love the music of Vaughan Williams and to appreciate Sibelius. An advocate of Stravinsky and Hindemith in his youth, he struggled to stay in touch with the avant-garde, a battle which in his later years he confessed to have lost.

He was a religious man, Jewish by conviction but respectful of those whose faith differed from his own. It was, I think, a factor in his love for the music of Bach. He thought long and hard about the issues surrounding those musicians whom he revered but who had failed to make a firm stand against anti-Semitism - Richard Strauss, Furtwängler and, above all, Wagner, a self-declared anti-Semite long before the Nazi era. His solution was to separate the music from the man, and for him the music predominated. He would often point out that Wagner himself did not possess the nobility of character he had created in Hans Sachs. But Wagner's music was to him almost literally life-giving: after a spell in hospital some years before he died, his first act on returning home was to listen to the whole of Die Meistersinger. It was his cure.

His dedication to music was shared by his wife Kate, active in Bedford as a teacher and choir director. Their two sons, who were brought up in a household where listening to music was as much a part of life as eating and sleeping, have both become professional musicians. Hans Freyhan's well-used library of books and music reflects his tastes: a Bach cantata collection, orchestral and chamber music miniature scores, vocal scores of operas, piano music, arrangements for four hands, books on musical history, musicology, music theory and teaching, biographies of individual composers, musical periodicals (including The Musical Times, dating back to 1946), an extensive record library of LPs and pre-war 78s, as well as German literature and books on twentieth-century history and politics. His hobby was re-reading his collection of Baedekers, decades out-of-date, whose texts and maps he knew by heart (especially advice on how to avoid bed-bugs in roadside inns). Travelling in the Alps was a passion second only to music and he could accurately tell you the height of any mountain and which valleys led to it. He suffered from poor eyesight but somehow managed to see every detail of the mountains.

He was completely focused on living a life filled with what was most meaningful to him. He was deeply loyal to his friends and never bore grudges. As his son I am touched that, seven years after his death, I am still contacted from time to time by strangers who had known him or been taught by him, and want to share their gratitude and warm memories.

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3. GEORG KNEPLER by Martin Anderson

This is a fuller version of the obituary which appeared in The Independent on 21 April 2003.

Some of the Hitlerflüchtlinge who took refuge in Britain from the Nazis' murderous enthusiasms changed their adoptive country for ever: Hans Keller, Karl Popper, Ernst Gombrich and hundreds more, documented last year in Daniel Snowman's The Hitler Emigrés: The Cultural Impact on Britain of Refugees from Nazism. Yet the welcome of the British musical establishment was grudging and often suspicious, so it's small wonder that with the cessation of hostilities some were happy to return to the war-shattered Continent. The committed Communists, moreover, partly with an eye on former Nazis still in positions of influence in West Germany, felt a duty to reinforce the institutions being erected in the eastern part of the country. One such was the musicologist Georg Knepler.

Knepler was born in Vienna and grew up in a modest but cultured family: his father, Paul Knepler (a bookseller who later wrote the librettos for Lehár's operettas Paganini and Giuditta), would take his son along to the subscription concerts of the Vienna Philharmonic. But young Georg, who was used to playing chamber music at home, found the experience distant, impersonal; he far preferred to go to hear Mozart at the Staatsoper - and his sense of the theatrical, of the importance of direct communication, stayed with him all his life. His undergraduate musical training shaped him as an all-rounder: theory with Guido Adler, piano with Eduard Steuermann and conducting with the composer Hans Gál, who later also fled to Britain.
Knepler first made his name as the accompanist, for almost three years (1928-31), of the Viennese satirist Karl Kraus, playing behind a screen as Kraus recited Offenbach operettas, garlanded with contemporary commentary. He recalled these presentations half a century later in his book Karl Kraus liest Offenbach ('Karl Kraus reads Offenbach'; 1984). From 1929, too, he was active as répétiteur and conductor at the Volksoper and Stadtheater in Vienna, working also in Wiesbaden (1930-31) and Mannheim (1933). In Wiesbaden, where he was employed by Karl Rankl (later also a refugee in Britain and post-War conductor of the Royal Opera House), he helped prepare the premiere of Hanns Eisler's oratorio Die Massnahme ('Taking Measure'), which had a Communist text by Brecht.

In 1931 he gained his PhD from the University of Vienna (one of his teachers, Egon Wellesz, was yet another Hitlerflüchtling and later professor at Oxford) with a thesis on Brahms, and then headed off to Berlin, to work in the theatre with Brecht, his wife Helene Weigel, and Eisler. With Hitler's seizure of power in 1933, Knepler - as Jew and Communist, he was doubly in danger - returned to Vienna. There he joined the outlawed Communist Party, which earned him a few weeks in prison when he was caught distributing copies of its newspaper, The Red Flag.

Welcome in neither country, and seeing the writing on the wall (he recalled a prophetic headline in The Red Flag: 'Hitler Means War'), in 1934 Knepler and his first wife began their British exile, followed soon by his parents. To begin with, he conducted a number of amateur choirs and involved himself in workers' music groups, and then, when the Anschluss triggered a wave of Austrian immigration he helped run the musical activities of the Austrian Centre, a self-help social club based first in Westbourne Terrace. For its 'Laterndl', a small theatre which presented plays, cabaret and other such events, he co-ordinated the music, wrote some of his own, organised concerts.

At the outbreak of war, with the BBC presenting no operatic performances, Knepler and the composer Ernst Schoen decided to organise their own opera group. First with piano, and then with Knepler conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra, they performed contemporary works, among them Stravinsky's Renard and scenes from Janácek's From the House of the Dead, events that were broadcast by the BBC. They ventured back in time, too, with Purcell's Dido and Aeneas and Dibdin's The Ephesian Matron, Donizetti, Mozart, Nikolai. Knepler and his father also presented anti-Nazi propaganda broadcasts for the BBC.

Knepler was one of the first to return to the world he had left before the War: in February 1946 he was back in Vienna, working as a cultural advisor to the Communist Party. In 1949 he was asked by the East German government to come to Berlin to set up the Deutsche Hochschule für Musik - all the other music schools were in the western zone - and he now settled there permanently. He held on to his Austrian citizenship, though: his initial contract of employment, for a year only, was regularly renewed, but grudgingly so because of behind-the-scenes political interventions, and he never knew when he might have to return to Austria. When the Deutsche Hochschule first opened its doors in 1950, Knepler became its first director and ran the institution for ten years (it was renamed the Hanns Eisler Hochschule für Musik in 1964); Eisler and Rudolf Wagner-Régeny were among his teaching staff.

Knepler was an active participant in the factional world of East German cultural politics: he fell out - briefly - with Brecht and Eisler, railed against Schoenberg and serial music, and described jazz as the 'unculture of the Wall Street gangsters'. But he had the courage to resist the Party line when Eisler's 1953 opera libretto Doktor Faustus came under attack (it turned Goethe on his head and portrayed Faust as a turncoart against the peasant revolt): it was described as 'alien to the people' and 'showing little joy in the future'. Knepler stood up for his colleague (as did Felsenstein and Brecht), thereby earning himself the suspicion of the Stasi, the secret police. He also protested against the growing centralisation of the East German state, which he felt was becoming isolated both from Party members and the people in general.

In 1959 he took up a professorship at the Humboldt University and taught there until 1971, retiring punctually on his 65th birthday, as the state required. German academic life can be stiffly formal, but Knepler was an exception to the rule: he particularly enjoyed his relations with students; his teaching manner was relaxed, never hectoring; and he took an active interest in what younger composers were doing.

Knepler was a fluent writer, eschewing the 'Schachteldeutsch' that produces sentences like DNA helixes. His two-volume Musikgeschichte des 19. Jahrhunderts ('History of Nineteenth-Century Music'), published in 1961, was received warmly and translated into a number of languages. In his Geschichte als Weg zum Musikverständnis ('History as a Path to Understanding Music'; 1971) Knepler treated the history of music as a social phenomenon, bringing communications theory, semiotics, linguistics, bio-acoustics and other disciplines into his analytical arsenal. His best-known book, Wolfgang Amadé Mozart, written in his mid-eighties, became an international bestseller (the English edition appeared from CUP in 1994).

Although Knepler's eyes had begun to give him trouble, his mind remained acute right to the end, holding his socialist ground in arguments over China, Iraq, globalisation, US policy in the Middle East, and other questions of the day. But just as Krushchev's exposure of Stalin's crimes in 1956 had forced him and his colleagues back to re-examine the tenets of their beliefs and somehow separate Stalinism from Marxist-Leninism, so the collapse of the Communist system - and with it his ideological world - demonstrated his intellectual resilience: even in his mid-eighties, he struggled to make sense of the new order. Shortly before he died, he had sent an inner circle of friends the first three chapters of his next book, a discussion of ideology and power, and was looking forward to their comments.

Georg Knepler, musicologist; born Vienna, 21 December 1906; married (1) 1935 Käte Förster, marriage dissolved, (2) 1947 Florence Wiles, 1 s; died Berlin, 14 January 2003.

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4. 'Music to die for': Ashkenazy on Prokofiev and Shostakovich
by Martin Anderson

Published in The Independent, 7 February 2003

"Papa, what if they hang you for this?" - as the titles of music festivals go, this one's hardly calculated to drive in the punters. But it does make explicit the basic condition under which Shostakovich, Prokofiev and their contemporaries had to work in Stalin's Russia - constant fear of arrest, torture, deportation and death, fear trickling through everything you did, poisoning all but the most basic of human relationships.

The festival - a series of nine concerts and various other events - runs from 7 to 23 March on London's South Bank, commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of Prokofiev's death, on 5 March 1953, the same day as his chief tormentor, Josif Vissarionovich Djugashvili, a.k.a. Stalin. The artistic director of the festival is Vladimir Ashkenazy, long a vocal opponent of the intellectual laziness of those western intellectuals who discuss the music of Shostakovich and Prokofiev without taking into account the ghastly society in which they had to live. His imaginative programming juxtaposes the "official" works the two composers were obliged to write with their more personal statements, underlining the differences in their creative response to permanent repression.

The "papa" of that title is Shostakovich himself; the question was whispered by his son Maxim during a rehearsal for the premiere of the Eleventh Symphony in 1957. The Soviet Union had invaded Hungary the year before; Shostakovich's not-so-cryptic response in his new symphony was to use anti-Czarist revolutionary slogans whose unsung texts make his protest almost explicit: "Shame on you, tyrants", "Threaten us with prison and chains". Shostakovich was a brave man in a society where not even compliant conformity was a safe option: in music and deed he often took risks that were almost suicidal. Prokofiev, by contrast, sought refuge in the ironical detachment that had always been a part of his musical language. He couldn't avoid being caught up in the political machinery, of course, but he kept it at an emotional distance.
Stalin was hot on film music and so, of course, his composers had to do his bidding. Prokofiev's most memorable contribution to the genre came in the form of two monumental scores to Eisenstein epics: Alexander Nevsky, which is being screened to the accompaniment of the full orchestral score on 11 March, and Ivan the Terrible, excerpts from which will be heard in concert on 20 March. Shostakovich's film scores are less well known; of the three dozen or so he wrote, extracts from two - The Fall of Berlin and The Unforgettable Year 1919 (both, coincidentally, just released on a new Marco Polo CD) - will also be performed in the 20 March concert.

Ashkenazy won't discuss the works themselves ("What can you say? I hhhate describing music"). But he has first-hand experience of the unfeeling cruelty with which the Soviet authorities controlled musical life and empathises with the painful but inevitable compromises that were required of its composers: "Shostakovich managed to express the tragedy of the situation in his music, although he did write a few things in order to survive. His Fall of Berlin [1949] was a survival thing: that was the first time he glorified Stalin. It seems he might have been told: 'You know, they're preparing something really awful for you' - and why should he want to go to the Gulag? Imagine, had he been exiled, how many pieces we would have lost - there would have been no Tenth Symphony, no First Violin Concerto, many of the string quartets…. What is the point? Better write the glorification of Stalin, which was almost a ritual in our country; we could not refuse to do that. And everybody knew it had to be done, so what is the big deal? And in the Eighth and Tenth Symphonies, the First Violin Concerto [to be heard on 16 March] and all those other works he indicts the Soviet system to such a degree that there's no mistake about it".

Unlike Prokofiev, Shostakovich outlived the worst days of Stalinist terror. And just as he had danced his dangerous pas de deux with Stalin, he "managed" his relationship with the later Soviet authorities rather skilfully, too: as well as producing the odd composition, he would read out the speeches they wanted, sign the articles - he chose the battles that were worth losing so he'd be left to get on with his music. Ashkenazy immediately objects to my choice of word: "It wasn't 'skilful' - 'skilful' is deliberately being clever in doing this and that. I think he couldn't help writing what he had to write to express himself. That's not being skilful. It was stronger than he was; he had to do it".

