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

Egon Wellesz (1885 -1974) the Forgotten Modernist

Egon Wellesz was undoubtedly one of Vienna’s modernist masters, lost to the city and posterity after exile in 1938. He, along with Alban Berg and Anton Webern made up the original group of… Continue reading

Conchita’s Victory – why it’s significant

Being in Austria just as Conchita Wurst wins the Eurovision Song Contest throws up any number of issues. I didn’t watch – in fact, I have never watched a Euro-Vision song contest –… Continue reading

Ursula Mamlok

There are still a small number of composers who were born to Jewish families in Germany and Austria in the 1920s, who escaped and came to musical maturity in new homelands. Walter Arlen… Continue reading