Saturday, August 31, 2013

Music not in Nazi Germany

Continuing in the vein of my last post, the Nazis not only sponsored music that they thought served their purposes but also suppressed any music they saw as subversive.  Nationalist composers in particular were not appreciated.  For example, they banned the music of Frédéric Chopin, a Polish composer of piano music.  This is a video of his Étude Op. 10, No. 5, commonly known as the Revolutionary Étude.  The turbulent music and the reputation as a symbol of resistance and Polish nationalism (I remember hearing that it was the last thing broadcast on Polish national radio during the Battle of Warsaw, but I can't find any sources to confirm it; you can read more about Chopin's connection to nationalism here) would definitely not be in accordance with Nazi propaganda.  The music was composed to reflect Polish resistance to Russian occupation, which ties in with Oskar's own conflicted Polish nationalism in The Tin Drum.

The Germans also banned Jewish composers as a matter of course; Gustav Mahler and Felix Mendelssohn (of wedding march fame) were two notable German victims of this censorship. 

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