Would it be fair, then, to describe Shostakovich as a dissident ante diem? "I do not like to use the word 'dissident' in relation to Shostakovich. 'Dissidence' means something else - those people in Russia who were called 'dissidents' in the West were those who decided to expose the Soviet system's hypocrisy publicly and weren't afraid of doing so, the people who demonstrated, who openly said what they thought; they were sent to camps, sent out of the country, etc. I still don't understand why they were called 'dissidents': they were not dissenting, they were exposing. Shostakovich never said anything publicly because he didn't need to - it was all in his music. Had he joined those so-called 'dissidents', he would have been prevented from composing and having his works performed. Shostakovich was a person of tremendous integrity and his conscience dictated to him that he has to express the pain and suffering of his country, his people - and his own."

Prokofiev's behaviour provides a strong contrast with Shostakovich's tacit public-spiritedness: the centre of his interest seems to have been Prokofiev - not through especial vanity or arrogance but, as for many other composers, because his music was the most important thing in his life. Ashkenazy won't condemn him for it. "As a character there are many contradictory reports about him, and I'm not in a position to pronounce on that." But he confesses his puzzlement: "One would have thought that an artist of that magnitude wouldn't be afraid to reflect what he saw around himself. To me it is incomprehensible that he didn't do it. In fact, some people might wonder about the integrity of the individual".

That suggests he sees Prokofiev's habitual recourse to irony in such terrible times as some kind of moral shortcoming. But he insists he will not judge. "Who am I to comment on the synthesis of this mysterious process, with components that, of course, include the gift, the character, and a myriad other ingredients? There is a finished product, and that's all we have. I am not a composer, and we don't really know how a composer's mentality and character get interwoven in the tortuous activity of distilling ideas into the final composition. We comment so much on the music that we hear, but we have no idea how it came to be born. You can judge the result up to a point, but perhaps only the composer knows what he was trying to say. And here is Prokofiev's style, his face - he couldn't help it Even when the intention was to communicate points bordering on the tragic and dramatic - as in the suite 1941 - even then his music can sound ironic and flippant. And I can't imagine that he wanted it to sound like that, when Soviet soldiers were dying by the thousands on the front. Yet there won't be many people who would deny that in his masterpiece, the ballet Romeo and Juliet, Prokofiev's identification with the tragic end of the protagonist is anything but complete and universal. I wonder what role our genes play in the enigmatic activity of being a great composer."

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II. News


Quasi una fantasia: Jews and the Music Metropolis Vienna
Jewish Museum in Vienna

Michael Haas writes:
When Guido Adler, the father of musicology was presented by his friend Gustav Mahler with the autograph of 'Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen' (I am lost to the world), it was inscribed with the dedication, "to my good friend Guido Adler, whom I hope is never lost to me". The autograph has recently resurfaced at an auction at Sotheby's. The present owner, son of a Viennese lawyer maintains that his father received it as payment from Adler when the latter had no funds shortly before his death in Nazi Vienna in 1942. Born in 1855, he had witnessed the granting of full civil rights to Austrian Jews in 1867, gone on to teach most of musical Vienna, and finally fall victim to the tidal wave of anti-Semitism which ultimately destroyed Vienna's cultural significance….and with it, its pre-eminence in music.

The Jewish Museum of Vienna is mounting an exhibition called quasi una fantasia: Jews and the Music Metropolis Vienna. 'Quasi una fantasia' is the delusion that Jews lived under, thinking themselves full Austrian citizens. Leon Botstein has written that music was the quickest means to assimilation. Jewish families had respect for education and achievement as well as a fanatical love of the arts. Although only 10% of the population was Jewish, they made up over 30% of the students in all of Vienna's music institutions. Brahms's circle of friends, supporters and colleagues were largely Jewish. Jewish publishers supported the latest and most important composers; Jewish agents and promoters fed with a healthy diet of international concerts not imagined with the fall of the Empire, and the loss of true world significance after 1919. The entire structure of musical Vienna was overwhelmingly Jewish in its patronage, its dissemination and its talent. It transcended classical music and opera and generated decades of operetta, Schlager and caberet which exceeded the successes today of even a Lloyd Webber.

This will be the first major retrospective of Vienna's Jewish musical heritage. It is important to note that the exhibition will not exclusively highlight Jewish composers and musicians after 1938. As Nazi propagandists doctored the birth certificate of Johann Strauss the elder in order to hide his Jewish heritage, so they also banned a number of composers they thought polluted by Jewish thought: Krenek, Webern, Berg, Haba, Hauer and many more. Countless Viennese left out of solidarity with their Jewish colleagues or spouses: Karl Rankl, Elisabeth Schumann, Ralph Benatzky, Robert Stolz, The Busch quartet, Lotte Lehmann and Lotte Lenya.
The story of false hopes of assimilation is told through the narrative of Guido Adler, 'protected' by his former student Erich Schenk, the 'Aryan' who was placed in charge of Adler's school of musicology. After Adler's death, Schenk arranged to have his daughter - who had nursed him through his last difficult years - sent to the camps, where she was murdered, in order to acquire his former professor's priceless library. Schenk went on to dominate music in Vienna long after the War, notoriously telling Gösta Neuwirth that he would "not be allowed to write a dissertation on a Jew in my class", when Neuwirth tried to write the first post-War retrospective on the life and work of Franz Schreker. Schenk went on to keep former Viennese academics away from Vienna's university, such as the obvious successor to Adler, Egon Wellesz.

Quasi una fantasia tells the whole sorry and disastrous tale of Vienna's musical self-mutilation through to the years of Nazi supporters Karajan and Böhm conducting the Vienna Philharmonic while at the same time swooning at the feet of Leonard Bernstein and Lorin Maazel.

Christian Immler and Prof Erik Levi performed a programme of Lieder, sponsored by the JMI at the press launch of the exhibition on 13 May. It runs until November, and has an audio guide and catalogue with two CDs which I have prepared.

Dr Karl Weinberger has found the subject of Vienna's Jewish musical past so compelling that he has engaged me as music curator for a further series of exhibitions focused on specific composers, to be mounted over the next 5 years. These will include Continental Britons, Egon Wellesz and Hans Gál, followed by Franz Schreker and his composition Class in 2004.

2005: "Hollywood -- ein sonniges blaues Grab" Erich Zeisl and Austrian composers in Californian exile
2006: Korngold and Krenek in Vienna
2007: The lost Viennese Moderns: Ernst Toch and Max Brand.

The legacy of Schenk and a municipal structure which for years operated on a nod and a wink from the right person has meant that even Gustav Mahler had to wait until 1966 for his first complete, post-War symphonic cycle. Bernstein, an American Jew, is responsible for what the Viennese now claim as their 'own' Mahler performance tradition. This ambivalent post-War, head-in-the-sand psychosis has now ended with the realisation of both Vienna's greatest gift to the outside world, and its own loss and murderous betrayal of a group of its most talented, patriotic and energetic citizens: Jews and non-Jews. All will be examined in quasi una fantasia and the museum's subsequent exhibitions and concerts
Press Release from the Jewish Museum, Vienna
Ausstellungsprojekte des Musikkurators Michael Haas erarbeitet für das Jüdische Museum Wien
Es ist charakteristisch für den "Widerstand gegen die Moderne" in Wien, dass es nach dem Ende des Zweiten Weltkriegs 22 Jahre dauerte, bis es zur Aufführung sämtlicher Symphonien Gustav Mahlers kam. Die Auseinandersetzung mit der Wiener Moderne in der Musik war aber international schon so weit gediehen, dass die Vogel-Strauß-Politik der Wiener Musikinstitutionen und des Wiener Musikpublikums ebenso wenig wie fadenscheinige Argumente (wie z.B. "verfolgte Kunst muss nicht gleich gute Kunst sein", oder "wenn sie wirklich wichtig wären, hätte man diese Komponisten längst entdeckt") den Durchbruch nicht mehr weiter verhindern konnten.
Gustav Mahler hat sich allen Widerständen zum Trotz durchgesetzt, und seit den Auftritten Leonard Bernsteins als Dirigent in den 1970er Jahren kann man sogar von einer "Wiener Mahler-Tradition" sprechen. Durch ihre Sogkraft können auch die verschütteten Schätze der von den Nationalsozialisten als "entartet" verfolgten, verbannten und zum Teil ermordeten Musiker entdeckt werden.
Das Jüdische Museum Wien bereitet für die kommenden Jahre - in Kooperation mit anderen Kulturinstitutionen - eine Serie von Ausstellungen und Begleitveranstaltungen vor, die eine Begegnung und Auseinandersetzung mit den wichtigsten und interessantesten Komponisten aus der Epoche der Wiener Moderne ermöglichen wird. Ausgehend von Anregungen aus London wollen wir uns unter dem Titel "Continental Britons" mit den aus Wien stammenden Exilkomponisten Hans Gál und Egon Wellesz beschäftigen. Beide hatten mit ihren Aufführungen durch bedeutende Orchester, Dirigenten und Solisten in Deutschland vor 1933 großen Erfolg. Beide waren Schüler von Guido Adler in Wien, beide wurden angesehene Hochschullehrer und haben als solche wesentlich zur Musikgeschichte und ihrer Erforschung beigetragen. Beide wurden nach ihrer Flucht aus Österreich an britische Universitäten berufen.
Als Komponisten waren Wellesz und Gál trotz vieler Gemeinsamkeiten in ihrem Lebenslauf vollkommen unterschiedlich, und es spricht für die Bandbreite des musikalischen Spektrums in Wien, dass sie sich in verschiedene Stilrichtungen entwickeln konnten. Egon Wellesz war Mitglied des Schönbergkreises, ohne von ihm dominiert zu werden. Aus der ersten Schönbergklasse war er zunächst der Erfolgreiche und ebnete durch seinen Einsatz den Weg für die Mitschüler Berg und Webern. Hans Gál wiederum stand voll in der Wiener Brahmstradition und pries sich - im Gegensatz zu Wellesz - glücklich, diese Tradition weiter pflegen zu können. Mit großen Erfolgen wie "Die Heilige Ente" und "Das Lied der Nacht", zwei Opern, die im deutschen Repertoire bis 1933 blieben, war ihm auch die Unterstützung von Wilhelm Furtwängler und Richard Strauss sicher. Im Jahr der Machtergreifung der Nazis war seine Oper "Die beiden Klaas" mit Fritz Busch vom Spielplan in Dresden abgesetzt worden. Ebenso erging es den beabsichtigten Aufführungen der Wellesz-Oper "Die Bakchanntinen" unter Clemens Krauss in München, die 1932 in Wien äußerst erfolgreich war.
Danach folgte das Exil in Großbritannien, das durch eine Reihe von Schicksalsschlägen geprägt war: Gál fand keine Arbeit, verlor Verwandte - vor allem seine Kinder - durch den Holocaust und durch Selbstmord. Er selbst wurde interniert und musste unvorstellbare Schwierigkeiten meistern. Wellesz ging unmittelbar nach einer Aufführung in Amsterdam mit Bruno Walter im Konzertgebouw nach Oxford, wo er bis in die frühen 60er Jahren unterrichtete. Seine Familie ist ihm später nachgefolgt. Bei Kriegsausbruch wurde er interniert, unvorbereitet für ihn ein hartes Los, von dem er allerdings nach einigen Monaten durch Intervention von Ralph Vaughan Williams befreit wurde. Jedoch in diesen schlimmsten Jahren konnte Wellesz nicht komponieren, während Gál komponieren musste, um nicht seinen Verstand zu verlieren.
In der Nachkriegszeit lassen sich unterschiedliche Wege erkennen: Wellesz komponierte neun Sinfonien, ein Violinkonzert, einen großen Orchestersatz und unzählige Chorwerke. Er entwickelte sich in seiner Tonsprache kompromisslos weiter. Gál hingegen schrieb relativ wenig, hauptsächlich Kammermusik und Werke nur für sich selbst und seine Freunde. Er merkte, dass er in einer für ihn fremden Sprachumgebung nur schwer komponieren konnte.
Mit der parallelen Darstellung von zwei oder auch mehreren Persönlichkeiten kann die Vielfalt der Wiener Musikszene besser zur Geltung kommen. Deshalb beabsichtigt das Jüdische Museum Wien die Fortsetzung dieses Ausstellungskonzepts als Serie von Präsentationen, von denen jedes Jahr eine im Palais Eskeles gezeigt werden soll:
2004 - "Franz Schreker und seine Kompositionsklasse",
2005 - "Hollywood, ein blaues, sonniges Grab". Eric Zeisl und andere Wiener Musiker im kalifornischen Exil,
2006 - Erich Wolfgang Korngold und Ernst Krenek in Wien und
2007 - "Das andere Wien-modern" Max Brand und Ernst Toch.
Im Gegensatz zu Mahler stehen die meisten der genannten Komponisten längst nicht mehr auf ausländischen Konzertprogrammen. Wellesz erlebt eine Renaissance mit der Aufführung seiner Oper 'Die Bakchanntinen' bei den diesjährigen Salzburger Festspielen, und seine dritte Sinfonie wurde kürzlich in London aufgeführt.
Durch das Engagement von Michael Haas, einem in Wien ausgebildeten Musiker, der sich als Produzent der Decca-CD-Serie "Entartete Musik" einen Namen machen konnte, als Musikkurator des Museums und ausgehend von den Erfahrungen mit der heurigen Musikausstellung "quasi una fantasia. Juden und die Musikstadt Wien" will das Jüdische Museum nun gezielter mit diesen personenbezogenen Präsentationen dem Wiener Publikum eine intensive Auseinandersetzung mit den weniger bekannten Größen des durch die Gewaltakte der Nationalsozialisten verschütteten Wiener Musiklebens bieten und damit die dem Land abhanden gekommenen Kulturträger wieder ins Bewusstsein rufen.
Details at:

