The Skewered ‘Way of Life’ of Roger Scruton

This article in today’s Guardian is by Roger Scruton, a philosopher with a leaning towards Hegelian aesthetics. In it, he pleads for his concept of ‘conservatism’ and explains why it’s hard to ‘think’… Continue reading

Conferences – August 2014

Unlike full-time academics, conferences make up very little of my yearly schedule. When I can make one, I find them rewarding and encouraging as they highlight how far interest and research have come… Continue reading

Beyond Ideology

At the Ziering-Conlon Initiative for Recovered Voices symposium, ‘Music, Censorship and Meaning in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union: Echoes and Consequences’, held at Los Angeles’s Colburn School, I gave the following paper.… Continue reading

Further Observations on Austria Hungary in the First World War

Now that I’ve finished Musil’s Mann ohne Eigenschaften, I can plough ahead with Manfried Rauchensteiner’s magisterial history of Austria-Hungary in the First World War. I’ve got as far as the 12th Isonzo Offensive… Continue reading

‘We’ve Conquered Reality and thereby lost our Dreams’: Robert Musil’s ‘The Man without Qualities’ – or ‘Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften’

Thank goodness I didn’t read Marcl Reich-Ranicki’s demolition job of Musil’s 2000 page, incomplete novel – is that the right word? – The Man without Qualities. Everything Reich-Ranicki criticises about Musil’s monster is… Continue reading

Interview with Michael Haas by Jewish Music Institute Radio

An Interview with me at the Jewish Music Institute’s Radio, based at London University. Selections featured in the interview are (in order): Franz Schreker’s opera ‘Die Gezeichneten’, followed by Jaromir Weinberger’s ‘Schwander the… Continue reading

The Kaleidoscopic Contradictions of Hanns Eisler: 1898 – 1962

Few of the so-called ‘exiled composers’ were as controversial as Hanns Eisler. None since Wagner had written such copious and trenchant observations on society, politics and ethics in addition to writing about music.… Continue reading

Music From the End of Time: Franz Schreker 1878-1934

In nearly every book on Vienna’s fin de siècle, the only composers dealt with in depth, are Mahler and Schoenberg. It is, however, only a partial representation of what music was expressing at… Continue reading

The Woman who educated Vienna: Eugenie Schwarzwald 1872-1940

In the recent article on Egon Wellesz, I made a passing reference to the fact that there was already a page dealing with Eugenie Schwarzwald to be found as an earlier blog-entry. In… Continue reading

The ‘Geographical’ Journey of Dr. Ernst Toch

„Toch! Sie sind ein Wahnsinniger! Aber Hindemith, was bilden Sie sich ein mit solchen Werken? Sie sind doch ein aufrichtiger Bürger!“ (‘Toch! You’re a madman! But Hindemith, what could you be thinking of, composing such… Continue reading