Austria 1934

On the flight back from Vienna yesterday, I read Christopher Isherwood’s short novel, Prater Violet. It tells the story of the young Isherwood hired to work on a film in a London studio… Continue reading

Maria Lidka

I meant to link this obituary much earlier – sadly, I cannot find any links to her playing, though I did produce a recording of Peter Gellhorn’s ‘Intermezzo’ which he composed for Lidka,… Continue reading

Bernhard Sekles 1872 – 1934

Bernhard Sekles’s opera Schahrazade is the subject of the most recent Musica Reanitmata’s  quarterly publication. I recall being shown the full score for a massive orchestra work published by Schott some 20 years… Continue reading

The Prague Cemetery

It’s impossible to spend much time researching and pondering upon the whys and wherefores of music banned by the III Reich without questioning the provenance of the deluded anti-Semitism of pre-Hitler Europe. Hitlers… Continue reading

Wagner’s Influence on Vienna’s Jewish Composers

On the 16th of January, I shall be giving a talk at Vienna’s Jewish museum on the subject of Wagner’s influence on Vienna’s Jewish composers. This is such a broad subject, I wasn’t… Continue reading

The First Christmas in Exile 1938

Few societies deal more consequentially with Christmas than the Viennese. As a result, Viennese émigrés landing in such unlikely spots as Los Angeles or Shanghai felt particularly melancholic at this time of year.… Continue reading

Wilhelm Rettich

The revival of music banned by the III Reich has inevitably raised many questions of what can be considered good and worthy. Which are the works that can be viewed as statements of… Continue reading

The Outsiders

There have been fewer postings than usual on the ‘Forbidden Music’ page as my day-job has kicked back in and I’ve raced from recording Mahler IX with Fabio Luisi in Vienna, to Offenbach… Continue reading

The Decline of the West

“Optimism is Cowardice” is an oft-quoted statement made by a historian named Oswald Spengler (1880-1936). Yet few books had a greater impact and influence over the course of thinking in inter-war Germany and… Continue reading

Saved for whom?

Two stories have fluttered across newspapers and auction catalogues, obviously related, but ignored by most of our cultural commentators. One is the spectacular hoard of art, formerly banned by the Nazis as ‘degenerate’,… Continue reading