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Paul Wittgenstein Archive on sale at Sotheby's

Martin Anderson writes:

On 22 May 2003 a remarkable sale is taking place at Sotheby's in London. The best-known - and most expensive - item is the autograph manuscript of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, which is expected to sell at £2-3 million (not very much, I'd say, given its cultural significance). There is much material directly related to the concerns of the IFSM, including material by Schoenberg, Prokofiev, Weigl, Korngold and others. All 214 lots can be examined online at; click on the 'auction calendar', scroll down to 22 May, and you will find full details, often illustrated, and annotated informedly.
The biggest single item seems to be the archive of the pianist Paul Wittgenstein, lot 214, a collection of extraordinary richness. The details of lot 214 on the Sotherby's website contain an excellent (anonymous) essay on Wittgenstein, which I have taken the liberty of reproducing here.

This is a highly important archive relating to the life and work of Paul Wittgenstein (1887-1961), the pianist who commissioned many outstanding works for the piano left hand and who was a significant figure in the musical life of Austria and the United States of America in the middle years of the twentieth century. Its importance as a source for music by Ravel, Richard Strauss, Prokofiev, Britten and especially Franz Schmidt, can hardly be over-estimated. It is a virtually unknown and untapped archive of research material: it reveals a great deal about Wittgenstein's working methods, how he treated his commissions, how he performed the works, how he recomposed sections to his liking and how he always sought to expand the range of music for piano left hand. This archive documents the evolution of some of the great piano concertos and concertante works of the twentieth century, by Ravel, Strauss, Prokofiev and Britten, in particular. It contains early versions of these works, many of which differ from the texts that have been handed down to us.
It sheds light on all sorts of other issues: the nature of musical patronage in modern times, on composer and commissioner, on his taste and indeed on the wider activities of Wittgenstein and his important and interesting family. There is much to be uncovered here: this description can only give a general account of some of the material and of the great riches within. One aspect shines through: the bravery, the indomitable spirit and sheer stubbornness of Paul Wittgenstein who, through his indefatigable energy and persistence, carved out his own quite distinctive niche in the history of twentieth-century music and is responsible for some of its great masterpieces.
Paul was the seventh of the eight children of Karl Wittgenstein, the industrialist and steel manufacturer, one of the richest and most dynamic businessmen in the Habsburg empire. The family was a cultural powerhouse of creativity, commissioning works of art or creating them themselves. There was hardly an artist or composer in Vienna with whom the Wittgensteins were not acquainted. They were great patrons of music and art and an intellectual force to be reckoned with. Yet, despite the wealth and art, there were great internal tensions. Karl was a self-made man and he expected great things of his five sons, three of whom succumbed early on, committing suicide in their twenties. Only Ludwig, the great philosopher and Paul lived to full maturity and both made a lasting impression on the world, though in quite different ways.
All of the Wittgenstein children were musical. Within the family, Paul's considerable talents were often taken for granted, and he was not regarded as anything special in comparison with other siblings. Yet he was the only member of the family to make a successful career as a musician. His training, befitting a Wittgenstein, was superb, studying with Malvine Brée and Theodore Leschetizky, himself a pupil of Czerny. Much of the music owned by Wittgenstein from his student years survives in the archive, together with his notes. Clearly, he was schooled as a virtuoso in the Liszt tradition, a style of performance that did not find favour within his family, who regarded him as too flashy and lacking in taste.
He made his debut in 1913, at the comparatively late age of 26, and was all set for a career as a concert virtuoso. Then, disaster struck. At the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, Wittgenstein was wounded while serving on the Russian Front and lost his right arm. He was captured and imprisoned for nearly two years, before being repatriated in 1916. From then on he re-created himself as a one-armed pianist, re-learning and re-forming his technique with a single-mindedness which would surely have impressed his hard-driven father, had he still been living. So successful was the transformation that he was able to cope with pianistic difficulties which would have challenged performers with two hands.
But it was not just his own technique and career Wittgenstein had to remake: he had to create a repertory. Before Wittgenstein, very few musicians had written music for one hand: there are some small works by Brahms, Saint-Saëns and Scriabin, but little of consequence. Wittgenstein at first created a repertoire by himself, adapting works by earlier composers, including several Lieder ohne Worte by Mendelssohn, arias by Mozart and even an operatic paraphrase by Liszt. Wittgenstein's work on these and on other projects is evident in the many manuscripts in the archive.
Unlike Admiral Nelson, who also had to teach himself to write after losing his right arm, Paul Wittgenstein was never evidently exceptionally fluent at writing with his left hand. His interventions on music paper are large and dramatic: the ungainly, tottering and uneven lettering and florid, chaotic musical notation embody Wittgenstein's struggles. His determination to write down his thoughts, to test the fingering of a passage, or to create a personal and meaningful form of musical expression are at once impressive and moving.
A piano performer in the late-nineteenth-century tradition needed to have a few concertos in his repertoire and these were beyond Wittgenstein's own limited composing abilities. Harnessing his considerable financial inheritance and independence with his unremitting and almost ruthless determination, Wittgenstein commissioned a concerto repertory from a number of contemporary composers, creating, at the same time, a new form of patronage. In former centuries, a patron might commission a musician to produce musical works for his court. In only a few cases, such as with Frederick the Great, would the maecenas expect to play the music himself. But rarely would the commissioner have expected to have sole rights to the music and never that his own career as a performer should depend on it. This had perhaps unenvisaged consequences for composer, work and performer.
Wittgenstein commissioned more than twenty pieces of orchestral and chamber music from a variety of composers of different nationalities from the 1920s to the 1940s. The archive contains manuscripts or performing materials for almost all of these compositions. In 1938, the political situation required Wittgenstein to leave Vienna to live in New York. He left, taking his musical library with him and resumed his concert career and his commissioning activities in the United States.
The terms of Wittgenstein's beneficence were generous, but he was demanding. He held exclusive rights over performance for at least ten years; and in a number of cases, he published the music under his own auspices, also retaining the rights. At the end of concerts, the manuscript parts and conductors' score were collected and returned to Wittgenstein, whose exclusivity in most cases precluded performance by anyone else. This means that the surviving conductor's scores must contain valuable performance information, possibly in the hands as such great interpreters as Bruno Walter and Franz Schalk. This is an invaluable and almost unique resource.
Even a successful and well-established composer such as Richard Strauss agreed to such terms. This gave Wittgenstein great control over a work, particularly if he did not like the finished result. He was by nature conservative, although perhaps not so much as his philosopher brother who once said that even in Brahms 'I can begin to hear the sound of machinery'. Many of the composers he chose were certainly not avant garde, but held modernist sensibilities. This led to disputes and disagreements with the result that some major pieces such as Prokofiev's Fourth Piano Concerto were neither performed nor published in the composer's lifetime, to the detriment of the work and author. Richard Strauss's two works, the Parergon zur Symphonia Domestica and the Panathenäenzug were first published in Wittgenstein's edition. With the performer's exclusive rights to performance and publication, this did not allow these two interesting pieces to enter the repertoire. Ravel, whose Piano Concerto for the left hand is the one supreme masterpiece in the collection, seems not to have allowed himself to be constrained by Wittgenstein's publishing requirement (Durand in Paris printed the score), and nor was he so much inhibited by the exclusivity of performance. However, this did not stop Wittgenstein from having Ravel's delicate and extraordinary orchestral score arranged for military band in a wartime performance in Philadelphia in 1943, the composer no doubt spinning in his grave.
The survival of so many performing versions of Wittgenstein's commissions in the archive allows the opportunity to compare the progress of different compositions during their early years in the concert repertory and the changes wrought by Wittgenstein. This is especially so with the composer who really flourished under Wittgenstein's patronage, the Austrian Franz Schmidt. A cellist and pupil of Bruckner and Leschetizky, a composer of Romantic sensibility and finely crafted, if expansive, music, Schmidt was only peripherally influenced by the more advanced developments of his contemporaries. The archive contains autograph material for six major compositions, including the Piano Concerto, three chamber quintets and a set of concertante variations on a theme of Beethoven. This is a substantial proportion of Schmidt's output and demonstrates the importance of Wittgenstein on his career as a composer. The pianist clearly stipulated what he wanted from Schmidt and was pleased with the results. For example, the long piano cadenza in the Quintet with strings was added later and at the pianist's behest. To judge by the number of manuscripts, the piano concerto reached its final form through several versions and many vicissitudes. The 'Tokkata'' contains many revisions and rewrites by Wittgenstein.
Schmidt was held up to Britten and others by Wittgenstein as a model composer. The Englishman did not have much sympathy with Schmidt's music when Wittgenstein sent him his scores. It is interesting how many cadenzas the pianist wished to be inserted in Britten's Diversions in an effort to transform the composer's original sharply-observed quasi neo-Classical variations into a more Romantic vehicle (See Lot 43). With Richard Strauss, Wittgenstein was on surer ground, but it is interesting to see how free was the pianist with Strauss's music. The scores and the instrumental parts here contain many changes and alterations made by Wittgenstein and his conductors, involving altered piano parts and figuration, changes to the scoring,and sometimes quite radical excisions and revisions. Wittgenstein's changes were not on the whole incorporated in the texts that have come down to us. These manuscripts are therefore highly important documents in the Receptionsgeschichte of a number of eminent works.
There is a strange irony in Wittgenstein's approach towards the younger composers, especially Prokofiev and Britten (though the older Ravel did not escape censure). By the 1930s, these composers had all moved away from the Romantic gestures which Wittgenstein loved. Neo-classical conciseness, almost the antithesis of Romanticism, pervades their scores. If Wittgenstein had hoped for a romantic concerto, he came to the wrong composers. He disdained the Prokofiev, played the Ravel many times, as can be judged also from the many copies of this work in the collection and the large number of instrumental parts, though professed to dislike it and seldom performed the Britten. Korngold was a composer who was more sympathetic, and his vast piano concerto exists in several different versions, often heavily annotated by Wittgenstein.
The large collection of instrumental parts for all these works are of great interest and importance. Not only are they marked up with all the alterations Wittgenstein and his conductors felt necessary, they also contain the details of interpretation of great conductors, such as Schalk and Bruno Walter, to name but two, who directed the premieres and early performances. Even more interesting are the comments of the musicians added at the end of many of the instrumental parts. These provide details of the earliest performances, the places and dates and sometimes comments as to who was there.
While the richness of the manuscript sources is perhaps the main highlight of the collection, it is not the sole reason for its importance. There is an immense resource of biographical material in the large number of concert programmes and photographs which amplify aspects and events in Wittgenstein's life. The thousands of pages of his own musical writings, some of which were used in his School for the Left Hand (1957) and the painstaking notes painfully produced by his left hand are testimony to his hard work and determination. As is his library, showing the development of his musical education and his hard work and his love for the classics and byways of Romantic music which he so much admired. Flindell reports the young Paul playing piano duets with Richard Strauss. The archive contains the music and arrangements of music by Spohr which both pianists loved so much (E. F. Flindell,"Paul Wittgenstein (1887-1961): Patron and Pianist'', The Music Review, xxxii (1971), 10).
Paul Wittgenstein was an extraordinary man and artist; a product of the tough and demanding Wittgenstein family; a man born with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth; one who triumphed over an adversity which would have laid many low; and who by turns inspired, cajoled, infuriated and charmed composers into producing fine works and some indisputably great ones, adding more fame and lustre to the Wittgenstein escutcheon.

