The False Myths and True Genius of Erich Wolfgang Korngold

1897 was an eventful year for music in Vienna: Johannes Brahms died and Gustav Mahler took over the Imperial Opera; the Eleven-year-old Ernst Toch decided to become a composer and in Brno, or… Continue reading

Brexit, Trump and Godwin’s Law

A blog such as “Forbidden Music”, dealing with history, music and freedom of expression cannot allow the election of Donald Trump in the wake of Brexit to pass without reflection. There are already… Continue reading

Heinsheimer’s Hidden History

e Just consider for a moment, the following list of composers: Béla Bartók, Alban Berg, Max Brand, Walter Braunfels, Alfredo Casella, Hann Eisler, Hans Gál, Berthold Goldschmidt, Wilhelm Grosz, Roman Haubenstock-Ramati, Joseph Matthias… Continue reading

Female composers: “Degenerate”, “Deviant” or Deliberately Downgraded?

This week saw the opening of an exhibition on women composers in Vienna. It follows a run of performances Of Baruchs Schweigen – or Baruch’s Silence, by the composer Ella Milch-Scheriff with a… Continue reading

Popular Music in Exile

  I wrote a catalogue chapter on the persecution of popular music during the Nazi years for the exhibition Stars of David currently running at Vienna’s Jewish Museum. Obviously, in a catalogue, there… Continue reading

Rhymes and Repetitions of History’s Rondos

“History does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme” – a quote apocryphally attributed to Mark Twain. So what does this historic meter reflecting events start to show us? It’s thrown up many… Continue reading

Fremde Erde– Prescience as Opera

On April 22nd, I gave a lecture at Royal Holloway London University, on Karol Rathaus’s opera Fremde Erde – Alien Soil. I’ve now adapted it for inclusion on this blog. Much of the… Continue reading

‘Alien Soil’ and the Slow Death of Karol Rathaus

Born in Ternopol in 1895 as an Austrian who spoke Polish at home, educated in German, he spoke and wrote the language better than native speakers, as did his fellow Ukrainian/Austrian Poles and… Continue reading

exil.arte Center

There are many reasons why it has taken me some time to write on this blog. There is a new posting on the way, but in the meantime, an important event needs announcing… Continue reading

The Heavy Loss of the “Light Weight” Edmund Eysler

Say Viennese operetta to anyone and they most likely think of Johann Strauss or Franz Lehár. In any case, both Fledermaus and Die lustige Witwe (The Merry Widow) have pushed their way into… Continue reading

A Salutary New Year’s Address from January 1, 1871

Daniel Spitzer, unfamiliar to English readers, was an Austrian sketch writer in 19th century Imperial Vienna’s paper of record, die Presse, then later relaunched as die Neue Freie Presse. I mention him once… Continue reading