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

WWI propaganda

WWI: the view from Vienna

Europe has already kicked off the centenary events surrounding the start of the First World War. Living in Britain, one sees one side of the conflict, but working and living in Vienna, one… Continue reading

Walter Bricht

More and more frequently since the publication of ‘Forbidden Music’, I have people asking me if I have heard of this or that composer. I have to confess that usually, I can admit… Continue reading

Walter Braunfels

If, amongst the many composers banned by Hitler and subsequently shoved to one side following the Nazi defeat, there was one, who could guarantee immediate audience appeal today, it would have to be… Continue reading

Composer Walter Arlen on how Kristallnacht changed his life

  An article from the Financial Times