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Forthcoming Publications

Music in Dresden under the Nazis

Agata Schindler writes:

Aktenzeichen "Unerwünscht"
Dresdner Musikerschicksale und nationalsozialistische Judenverfolgung 1933-1945, Dresden, 1999
(File entry: 'Undesirable': Jewish Dresden musicians persecuted by the Nazis in the years 1933-1945, Dresden, 1999)

When, in 1995, I first started to take an interest in this episode of Dresden's musical history, there were no publications dealing with the topic. It was necessary first of all to assess the Nazi literature of the period. That initial research provided me with the names of some one hundred composers, musicians, musical theorists and journalist of Jewish origin, who had some connection with Dresden's musical life. All the more surprising, therefore, were my subsequent findings that at least nine of the musicians who were born or worked in Dresden died in the Holocaust, three others managed to survive the concentration camps, and two avoided persecution by going into hiding. The remainder saved their lives by fleeing the country and becoming exiles in Czechoslovakia, Sweden, Palestine, China, Japan, USA and other countries of the American continent. Those musicians who did not join the first wave of exiles created within Dresden's Jewish community - as in other German towns - the Dresden Union of Jewish Culture (Jüdischer Kulturbund Dresden). The German press of those days made no mention of its existence.

In summer 2003 I will published a new book: Dresdner Liste - Musikstadt Dresden in Nationsozialistische Judenverfolgung 1933-1945 in Wort und Bild. Ein Beitrag Zur Dresdner Musikgeschichte. It contains:
o biographies of 15 personalities (for example, Paul Aron, Richard Engländer, Arthur Chitz, Henry Meyer, Szymon Goldberg and Francis Koene)
o 70 events of the Dresden Union of Jewish Culture
o 150 short biographies of musicians from Dresden
o 250 documents and photographs

Book launch:
2 September 2003 in the synagogue in Dresden
3 September 2003 in Kamenz (in the framework of the the music festival 'dreiklang')
Orders: agata-achim[at]

Music, Power and Politics

Annie Janeiro Randall writes:

Forthcoming from Routledge in 2004: Music, Power, and Politics: Sounds of Suppression, Resistance, and Subversion, edited by Annie Janeiro Randall (Bucknell University, Dept. of Music, Lewisburg, PA, USA). The volume is made up of fourteen essays by authors from seven different countries, including an introduction and essay by the editor. Each chapter examines the hegemonic or counter-hegemonic operations of music in a specific socio-historical context: colonial South Africa, post-colonial Barbados, Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, present-day Mexico, post-war Serbia-Montenegro, Punk-era Britain, USA in the 1950s, pre-unification East Germany, China ca. 1945, present-day Korea, present-day Iran, and Columbia in the 1950s. Authors are Grant Olwage (South Africa), Sharon Meredith (UK), Britta Sweers (Germany), Ruth Hellier (UK), Jelena Jovanovic (Serbia-Herzegovina), Bennett Hogg (UK), Michael Eldridge (USA), Helen Reddington (UK), Hon-Lun Yang (Hong Kong, PRC), Robert Templeman (USA), Laudan Nooshin (Iran), Edward Larkey (USA), Keith Howard (UK), and Annie Janeiro Randall (USA).

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Musica Judaica

Music composed in concentration camps of Europe, Asia and North-Africa during the Second World War
Musik in den Konzentrationslagern Europas, Asiens und Nordafrikas während des Zweiten Weltkrieges komponiert
La produzione musicale nei campi di concentramento d'Europa, Asia e Nord Africa durante la Seconda Guerra Mondiale

From the notes:

'Musica Judaica is undoubtedly the most complete, richest record which includes the whole musical cycle composed from 1933 (when camps such as Dachau and Börgermoor were opened) to 1945 in all death and prisoner-of-war camps. It is the result of a 10-year, huge historical and musicological work by the Italian pianist Francesco Lotoro. Musica Judaica represents a real dictionary within the musical literature produced in all camps, both of the Axis and Allied countries, during WWII.'

The first CD in the ambitious Musica Judaica series of sixteen has recently been released, on Symposium 1SCL0701:
Gideon Klein (1919-45)
Piano Sonata
Viktor Ullmann (1898-1944)
Piano Sonata No. 5, Op. 45, No. 6, Op. 49, and No. 7

The second disc is in preparation and will contain:
Viktor Ullmann
Der Mensch und Sein Tag, Op. 47, BT/pf; 3 Lieder nach C. F. Meyer, BT/pf; 2 Chinesische Lieder, BT/pf; Wendla im Garten, BT/pf; Chansons des enfants françaises, BT/pf
Pavel Haas (1899-1944)
4 Chinese Songs, BT/pf
Rudolf Karel (1880-1945)
Pìsen Svobody, Op.41a, BT/pf; Zena-Moje Stestì, Op. 41b, BT/pf; Pankràc March, Op. 42a, pf; Pankràc Polka, Op. 42b, vl/pf; Pankràc Valzer, Op.42c, pf; Prisoners' March, pf
Robert Dauber (1922-45)
Serenata, vl/pf
FYI, Francesco Lotoro made a recording of such material in 1994, for the Cultura e Musica label (CMCD006), featuring the Tema con variazioni of Rudolf Karel (who died in Terezín in March 1945), the Suite, Op. 13, of Pavel Haas, Piano Sonata (1943) of Gideon Klein, and the Sixth Sonata of Viktor Ullmann.

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Kaprálová Published

Karla Hartl of The Kaprálová Society writes:

Two works composed by Viteùslava Kaprálová have been recently published in Prague:

Prelude de Noël (1939). Chamber orchestra
Orchestral score. 16 pages.
Publisher: Czech Radio Publishing House | Prague, December 2002
Catalogue No. R022
Publisher's price (score): 220 Kc (Czech currency)
Parts available for hire from the publisher.
To order both the score and parts, send your email to: vaclav.rysl[at]

Skladby z detstvi | Childhood compositions (1924-28).
Piano score. 16 pages.
Publisher: Amos Editio | Prague, April 2003
Catalogue No. AM 0040
Foreword and editorial notes in Czech | English | German.
Publisher's price: 110 KC (Czech currency)
To order, email the publisher at vnemec[at]

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Gottfried von Einem named 'Righteous among the Nations'

The Gottfried von Einem site ( gives the following information:

In December 2002, Gottfried von Einem was named a "Righteous among the Nations" receiving the highest honor that the State of Israel gives to non-Jews.

With an announcement on 12/4/2002 from the Embassy of the State of Israel, the Israeli Holocaust Memorial Organization Yad Vashem posthumously honored Gottfried von Einem with the title "Righteous among the Nations".
Those so honored belong to a group who, from February 1943 until the end of the war, contributed to helping Konrad Latte survive the period of his persecution. In so doing, these helpers risked their own lives, as well as those of their families. During a ceremony on Friday, December 6th, 2002 at 11:00 AM in the Church of the Justice Department's Tegel Correctional Facility on 39 Seidel Street in Berlin, the Envoy of the State of Israel, Mordechay Lewy, discussed the effect of the honorees and presented their relatives Yad Vashem medals and certificates.
The Church of the Tegel Correctional Facility was chosen to host the event as its former Reverend, Harald Poelchau, was also honored by Yad Vashem in 1971. Among others, it was he who was the deciding factor in Konrad Latte's survival. Gertie Siemsen, also an honoree, was at that time his closest co-worker; furthermore, Willy Kranz, similarly honored, leased the Berlin prison's cafeterias. The Yad Vashem memorial service was run under the auspices of the Senate Committee for the Justice of Berlin.
Yad Vashem, the agency dedicated to the perpetuation of the remembrance of the martyrs and heroes in Jerusalem is both a memorial organization and simultaneously a center for research, which focuses on the fate of European Jews during the Nazi era. Among the agency's principal tasks is to commemorate and demonstrate its thanks to those people who, of their own accord, tried to save Jews, despite the danger to their lives and to those of their families. Yad Vashem does this with the title of honor "Righteous among the Nations": the title comprises medals and certificates, as well as a permanent inscription of the recipient's name on the memorial wall in the "Garden of the Just" in Yad Vashem. It is the higest honor that Israel confers on non-jews. Nearly 19,000 women and men from all parts of Europe have received the title; among them are 400 Germans.

The Goldschmidt Centenary in Hamburg

Peter Petersen writes:

1. Memorial Plaque
On the day of Berthold Goldschmidt's hundredth birthday, 18 January 2003, a memorial plaque with the following text (translated from the German) was unveiled:

Here, at Steinstraße 12,
was born, on 18 January 1903
the composer and conductor
Berthold Goldschmidt.

After growing up in Hamburg, he began to study at the University here. In 1922 he transferred to Berlin and the composition class Franz Schreker. In 1926 his Passacaglia for Orchestra was awarded the Mendelssohn Prize. His opera "Der gewaltige Hahnrei" was successfully staged in Mannheim in 1932. In 1935 Goldschmidt fled to England. Here, as conductor, he championed the music of Gustav Mahler. His second opera, "Beatrice Cenci" received the prize of the Arts Council of Great Britain in 1951, but was not performed. Goldschmidt was forgotten but in his 80s experienced a comeback and worldwide recognition. He celebrated his 90th birthday as a guest of the Senate in his hometown, Hamburg.

Berthold Goldschmidt died in London on 17 October 1996.

Patriotische Gesellschaft von 1765

The plaque is on a building which replaced the original house around 1912, in a redesign of the Hamburg inner city. The initiative for a Goldschmidt memorial plaque came from my Arbeitsgruppe Exilmusik, and was realised in the framework of the memorial-plaque programme of the Patriotic Society of 1765 in Hamburg.

First German Performance of the song 'Noble Little Soldier's Wife'

In the autumn of 1946 the BBC broadcast the English version of the play Draussen vor der Tür - The Man Outside - by Wolfgang Borchert. For it Goldschmidt had written the song 'Noble Little Soldier's Wife', for male voice and xylophone, to act as a rehearsal song when the protagonist Beckmann tried to get a position in a cabaret. In conjunction with end-of-semester celebrations at the Musikwissenschaftliches Institut of the University of Hamburg this brief composition was presented for the first time in Germany on 6 February. The singer was Joachim Kuntzsch, and the xylophone was played by Kammo Zimmermann.
The performance arose through the bi-lingual edition that I prepared for publication by the Wolfgang-Bochert -Gesellschaft in 2002. The edition of the music uses the English version set by Goldschmidt (in a translation by David Porter); the German version sits below the English text. On this occasion both versions were sung.

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III. Performances


Berg's Passacaglia in Pittsburgh

In 1913 Alban Berg began the composition of an orchestral passacaglia, writing the work out in short score until two bars into an eleventh variation, at which point he broke off. The orchestration was undertaken by Christian von Borries, and in this performance version the piece lasts around four minutes. The US premiere was given by Mariss Jansons and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra on 28 February 2003.

Tansman in Utrecht

The first performance in many years of Alexandre Tansman's oratorio Isaie, le Prophète (1949-50) was given on 21 December 2002 in Utrecht; the Radio Symfoni Orkest was conducted by the Estonian Eri Klas. The work was premiered in Paris in 1952 (the US premiere followed in 1955, in Los Angeles).

Sandfort returns to Terezín

Paul Aron Sandfort writes:

The first performance of my work Nachschub, composed one-and-a-half years ago for string quartet, flute and trumpet, was a great success at the opening concert in Theresienstadt Kulturhaus on 8 May. The musicians of the Teplitz Symphonic orchestra were playing while I recited the poem, which I wrote from a dream I used to have a few years after my imprisonment in the ghetto. The trumpet was replaced by the oboe which sounded very well. The date is significant: 8 May was the day of the liberation of the ghetto by the Russian army 58 years ago. The poem was a nightmare from 1943 which I wrote in 1946-47; the music I composed in 2001-2. The first violin was Martina Proskova, second violin Jiri Jung, viola Maria Slavickova, violoncello Marek Vancl, oboe Vladimir Pristupa.

Nachschub is going to be played in Manchester next September when it will be conducted by Stephen Threlfall, at Chetham's School of Music.

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Forthcoming Events

Goldschmidt Discovery Day
Sunday 18 May 2003
Berthold's Words and Music in Hampstead

JMI is supporting the Hampstead and Highgate Festival in presenting a special day-long event in celebration of the centenary of Berthold Goldschmidt, refugee composer, who spent the last half-century of his life in Hampstead. The event on 18 May is at Jackson's Lane, Archway Road, N6 and consists of a Seminar from 2.30 to 6.00pm on Goldschmidt and his music. These will be discussed and illustrated, with archive recordings, by Bernard Keeffe, Lewis Foreman, David Matthews, Daniel Snowman and others. There will be an evening concert of Goldschmidt's chamber music and songs. You can book for both events together at a special price of £15 (£12 concessions) from 020 7794 0022. The website is You can also go to the Boosey and Hawkes site ( to see all the performances of Goldschmidt's music scheduled for the centenary year.

