Composers of the Nazi Era: Eight Portraits

Composers of the Nazi Era: Eight Portraits

by Michael H. Kater
     
 

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How does creativity thrive in the face of fascism? How can a highly artistic individual function professionally in so threatening a climate? The final book in a critically acclaimed trilogy that includes Different Drummers (OUP 1992) and The Twisted Muse (OUP 1997), this is a detailed study of the often interrelated careers of eight outstanding German composers who…  See more details below

Overview

How does creativity thrive in the face of fascism? How can a highly artistic individual function professionally in so threatening a climate? The final book in a critically acclaimed trilogy that includes Different Drummers (OUP 1992) and The Twisted Muse (OUP 1997), this is a detailed study of the often interrelated careers of eight outstanding German composers who lived and worked amid the dictatorship of the Third Reich: Werner Egk, Paul Hindemith, Kurt Weill, Karl Amadeus Hartmann, Carl Orff, Hans Pfitzner, Arnold Schoenberg, and Richard Strauss. Noted historian Michael H. Kater weighs issues of accommodation and resistance to ask whether these artists corrupted themselves in the service of a criminal regime -- and if so, whether this is evident in their music. He also considers the degrees to which the Nazis poetically, socially, economically, and aesthetically succeeded in their treatment of these individuals, whose lives and compositions represent diverse responses to totalitarianism.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"With this volume, Kater has completed a remarkable trilogy of books about music during the Nazi era....Kater...is rigorous in his attention to detail; his research is up-to-date, and his conclusions are persuasive. This book—indead, the entire trilogy—should be a part of every collection."—Library Journal

"Michael Kater's new book, the third and best of his studies of German music during the Third Reich, examines the fortunes, in the Nazi and first postwar years, of eight composers: Werner Egk, Paul Hindemith, Kurt Weill, Carl Amadeus Hartmann, Carl Orff, Hans Pfitzner, Arnold Schoenberg, and Richard Strauss. Based upon a staggering amount of original research, it is endlessly informative." —Gordon A. Craig, Stanford University

"Congratulations to Michael Kater for resisting the usual black-or-white temptation and casting his portraits in a wide, and therefore illuminating, spectrum of greys." —Richard Taruskin, University of California, Berkeley

"A judicious, exceptionally informative study of eight composers, who were victims, accomplices, and sometimes both, of the Third Reich." —Peter Paret, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195152869
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
01/17/2002
Pages:
416
Product dimensions:
8.90(w) x 5.70(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

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

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