A Jewish Orchestra in Nazi Germany
Musical Politics and the Berlin Jewish Culture League
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: University of Michigan Press
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...popular novelist, wrote, “I am a German, and I am a Jew, one as intensely and as completely as the other, inextricably bound together.”1 In the years preceding Hitler’s rise to power, such open embracing by a German Jew of his dual identity was far from the controversy it would soon become.2 At the time Wassermann’s declaration appeared—toward the beginning of the Weimar Repub-...
1. Why the League?
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...studied at the University of Halle with Arnold Schering and followed him to Berlin when he succeeded Hermann Abert at the Berlin University (now Humboldt-Universit
2. What Is Jewish Music? The League and the Dilemmas of Musical Identity
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...background, thought she would be a natural fit for the newly formed Jewish Culture League. She became an opera singer with the organization in 1937 and occasionally appeared with Anneliese Landau. However, earlier, she had approached one of the League’s leading men and explained that she wanted to sing Yiddish and Hebrew songs. She remembers his response: “No one is inter-...
3. Performing a "Jewish Repertoire": Weill, Schoenberg, and Bloch
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For a fresh start, Singer went so far in this publication as to solicit advice directly on the upcoming program. This experiment in public diplomacy was unique and, after a limited response (only thirty replies), abandoned.2 The repertoire debate would continue, as would other challenges to program formation: the League’s economic need as well as simple errors and inconsistencies...
4. "German Music," Lieder, and the Austrian Franz Schubert
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...on Jewish music, both in theory and practice. But, in some ways, the performance of music by German composers was more complicated. The search for Jewish music gave audiences a framework for their interpretation of music by Jewish composers. Music by German composers, on the other hand, was wide open and interpreted in a variety of ways. Determined to keep the League out...
5. Handel, Verdi, and National Pride
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Growing up in Nazi Germany, Martin O. Stern experienced the flexibility of Handel in reception. For him, Handel’s music was entangled with Judaism, but also, after this visit to Sunday services, the Lutheran Church. Nazi ideologues, however, could not tolerate this overlap. Handel was going to have to pick a side. Music was no longer a universal language, if it ever was one, but rather an aid in the struggle of race against race, nation against nation...
6. Beyond Ethnic Loyalties
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...imagining nation, group integration, asserting national worth, consolation, catharsis, escape, and hope, to name a few. With such flexibility, it is no surprise that there were contradictions in ideas of nationalism in music during the Third Reich. The various roles of music created competing narratives in music reception. Not only that, these narratives could change rather quickly over...
Epilogue: The Legacy of the League
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...and cofounder of the Jewish Culture League, was visiting his sister and lecturing at Harvard University.1 Ernest Lenart, the Tempelherr in the League’s inaugural performance (1933) of Lessing’s Nathan the Wise and émigré since 1938, visited Singer during his trip. Lenart told him about Kristallnacht and urged him to remain in America. Singer replied: “Dear Lenart, I must go back.”2...
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Page Count: 272
Illustrations: 14 musical examples, 3 tables, 7 figures
Publication Year: 2010