Cabaret Workshop with Alexandra Yaron
Sunday 15 June 3.00-5.30pm at the LJCC, Hampstead, London

Candidates can work on 2 cabaret pieces of your choice with the international Chanteuse Alexandra Yaron, who specializes in the performance of German and French cabaret.
Songs can be presented in German, English or French and two copies of the music should be provided. The workshop is free for all participants and no auditions will be held. It will be expected that participants are adequately familiar with their chosen songs.
Repertoire can include songs by Hanns Eisler, Kurt Weill, Mischa Spoliansky, Friedrich Hollaender, Werner Richard-Heymann, Rudolph Nelson, Margueritte Monnot, Michel Emer, and others. For further information or should you wish to learn and/or prepare new songs please email Alexandra direct at yaronsfr[at]

"Alex sings the songs from the Berlin's cabaret with a voice that recalls the period with a command of style that transports instantly back to a time and place, with more authenticity than almost any other singer today." Michael Haas, Executive Producer, Decca Recording Series
"Entartete Musik", November 2000

For further details, please call the LJCC office on 020 7431 0345 or email admin[at] Admission is free, but please register in advance.


'Entartete' Musik Cabaret
Saturday 24th May at 6.30pm and 9pm (£10/£7 concessions)
Sunday 25th May at 5pm (all tickets £5)
Tuesday 3rd and Wednesday 4th June at 8pm (£10/£7 concessions)

So called 'Degenerate' music silenced by Hitler
Devised and directed by Jude Alderson

This evening of cabaret and song will celebrate the lyrics of biting satire, the tongue in cheek eroticism and chutzpah of the performers and composers who struggled in the shadow of the Third Reich. They will be performing some Spoliansky songs, and Mischa Spoliansky's daughter will attend on one of the evenings.

The Drill Hall, 2 Chenies Street, London WC1E 7EX, 020 7307 5060

'Entartete Musik' in America
The American orchestras are beginning to announce their 2003-4 seasons. The Pavel Haas Study has been programmed by the Washinghton National and Milwaukee Symphony Orchestras; Zemlinsky's Die Seejungfrau is being done by the Los Angeles Phil, Buffalo Phil, Toronto Symphony and Grand Rapids SO; the Lyric Symphony by the Philadelphia Orchestra and Leon Botstein's American SO (together with the Schreker Schatzgräber Interlude), while the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra is preparing an entire season of music banned by the Nazis. What follows is their press announcement, not yet available on the Orchestra's website

Banned Expression
Next season, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra's parallel focus will be on the music of several composers persecuted as 'degenerate' or unsuitable under the Nazi regime in the 1930s through the end of the Second World War. The Chamber Orchestra will perform music of Kurt Weill, Hans Krasa, Erwin Schulhoff, Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg and others. The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra will present these composers' music, exploring the influences of jazz, cabaret and romanticism in their works.
Programs will include the Chamber Symphony by Franz Schreker - one of the most popular composers of operas in 1920s and 1930s; Kurt Weill's jazz-influenced Symphony No. 2; and Brundibár by Hans Krasa, a Czech composer who reconstructed this children's opera in the Nazi concentration camp at Terezín (Theresienstadt) near Prague. Brundibar, a simple story of the triumph of good over evil, was performed at least 55 times at Terezín, and offered a rare ray of hope. Many who performed Brundibár in the camp died in captivity. The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra will follow performances of Brundibar with Mozart's Requiem, in tribute to those who died.
Music Director Andreas Delfs commented: 'For many years, I have been struck by the artistic and musical dimensions of the Nazi horror. Revisiting the inspired music of these composers, whose creative lives, along with their fellow artists and writers, were for the most part crushed by the Nazis, is an extraordinarily moving experience. Pairing these works with those of Mozart is both compelling and intentional: we will contrast the music of a generation of wonderful composers whose careers were prematurely cut off or significantly altered, with that of music's greatest genius, whose own creative life ended at an early age. In each case, we can't help but wonder what might have been. This music is very important to me, and I am looking forward to our performances at The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra during the 2003-04 season'.
Throughout the thirties in Nazi Germany, books were burned, and many literary, music and art works were labeled as degenerate art. Many artists and philosophers - living and dead, German or other - were persecuted during this time, including Sigmund Freud, Thomas Mann, Ernest Hemingway, Karl Marx, Emile Zola, H.G. Wells, Marcel Proust; and painters Max Beckman, Emil Nolde, Oskar Kokoschka and many, many others. Even the music of Mendelssohn - prominently featured in the 2003-04 season - was banned.
The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra will partner with the University of Minnesota to present a series of events exploring the historical, social and artistic contexts of the music, art and literature of the Nazi Period. The University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts departments participating in this project will include the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, the School of Music, the Center for Austrian Studies, the Center for German and European Studies, the Center for Jewish Studies, and the European Studies Consortium.
'This is an important period to remember, not only in German and European history,' said Dr. Stephen Feinstein, Director of Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the University of Minnesota. 'The idea of "degeneracy" became an attack on those in the arts who possessed imagination and creativity. The playing of this music is a reminder of the countless new compositions that were lost because their composers were traumatized, exiled, or murdered. It is also a statement of the importance of recognizing pluralism and differences in democratic societies.'

Schul and Ullmann in Poland

Jacqueline Cole writes:

I will be giving the following piano recital in Cieszyn in honour of Viktor Ullmann in the church of his baptism in 1898. St Mary Magdalene, Dominikan Square, Cieszyn, Poland Saturday 19 July at 7.30pm (as part of The New Horizons Film Festival) Partita No. 6 in E Minor J. S. Bach Sonata in E (1918-20) John Ireland Fuge Zikmund Schul Sonata No. 7 Viktor Ullmann Ballade No. 1 in G minor ChopinOpera
Hans Gál's Heilige Ente in Cologne
Kölner Oper is currently presenting Hans Gál's opera Die heilige Ente in a reduced version: an 'orchestra' of string quintet, two pianos, celesta, harp, lots of percussion, and a reduced duration from full evening to one hour, since it is in their series for children. The performances run on until 20 June:
May: 20, 22, 25, 26 May, 2, 4, 6, 11, 14, 16, 18, 20 June.

Carole Farley in Ginastera's banned Bomarzo at the Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires

Jessica Lambert writes:

The American soprano Carole Farley starts rehearsals next week at Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires' famed opera house, for the new production of Alberto Ginastera's Bomarzo, which the military junta banned 25 years ago, presumably because of 'excessive nudity, overt eroticism and violence'. The premiere is scheduled for 13 June. Carole Farley, who sang the Metropolitan Opera first production of Alban Berg's Lulu at age 22, is the only foreign singer in the cast of Bomarzo. Her previous role at Teatro Colón was in Kurt Weill's Mahagonny. This production was so successful that when it was repeated the following season it had to be transferred to the Luna Park in Buenos Aires, a covered stadium seating 10,000, with all ten presentations sold out. Farley's new recording of songs by Ernesto Lecuona, which includes several world premieres, is being released later this year by the BIS label. In July Farley records songs by Kurt Weill with the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, also for BIS.

Weill in Australia

David Pountney announces two Austrian Weill premieres for 2004:
Schreker revivals, plus Korngold and Zemlinsky

The following Schreker opera productions are being revived next season:
Der ferne Klang (Berlin Staatsoper)
Die Gezeichneten (Stuttgart Opera)
Der Schatzgräber (Frankfurt Opera)
There's a new production of Korngold's Die tote Stadt at the Deutsche Oper, Berlin (under Christian Thielemann) and Zemlinsky's Der Zwerg receives a new production by Opera North, directed by David Pountney, with performances in Leeds and a UK tour. Zemlinsky's Der Kreidekreis also receives a new production at Zurich Opera (again produced by Poutney) in October.


Ernst Hermann Meyer film-scores at the Imperial War Museum, London
The Imperial War Museum (Lambeth Road, London SE1 6HZ) is running a series of films with scores by composers working in Britain during and after the Second World War, among them Ernst Hermann Meyer (the others include Bax, Parker, Rawsthorne, Walton and Vaughan Williams).

The IWM website ( offers the following information:

A Few Ounces a Day (1941) Animated film explaining the need for salvage, Defeat TB (1942) The history and treatment of Tuberculosis, Work Party (1942) Len Lye's film about a family of munitions workers at work and at play. 22 mins 2-6, 9-13 June at 4.00pm; 14 June at 12.00noon and 3.00pm; 15 June at 11.00am
Filing the Gap (1942) A Halas and Batchelor cartoon for the 'Dig for Victory' campaign, Subject for Discussion (1943). The need for openness in tackling venereal disease, Dustbin Parade (1942) A Halas and Batchelor cartoon to encourage household salvage. 25 mins.
16-20, 23-27 June at 4.00pm; 14 June at 2.00pm and 4.00pm; 15 June at 12 noon
Full details of the entire season, which lasts from early May to late July, can be found at the IWM website.

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IV. Reviews


Schulhoff, Krenek, Weill et al. in Toronto

On 21 September 2002 the pianist Sherri Jones treated Toronto music-lovers to an afternoon of music written by composers who were excluded from Germany's cultural life during the Nazi period. Presented by Toronto's Music Gallery, the recital offered works by Erwin Schulhoff, Ernst Krenek, Darius Milhaud, Stefan Wolpe, Arnold Schoenberg, Paul Hindemith, Kurt Weill, and Alois Haba. The programme ended with selections from George Gershwin's 1932 "Songbook".
The Berlin-based American pianist Sherri Jones is no stranger to twentieth-century music, especially music that has been unjustly neglected. She has concertized widely in Europe and North America, presenting, for example, the world premiere of Weill's "Intermezzo", the composer's only composition for solo piano (Chemnitz, 1999). She has recently premiered works by Schulhoff in Berlin, while her CD of that composer's "artistic jazz" (Wergo, 1995) has garnered international praise. Jones's editions of previously unpublished works by both Schulhoff and Weill are due to appear next year (from Schott and EAMC, respectively).
The selections chosen by Sherri Jones for her Toronto recital spanned the gamut from the expanded tonality of Wolpe's early "Gesang, weil ich etwas Teures verlassen muss" (aptly characterized in her programme notes as an "expressionistic song without words") to Schoenberg's twelve-tone "Klavierstücke", Op. 33 (one of the last works he completed before fleeing Hitler's Germany) to the popular-music world of Schulhoff's "Your Coquettish Smile" and "A Musical Flip" (written pseudonymously for Prague radio in 1933). Not surprisingly, much of the music performed reflected the seductive influence of syncopated dance music on composers writing during the interwar period. That Jones has a special affinity for this music was evident in her engaging performance of selections from Schulhoff's "Suite dansante en jazz" (1931), Wolpe's "Tango" (1927), and Weill's "Tango Ballad" from "Kleine Dreigroschenmusik" (1929, transcribed by Jones).
Of particular interest to Toronto audiences were a number of Canadian premieres. In addition to Haba's "Tango" (1927) and the two Schulhoff radio pieces mentioned above, these included a number of rarely performed - and entirely beguiling - youthful works: Schulhoff's "Neun kleine Reigen," Op. 13 (1913), Krenek's "Kleine Suite," Op. 13a (1922), and selections from Hindemith's recently published character pieces "In einer Nacht" (1919).
Joan A. Evans
(Joan A. Evans holds an adjunct position in the music department at Toronto's York University. Her research deals largely with musical life in Nazi Germany, with special emphasis on the fate of modern music. Her publications on this theme include several articles on Stravinsky reception, as well as an examination of new-music festivals after 1933 (forthcoming). She is the author of Hans Rosbaud: A Bibliography (Greenwood Press, 1992). Related publications include an article
documenting Rosbaud's contribution to Schoenberg reception. She is currently at work on a volume devoted to Rosbaud's correspondence.)

Immler and Levi at quasi una fantasia in Vienna

On 13 May, at an oversubscribed VIP concert at the Jewish Museum in Vienna, Christian Immler (baritone) and Erik Levi (piano), from London, presented songs by Austrian composers who had sought refuge in Britain as well as a Rückert setting by Mahler. This concert, sponsored by JMI and attended by many other sponsors and cultural institutions of the City of Vienna and the Vienna Festival Weeks (Wiener Festwochen) formed part of the opening of the Official Festival Exhibition, quasi una fantasia: Die Juden und die Musikstadt Wien ('quasi una fantasia: Jews and the Music Metropolis Vienna') - the first retrospective to be offered on this subject since 1945. A spectacular hailstorm - and a demonstration of over 100,000 at Heldenplatz protesting at pension reform - did not hinder the warm response to the exhibition and to the performance from the invited guests.
As the exhibition featured posters of the first Festwochen in 1924, an event organised by David Friedrich Bach, who would later come to the UK, it was more than appropriate that this exhibition should be singled out from the many other important events scheduled over the next month. It is enormous, extending over the entire floor area of the Palais Eskelis, the home of the Jewish Museum in the Doroteergasse, off of the Graben in the very middle of the first district. The exhibition covers the Ringstrasse and the many musical institutions, both secular and religious, that dominated Viennese musical life from 1867, when the Jews were first accorded full civil rights. From the Ringstrasse, one is invited into the 'salon' of one of the many wealthy Jewish patrons who held regular musical evenings. The guest book of Guido Adler is featured, with signatures on the same page of Gustav Mahler and Eduard Hanslick, Paul Wittgenstein's piano and furniture designed by Adolf Loos.
Further galleries are dedicated to operetta, light music, the avant-garde, the mass musical immigration to Berlin from 1920 (quote from Anton Kuh: 'I would rather be in Berlin with Viennese than in Vienna with people from Graz') and finally, the 'expulsion from paradise' in 1933, then 1938; Vienna's musical anti-semitism and then post war, where it took a Jew from New York, Leonard Bernstein, wearing Austrian national dress, conducting Mahler for the Viennese to recognise their own lost musical traditions.
The cultural self-mutilation is best demonstrated by objects and letters from, about and to people holding important positions until the 1970s who were implicated in some of the most shocking crimes, and by extension, even murder. These people who continued to dominate Vienna's musical post-War institutions have meant that Austria is making the same journey that Germany started ten years ago. This exhibition seems to have been one of the first steps, though the work of the Orpheus Trust has been Olympian in the run-up to quasi una fantasia.
Immler and Levi performed a programme of songs which underlined again the enormous contribution of the Austrian diaspora to musical life in the UK - a fact already apparent from a letter from Benjamin Britten to Erwin Stein, the midwife to his entire body of works at Boosey & Hawkes. With songs by Hans Gál, Egon Wellesz and Karl Rankl, Austria's loss was revealed as Britain's gain. Mahler's Rückert song, 'Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen', is central to the exhibition and was performed twice: once at the grand opening and again at the subsequent recital. A bonbon from the nineteenth century by Karl Goldmark was a reminder of how long Jewish musical life had been a part of Vienna's musical life before the insanity of 1938.
In spite of the meteorological and political problems outside, the recital was deeply moving. The curator of the exhibition, Werner Hanak, was spotted sobbing quietly during the performance the Mahler. Indeed, given the loss of life, culture and the terrible self-destruction - which extended long after 1945, when sympathisers (if not full members of the Nazi Party) continued to dominate Vienna's musical life - it was almost impossible not to be deeply moved by the profound melancholy and beauty of the programme. It was meant to be a celebration of Jewish Vienna's musical life. The superb performances of both artists could not alter the fact that it had also to be a reminder of how much was lost and how far the city still has to go to regain the musical centrality it once had.
Michael Haas

Links to external reviews

'Music from the Russian Underground' reviewed in The New York Times:
Allan Kozinn, writing in The New York Times, surveys the output of the Terezín composers and reviews some NY performances

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Shostakovich, Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District
Baltimore, February 2003

In February I attended a performance of Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk by the Baltimore Opera Company, presented as part of the 'Vivat! St. Petersburg' festival held in Baltimore to celebrate 300 years of Russian art, music and culture.
It was, in short, the most dreadful production of the opera I have ever seen (and I have seen six different productions). This one was presented in Baltimore's Lyric Opera House, a rather ugly and mundane theatre with very poor climate-control (the balcony, where I sat, was stultifyingly hot on 28 February, a cold day). The conductor, Christian Badea, led the smallish Baltimore Opera Orchestra, drawn largely from the Baltimore Symphony, in a credible rendition of the score which offered excellent playing, particularly from the celli. Badea lingered on the Scene 5 orchestral music which follows Katerina's pleading for Sergei to 'Kiss me so it hurts my lips... Oh Seryozha!' and so sensitively underlined its near-quotation of the Adagietto of Mahler's 5th Symphony. The reduced forces did not have quite enough force, though, either for the major sex scene or the final crescendo.
Katerina was sung by Karen Huffstodt with a rather shrill tone, and her acting (mostly, it seemed, in a huff) did not allow much sympathy. Vladimir Vaneev's Boris, a role he has sung it before, was excellent, as was Nikita Storojev's Chief of Police (Storojev has also sung the Old Convict under Rostropovich). Sergei was sung fairly well by Leonid Zakhozhaev. Zinovy was weakly presented by Garry Crice, as was the Shabby Peasant with little glee or action by Pierre Lefebvre; and Tomas Tomasson's account of the Priest was superficial.
The production hailed from Dresden, with direction by the (West) German Uwe Eric Laufenberg, with assistant direction by the (East) German Heike Jenor, scenic design by Christoph Schubiger (also German, one assumes), and the lighting was designed by the American Benjamin Pearcy. The setting was updated to sometime during the Soviet era, perhaps around the mid-1930s. The set consisted of monolithic, even monotonous huge dark grey walls with little variety: a singer would go through an opening in a giant wall just to come through a door in the same wall - a cheap and simplistic effect. Katerina's bedroom had a huge bed front stage - she sang her opening aria as she rolled around on it - behind which was a huge picture window, used only once to good effect, for the sex scene: when Sergei was naked facing away from the audience, his ample proportions were reflected amply well in it. It could have been used for the appearance of Boris' ghost; instead, he merely strolled into the bedroom and around the bed.
In Scene 2, Aksinya was not rolled around in a barrel by Sergei as in most productions. Here, her screams of 'Ay! Ay!' underlined that she was being sexually penetrated by Sergei. The barrel was there, though, with four others, rolled around on by youngsters, who at the end of the scene all got up on a barrel and climbed on each other, forming a concentric circle with the highest one pointing obliquely up, in imitation of Tatlin's Monument to the Third International from 1919 (I don't know why). At the beginning of the police scene, a spotlight illuminated the side balcony to show our good old teacher and leader, Police Chief Joseph Stalin.
The opera was done with only one intermission (after Act II) - miserable for those of us up in the hot balcony. Yet when the curtain went down on Act III, there was an interminable pause as Act IV was set up. The house lights were kept dark. When the curtain finally rose on Siberia, this daft production had one of the beams of lights down on the stage floor pointed at the audience with full, blinding, white brightness. And it was not some quick gimmick: they dimmed only during Katerina's 'lake and black waves' aria and then came right back up (and the 'lake' was a 1.5-metre, misshapen piece of plastic on the floor). They made it impossible to read the surtitles or tell who was singing if they were anywhere close to the lights - and it must have been horribly hot on stage. Most of us in the audience held up programmes or hands to shield our eyes from the glare and try to see what was going on. So when Katerina murders Sonyetka, we couldn't tell what was happening: screams were heard and two people were gone (the programme notes indicated that 'Katerina attacks her and the two women fall off the bridge'). There was no indication that Katerina kills herself here, thus reducing any sympathy the audience might feel for her. Perhaps the Dresden production was aiming for a Brechtian Verfremdungseffeckt - although, of course, exactly the opposite is called for here: a Siberian prison colony will hardly be a familiar setting, and without knowing more of Katerina's despair, the audience is unable to understand her motivation; her moral stature is thereby reduced.
Rick Pleak

Links to external reviews

Roderic Dunnett reviewed two Schreker operas in The Independent: story.jsp?story=365967
There was a preview in The New York Times of a recent production of Hans Krasa's Brundibár:

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Leone Sinigaglia, Variations on a Theme of Schubert
John Anderson (oboe), Gordon Back (piano)

Leone Sinigaglia is pretty much a forgotten name now. Born in Turin in 1868, he studied at the conservatory there and then in Vienna with Brahms' friend Mandyczewski, before moving on to Prague to take lessons with Dvorák (1900-1). He established a considerable reputation as a folklorist, and many of his concert works are based on Italian folk material (the suites Danze piedmontesi and Piedmont, for example). His death, in Turin in 1944, was caused by a heart attack when the Germans came to arrest the Jewish Sinigaglia for deportation to the camps; it almost certainly saved him from a worse fate.
My interest in Sinigaglia was piqued when I came across the score of his Violin Concerto in Donald Tovey's private collection in The Reid Library of the University of Edinburgh. It looked, on a hurried read-through, to be well crafted, perhaps a touch Brahmsian. But I had never heard a note of his music. So when I noticed this set of Variations on a Theme of Schubert on a 1996 ASV anthology of music for oboe and piano, I requested a copy to write it up for the IFSM Newsletter. It's difficult to say whether it tells us much about the rest of Sinigaglia's output. The theme is Schubert Heidenröslein, and the nine-minute variations are indeed the work of a fine craftsman, but he doesn't reveal much of his musical personality. The hint of Brahms is still there, but it doesn't tell us what we might expect from his Cello Sonata (1923), his Rhapsody for violin and orchestra or his Serenade for string trio (1906); there's also, unsurprisingly, a set of Varations on a Theme of Brahms for string quartet.
The rest of the CD features oboe showpieces by Ponchielli, Hüe, Paladihle (no, I had never heard of him, either: French opera composer, 1844-1926), Pasculli, Donizetti, Fauré, Schumann and Franck. John Anderson (no relation) and Gordon Back play beautifully. But I do wish they had been able to give us a better handle on Sinigaglia. Is there a substantial creative personality waiting to be revealed in those more abstract scores? I am no closer to an answer.
Martin Anderson

Shostakovich, Symphony No. 11, The Year 1905
London Symphony Orchestra/Mstislav Rostropovich.
LSO Live LSO0030

It amazes me how high Shostakovich's stock has risen in my lifetime. Forty years ago, most western critics viewed him as a talent sucked dry by the Soviets. Even during the Forties, a time of the composer's popular success and perhaps in reaction against it, Virgil Thomson slammed the Piano Quintet as a simulacrum of great music, aping the gestures but missing the substance. Following Bartók's humourless lead, many writers and composers began busily hammering nails into the coffin of the Seventh. The Tenth represented a temporary spike in Shostakovich's reputation. Believe it or not, very few could get their minds around the fact that Shostakovich had indeed composed something so good. Most of them treated it as a fluke. In Robert Simpson's influential book The Symphony: Elgar to the Present Day, Robert Layton, in a burst of relative empathy, calls the Eleventh 'a lowering of symphonic sights', compared to the Tenth and wonders whether the Thirteenth (unheard at this point in the west) will return to the level of the Tenth or continue the sad decline of the Eleventh and Twelfth ('the same revolutionaries making the same speeches'). More than a few compared the Eleventh to movie music, and they weren't handing out compliments.
Some of this devaluation one can trace to different ideas of what a symphony should do. Western European aesthetics from the '20s through the post-War era has usually affirmed Stravinsky's stated position (actually, a crib of Arthur Lourié): music means nothing other than itself. The notion would have surprised Beethoven, Wagner, Mahler and even Schoenberg. I wonder how much of this attitude, in the post-War years at any rate, comes down to a relatively secure political situation in the west. One might suffer existential Angst, but one wasn't thrown into jail or psychiatric ward for it. Sometimes you can afford pure aesthetics. Shostakovich wasn't really so lucky. The political mingled with the personal, especially since the Stalinist authorities enthusiastically screened his work for signs of political deviance. Yikes. If the threat of death or disappearance in a gulag happened to me, you can bet I'd take it personally. However, most now see that Shostakovich's symphonic works, no matter how evocative, don't describe. They undoubtedly contain programmes, as a Mahler symphony does (Shostakovich learned a lot from Mahler), but most of them work fine as 'absolute' music. Furthermore, it's often very difficult to decide what the programme is. The Eleventh, of course, carries the subtitle 'In the Year 1905', when Tsarist troops massacred a crowd of peaceful demonstrators. The Symphony contains several Revolutionary songs of the time as well as Shostakovich's own settings of Revolutionary texts. Soviet officialdom took the Symphony as praise. One can legitimately wonder, however, about Shostakovich's attitude. After all, the programme in general talks of a government violently oppressing its citizens. Is Shostakovich calling for another revolution, this time against the Soviet tsars? Who knows? Opinions abound and controversies have sprung up, particularly since the publication of Volkov's Testimony. As far as I can tell, however, nobody's settled anything yet.
I know very little about Soviet history, but I've nevertheless always found Shostakovich's Eleventh a powerful, moving work. Indeed, it caused me to re-evaluate the composer's symphonies, which, like those of Brahms, used to lull me into a coma. I couldn't shake the sense of cheapness I got from the composer's music, that he settled for easy outs and easy ideas. I imagine Mahler's first audiences felt some of this toward those symphonies. At any rate, Shostakovich's Eleventh served to wake me up and to take a new listen. Perhaps it helped that the first performance I heard was Stokowski's with the Houston Symphony, a landmark not only in Stokowski's catalogue but also in the western appreciation of Shostakovich. Stokowski took to the Eleventh, so full of dramatic extremes (tempi, dynamics, and so on), like duck soup. People usually talk about Stokowski as a master of orchestral colour - which, of course, he was - but that concern always related to the emotional content of the music. Even when Stokowski changed a composer's instrumentation (following the practice of many conductors of his and the previous generation, he at times silently substituted his own scoring - in Beethoven symphonies and, most notoriously, in Stravinsky's Le Sacre, for example), he did so for reasons of heightening the emotional impact. He viewed his efforts as helping the composer realise the music behind the notes. Critics viewed this as ego - Stokowski had one - but I tend to think of him as selfless, a servant of the composer, even when I strongly disagree with or even raise my eyebrows at what he's done. At any rate, Stokowski was very concerned about the colour and dynamic range for recording sessions of his account of the Eleventh, even though he didn't alter Shostakovich's instruments. Indeed, it was that very scoring that aroused his special concern for the engineering. The pains he took justify themselves many times over in a recording that remains a sonic and interpretative benchmark for this piece (available on EMI 65206). One might prefer Mravinsky (the recording from the '60s) or Jansons, for example, but I'd bet the Stokowski would be right behind.
As for Rostropovich, this is one of his best recordings (conductor or player) and right up there in exalted company. Compared to Stokowski, he's a bit restrained (this is a live recording, by the way), but the Symphony can bear and can benefit from that kind of approach. It consists of four large movements - slow-fast-slow-fast - the first two over twenty minutes apiece. The opening adagio, 'Palace Square', supposedly depicts the petitioners waiting in the winter snow. As a piece of symphonic construction, this movement alone gives the lie to the portrait of Shostakovich as shoddy workman. I've always thought this movement one of Shostakovich's best. Among other things, it pulls off the feat of 'waiting for something to happen' without the losing the listener's attention. Although in no classical form, it is, like Wagner's operas, genuinely symphonic and, what's more, coherently arches over a great expanse with just five little ideas: two revolutionary songs, an idea based on the melodic interval of a major second, some spectral fanfares, and finally a motto, first heard on the timpani, carried through the entire work. Even the songs get symphonic treatment. Shostakovich breaks these up into their smaller constituents and varies and recombines those. Furthermore, all these ideas carry over into other movements, where in new guises they carry new meanings. This is symphonic thinking of a very high order. As I say, I don't really need the image of the crowd standing silently in the square, despite its power, for the movement to do its emotional work on me. Shostakovich creates a psychic drama, independent of a particular programme.
All the anticipation that the opening movement builds has to go somewhere. The allegro second movement, '9 January', follows without a break - a scurrying figure in the strings based on the motto. A new idea shows up (based on one of Shostakovich's Ten Choral Poems on Revolutionary Texts) for extended treatment. Unexpectedly, the opening of the entire Symphony returns - calm before the storm - before a savage fugato based on the timpani motto theme breaks out. The theme is rather constricted in its range, and this emphasises a kind of mindless fury in the music. The rhythms become mechanistic and brutal, heavy on the percussion. The fury dissipates, and the movement ends with the 'Palace Square' music.
The third movement, a funereal 'In memoriam' adagio, opens with incredibly soft, halting plucks on the lower strings which turn into something very much like a passacaglia ground. The musically interesting thing about it, however, is that the 'melody' line above it isn't really a set of variations, but a long, tender melody - yet another Revolutionary song. This transforms into a dead march, first for strings, then for low winds and brass. The music builds to an insistent climax, where the opening bass line comes to the fore. The opening passage returns, as (you would think) a kind of benediction, but then Shostakovich startles you with a call to arms, as the last movement ('Tocsin: Allegro non troppo') suddenly bursts in. To me, it's too hysterical and mechanistically rhythmic to be heroic, as the composer may have intended and certainly Party officials inferred. But this is a feature, not a bug. Its insistence on brass fanfares and the shape of its main theme remind me of the finale of Mahler's First. Shostakovich, in his last works, became self-revelatory. We now know that certain pieces, like the William Tell overture, were almost iconic for him. I think that Mahler movement may have been one of those icons. After all, the finale of Shostakovich's Fifth also evokes it. After the march has spent itself, the 'Palace Square' music returns, accompanying a cor anglais singing one of the earlier Revolutionary songs. This leads to a trombone singing another, this time against angrily skirling winds and hammering percussion. Here we arrive at genuinely heroic music, but the Symphony doesn't end on triumphant note - no great blazing major chord in the brass. It's loud, but it's bare and austere.
This progression strikes me as rather odd and unconventional. Something far more interesting and more genuine goes on here than 'the heroic people's Socialist struggle for the proletariat continues'. The interruption of the first march, for example, seems a lament not simply for the events of 1905, but for subsequent history, and the final passage a shaking of the fist at the current regime. Indeed, if I thought of a programme at all for this symphony, it would be an anti-Soviet one. Fortunately, music's evocative power doesn't translate readily into portraiture and historical thesis. The rhetoric of the movement, however, surprises and runs deeper than what the opening leads you to expect.
Rostropovich does a fantastic job. He not only shows you the architecture of the Symphony like nobody else's business, but he also delivers an emotional wallop. This is a subtle reading of a work which - who knew? - repays subtlety. Lines are shaped in amazing detail. The LSO matches him, responding beautifully and sensitively to the turns of phrase and argument. Rostropovich, of course, knew the composer -- which guarantees nothing, incidentally. However, this performance seems to invoke the figure of Shostakovich himself. And the account's wonderfully recorded, besides. The combination of sonics and interpretation move this CD, as far as I'm concerned, to the front of the line. It cuts in front of both Stokowski and Mravinsky.
Steve Schwartz

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Korngold on DVD

I would've thought that the first DVDs to come out associated with the name Erich Wolfgang Korngold would have been of the great Errol Flynn Warner Bros. films that he scored, but that was not the case (although I hear that The Adventures of Robin Hood will come out this summer); no, instead we have two ArtHaus DVDs (generally distributed by Naxos) devoted to his life story and primarily his concert works.
In January Korngold's Die Tote Stadt was issued in the U.S. (ArtHaus DVD 100 343) taped from a live performance from Strasbourg conducted by Jan Latham-Koenig. This performance had been available for online viewing on the site, but they appear to have shut their cyberdoors. Overall I find the singing and orchestral playing mostly first-rate. Angela Denoke has a lovely voice and is a sultry Marie/Marietta and tenor Torsten Kerl is well suited in both timbre and stamina for the role of Paul. It is beautifully filmed and the sets are interesting an imaginative, in a piece heavy with atmosphere. I do find a few aspects of the staging, shall we say, over the top. A few instances: the doll (instead of his dead wife's braid)
that Paul caresses and plays with; the adolescent Korngold doppelgänger that slinks on stage to accompany Marietta's Lied on the piano; the skeleton under the floorboards; Paul's suicide at the end; etc. Actually, writing about these might just entice you to get the DVD! And get it you should; aside from these directorial follies it is quite fine, even excellent - and what a wonderful chance now to have this great, but still seldom performed, opera available on DVD.
Just a few weeks ago Erich Wolgang Korngold: The Adventures of a Wunderkind: A Portrait and Concert was released in the States (ArtHaus DVD 100 363) and I think I'm even more excited by this one. The bulk of the disc is a 90-minute documentary of Korngold by Barrie Gavin originally airing on German TV about a year or so ago. The documentary is outstanding, with a wealth of rare photographs and family home movies from the Korngold estate, plus insightful interviews with family, film historians, conductor Hugh Wolff, and Korngold experts Brendan Carroll and Bernd Rachold. There are excerpts of music performances by Anne Sophie von Otter and Hugh Wolff with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony. The DVD's bonus (in addition to not over taxing my German-language abilities) are complete performances of several movements from early piano pieces: one from his Don Quixote and two from the remarkable Fairy Tales, Op. 3, performed by Alexander Frey, as well as complete performances of the Violin Concerto, Op. 35 with Leonidas Kavakos and the Cello Concerto, Op. 37 with Quirine Viersin, both with Hugh Wolff. I was blown away by both concerto performances; Kavakos and Viersin (to me unknown) are of the very highest calibre and in fact I would count them among the very best recordings of those works. My only complaint about these performances would be in the camera work, which is dizzying in its concentration on close-ups. All in all, for anyone interested at all in one of our last
great romantics, I think this DVD is a real must-have.
Paul Murphy

Received for Review

The following items have been received for review in this newsletter; a listing here does not preclude a review in a subsequent issue


Gál, Music for Mandoline, Vol. 1: Capriccio für Zupforchester; Sinfonietta No. 2, Op. 86, for mandoline orchestra; Suite for three mandolins, Op. 59b; Lyrical Suite on Robert Browning's dramatic poem Pippa Passes for soprano solo with flute, mandoline and string trio. Sandra Stahlheber (mezzo soprano), Badische Zupforchester cond. Volker Gerland. Antes Edition BM-CD 31.9177
Gál, Music for Mandoline.,Vol. 2: Biedermeyertänze, Op. 66; Sinfonietta No. 1, Op. 81, for mandoline orchestra; Divertimento for mandoline and harp, Op. 80; Divertimento for two alto recorders and Guitar, Op. 68c. Various soloists, Badische Zupforchester cond. Volker Gerland. Antes Edition BM-CD 31.9171
Gál, Violin Sonata, op. 17; Cello Sonata, Op. 89. Annette-Barbara Vogel (violin), Fulbert Slenczka (cello), Réne Lecuona (piano). Cybele 360.901
Korngold, Tomorrow, Op. 33; Einfache Lieder, Op. 9; Prayer, Op. 32; Much Ado about Nothing, Op. 11; Abschiedslieder, Op. 14. Gigi Mitchell-Velasco (mezzo soprano), Stephen Gould (tenor), Bruckner Orchestra Linz cond. Caspar Richter. ASV CD DCA 1131
Korngold, 12 Lieder, Op. 5; Einfache Lieder, Op. 9; Abschiedslieder, Op. 14; 3 Lieder, Op. 18; 5 Lieder, Op. 38; Unvergänglichkeit, Op. 27; 3 Lieder, Op. 22; Reiselied;Vesper; Die Geniale; Nachts; Sonett für Wien; Die Gansleber im Hause Duschnitz. Dietrich Heschel (baritone), Helmut Deutsch (piano). Harmonia Mundi HMC 901780
Moyzes Symphonies Nos. 11 and 12, Opp. 79 and 83. Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra cond. Ladislav Slovák. Marco Polo 8.225093
Toch String Quartets Nos. 8 and 9, Opp. 18 and 26. Verdi Quartet. CPO 999 686-2
Weigl Symphony No. 5, Apocalyptic; Phantastisches Intermezzo. Rundfunks-Sinfonie Orchester Berlin cond. Thomas Sanderling. BIS-CD-1077
Wellesz Symphonies Nos. 4, 6 and 7. Radio Symphonieorchester Wien cond. Gottfried Rabl. CPO 999 808-2
Wolpe Piano Sonata No. 1, Stehende Musik; Adagio. Gesang, weil ich etwas Teures verlassen muss. Tango. The Good Spirit of a Right Cause. Battle Piece. Waltz for Merle. Zemach Suite. David Holzman (piano). Bridge 9116
Zemlinsky Symphonies Nos. 1 and 2. Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra cond. Ludovít Rajter/Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra cond. Edgar Seipenbusch. Naxos 8.557008
Czech Avant garde Piano Music, 1918-1938: Pavel Haas, Suite, Op. 13; Jaroslav Jezùek, Bugatti-Step, Bagatelles, Equatorial Rag; Erwin Schulhoff, Fünf Pittoresken, Op. 31; Frantisek E. Burian, Waltz; Leosù Janácek, Kleinseiten-Palais; No title; Melody (c. 1923); Nur blindes Schicksal?; Der goldene Ring; Ich erwarte Dich; Bohuslav Martinuû Par T. S. F.; Instructive Duo for the Nervous Film en miniature; Tango; Scherzo; Berceuse; Valse; Chanson; Carillon. Steffen Schleiermacher (piano). Dabringhaus & Grimm MDG 613 1158-2


David Nice, Prokofiev: From Russia to the West, 1891-1935, Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2003
Daniel Snowman, The Hitler Emigrés: The Cultural Impact on Britain of Refugees from Nazism, Chatto & Windus, London, 2002
Valeria Tsenova (ed.), 'Ex Oriente…': Ten Composers from the Former USSR, Verlag Ernst Kuhn, Berlin, 2002V.

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V. Partner Organisations

The Viktor Ullmann Foundation and Pavel Haas Foundations UK were founded and established by the British concert pianist Jacqueline Cole in 2002. The purpose of both these foundations is to honour, remember and celebrate the artistic lives, courage, visionary integrity and genius of two of the 20th century's most gifted composers, whose lives were tragically and prematurely ended in Auschwitz, October 1944. The aim of these two foundations is not to sanctify these silenced composers, but to recognise and acknowledge their artistry, musicianship and common humanity. And to bring them into the awareness and sphere of the international and musical community of the 21st century. Theirs is a universal musical language, and shadowed lesson of the whole world, such music, as the whole world well understood, would afford the understanding. And if engaged with, would enrich, benefit, and educate the whole world community. Their voice is as relevant now, in the 21st century, as it was in the early part of the 20th century. The work of the Viktor Ullmann Foundation and Pavel Haas Foundation, in association with the Jewish Music Institute and the International Forum for Suppressed Music is about listening to their voice. &

The Focus:

a) Performance
i) Chamber Ensemble, Orchestral Repertoire, Remembrance Concerts
ii) Paul Aron Sandfort's 'NACHSCHUB'
iii) Commissioning of new works for Strange Passenger Festival - Sylvie Bodorova
a) Ecumenical Dialogue
i) Viktor Ullmann Review 'Strange Passenger'
ii) Installation of Art Works
iii) Holocaust Studies
iv) Education initiatives in local communities through creative arts
a) Holocaust Education Awareness 21st Century
i) as above
d) Strange Passenger International Music and Arts Festival, Cieszyn, Poland
In association with Gaby Flatow, Director Hans Krasa Foundation, Terezin,
and Renata Karpinska, Education and Informations Officer, Cieszyn Town Hall, Cieszyn, Poland, Ilona Ziok, Film Director 'KARUSSELL' - Jewish Film Festival, Berlin, Dr Ingo Schultz, Programming Advisor, Germany,
Prof Dr David Bloch, Director Terezin Music Memorial Project, Israel
i) Solo Instrumental, concerto, orchestral, chamber music of Viktor Ullmann and contemporaries (Schoenberg's Chamber Symphony Opus 9)
ii) Workshop/Masterclass with International Artists leading to Stage/Performance focusing on the repertoire of VU and contemporaries
iii) Jazz, Swing (Coco Schumann and his Quartet)
iv) Jazz 'Brundibar' and Theresienstadt Jazz - Polish Jazz Musicians, Crakow
v) Ullmann's Piano Sonatas and Variations, Piano, Orchestra and Quartet
vi) Lectures
vii) Holocaust Art Installations - Survivors Art
viii) 'Swing under the Swastika' and Karussell - Film
ix) Silent Film (Kurt Gerron) with pianist
x) Roma Music
xi) 'Der Kaiser von Atlantis' - Polish premiere, hopefully to be performed in
the church of St Mary Magdalene, Dominikan Square, Cieszyn, the place of Viktor Ullmann's baptism according to church records - 27 January 1898
a) Strange Passenger - Viktor Ullmann Foundation Review in association with JMI, SOAS and IFSM
"The title of this journal, taken from a collection of poems and aphorisms penned by the composer Viktor Ullmann (Prague 1940) refers to a passage from Ibsen's Peer Gynt where a passenger who thinks he is alone is joined by another ("a small error, now corrected").
Ullmann, brilliant composer and consummate practical musician, was a philosophically-inclined thinker, inspired by Arnold Schoenberg's radical innovations in early 20th century music, Rudolf Steiner's anthroposophical dictums and Ullmann's internment in the Terezin concentration camp prior to his murder in an Auschwitz gas chamber." Prof Dr David Bloch Terezin Music Memorial Project, Israel
The Aims of the Journal
i) To promote awareness of the works of the Prager German composer Viktor Ullmann (1898-1944) and his contemporaries in an inclusive way within the wider framework of the international and the historical musical community
ii) To engage in holocaust education awareness for the 21st century
iii) Holocaust Historiography
iv) To foster and nurture inter-faith and ecumenical dialogue between peoples of different faiths, life perspectives and cultures
v) Art and 'human rights'
vi) A study of the psychology, phenomenon and inexplicable nature of 'what is music?' in the context of the Holocaust of the Second World War
a) Viktor Ullmann Fellowship for Human Rights
i) grants to support further research into the psychological, spiritual and
emotional effects of trauma, bereavement and loss on memory and it's
devastation collectively and individually
ii) education initiatives in local communities to nurture dialogue and
understanding between peoples of different cultures and racial backgrounds, through the creative arts
a) Recordings
In association with the TIM International Music Company AG, Hamburg
i) Complete Piano Sonatas 1-7 Viktor Ullmann Jacqueline Cole Piano
ii) Live Recordings of SPIMAF 2005
j) Film
In association with Ilona Ziok of the Jewish Film Festival, Berlin &
Jakub Duszynski - GUTEK FILM - New Horizons Film Festival, Cieszyn
Honorary Advisor Roy Ackerman, Joint Head of Programmes, Diverse Productions UK
A film to be made of the Strange Passenger International Music and Arts Festival
to be proposed to Channel 4 and made in association with Diverse Films, UK
a) Opera - Polish Premiere of Viktor Ullmann's 'Der Kaiser von Atlantis'
Strange Passenger International Music and Arts Festival, Cieszyn 2005
i) Commissioning of new works, and re- working/improvisation of Hirsh Glick's - The Partisan Song as homage to the people of Poland, to be woven as a 'theme' into the Strange Passenger Festival.
Viktor Ullmann was born in Teschen (Cieszyn) in 1898, and this will be the place for the International Music and Arts Festival of the Viktor Ullmann Foundation and Pavel Haas Foundations. Associates include Gaby Flatow, Director of the Hans Krasa Foundation, Terezin; Ilona Ziok, Film Director, The Jewish Film Festival, Berlin and Roy Ackerman of Diverse Film Productions, London UK, and Renata Karpinska, Education and Information Officer, Cieszyn Town Hall.
Strange Passenger International Music and Arts Festival (SPIMAF) will commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day in Poland and be dedicated to the people of Poland. It will be inaugurated to launch on 28 April, Holocaust Memorial Day in Poland and Israel, and continue until 15 May 2005. One possible venue will be the church of St Mary Magdalene, Dominikan Square, Cieszyn, the church where Viktor Josef Israel Ullmann was baptised according to church records on the 27 January 1898.
Jacqueline Cole, Artistic Director, April 2003

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VI. Research Requests

Georg Tintner

Tanya Tintner writes:

Area of interest: the compositions of Georg Tintner (1917-1999), well-known conductor. It is not generally known that he was a composer, and indeed he wrote very little in later years, though this was not his intention. A sizable quantity of his music from earlier years has been lost, though I have found some in private and institutional hands in the last few years. The most likely place still to find his pieces would be Vienna, his birthplace, and these would likely be songs, piano works, and choral pieces. The latter were written mostly for the Vienna Boys Choir from 1927 into the 1930s, as he was a member of this choir 26-30, but they say they do not have anything themselves. Much less likely is that music may be in the UK. Should anyone (especially those researching in Vienna) encounter any of his music I would be only too grateful to hear from you at gtintner[at] I am of course happy to correspond with anyone interested in his music, either academically or for the purposes of performance.

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VII. Links

Composer Websites

The Walter Braunfels website can be found at, and the Günther Raphael website is at

The Schreker Foundation website resides at;

Articles online

Hans Gál
Margaret Moncrieff Kelly recalls her teacher, Hans Gál, in an article on Music on the Web:

Russian Choral Music
The online edition of The Choral Journal features a fascinating article on Russian liturgical life under Communism, 'Aesthetics and National Identity in Russian Sacred Choral Music: A Past in Tradition and Present in Ruins' by Olga Dolskaya-Ackerly:

Otto Dix
Like Karl Amadeus Hartmann and other anti-Nazi composers who did not leave Hitler's Germany, the artist Otto Dix (1891-1969) went into 'inner emigration'. An article in The New York Times, heralding an exhibition of Dix's work in Paris, discusses his motivation: 18DIX.html?th

Otto Klemperer
To mark the birthday of Otto Klemperer, on their 'On this Day' section on 14 May, The New York Times republished Klemperer's obituary and an assessment by Harold C. Schonberg. You can find them at

Israeli Composers
Edward Eisen has contributed an article on Israeli composers - many of whom began their careers in Germany and Austria before being forced to flee - to the 'Unknown Composers' page, at

Book Reviews

The H-Russia site, at, offers a number of interesting reviews that can be read online, including an extensive assessment by Michael Hickey of the second edition of Zvi Gitelman's A Century of Ambivalence: The Jews of Russian and the Soviet Union, 1881 to the Present, and Marie Alice L'Heureux's review of Alla Rosenfeld and Norton T. Dodge (eds.), Art of the Baltics: The Struggle for Freedom of Artistic Expression under the Soviets, 1945-1991.

Karl Weigl and Other Composer Holdings at Yale
The Music Library of Yale University contains the archives of a number of émigré composers, including those of Karl Weigl. The full list of holdings can be found at, from where you can explore further.

Copland, Eisler et al. at the McCarthy Hearings
The US Freedom of Information Act means that the transcripts of the interrogations of Aaron Copland, Hanns Eisler and other composers are now available on the Web. Those who thought that government bullying of composers was limited to Nazi Germany and the Communist eastern bloc will find much to ponder. mccarthy/ copland.html
The list of transcripts now available is posted in a 'reading room' at

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This Newsletter is published by the JMI International Forum for Suppressed Music
Newsletters Nos. 1-4 can be read on the JMI Website on the Suppressed Music pages.

JMI International Forum for Suppressed Music
President Sir Simon Rattle
The International Forum for Suppressed Music (IFSM) was established in September 1999, by the Jewish Music Institute, (JMI) at the School of Oriental and African Studies, (SOAS) University of London, as a platform to bring together all those working in the field of suppressed music. Although its early focus is on composers who suffered under the Third Reich, the IFSM is also platform for examining music under other totalitarian regimes.

Executive Committee and Editorial Board:
Michael Haas, Research Director (IFSM), Producer 'Entartete Musik' Series, Decca
Martin Anderson, writer and publisher (Toccata Press)
Geraldine Auerbach MBE, Director, Jewish Music Institute, SOAS
Alexander Knapp, Joe Loss Lecturer in Jewish Music, SOAS, University of London
Erik Levi, Senior Lecturer, Royal Holloway University of London, author of Music in the Third Reich
Lloyd Moore, composer
Jutta Raab-Hansen, author of NS-verfolgter Musiker in England: Spuren deutscher und österreichischer Flüchtlinge in der britischen Musikkultur
Betty Sagon Collick, Consultant, JMI

Advisory Board:
Brendan G. Carroll, International Korngold Society
Albrecht Dümling, Musica Reanimata and curator of the 'Entartete Musik' exhibition, Berlin
Christopher Hailey, Franz Schreker Foundation, Los Angeles, and Schoenberg Institut, Vienna
Martin Schüssler, Rathaus Foundation, New York, Berlin

Leon Botstein, Lawrence Foster, Matthias Goerne, Barry Humphries, John Mauceri, Gottfried Rabl

IFSM Projects
The International Forum for Suppressed Music has embarked on a number of projects, among them, to record the oral testimony of composers and musicians of the early part of the twentieth century in Central Europe, their families and friends. It is preparing to receive the archives of musicians of the period, establishing databases of the repertoire, developing major enterprises in the study, reconstruction, performance and recording of this music, and publishing new scholarship as well as material not hitherto available in English. Many projects are lined up and awaiting funding to set them in motion. The establishment of this Forum, and the development of its work, is endeavouring to meet the needs of audiences, musicians, promoters and scholars the world over.

This website will expand to contain archives and information received and databases of repertoire as well as links to related sites.

International Forum for Suppressed Music
Jewish Music Institute
The School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4308 fax: +44 (0)20 7898 4309
email ifsm[at]

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The Jewish Music Institute is an independent Arts organisation based at SOAS, University of London. It is an international focus bringing the ancient yet contemporary musical culture of the Jews to the mainstream British cultural, academic and social life. Its programmes of education, performance and information highlight many aspects of Jewish music throughout the ages and across the globe for people of all ages, backgrounds and cultures.