The Political Orchestra: The Vienna and Berlin Philharmonics During the Third Reich (Hardback)
  • The Political Orchestra: The Vienna and Berlin Philharmonics During the Third Reich (Hardback)

The Political Orchestra: The Vienna and Berlin Philharmonics During the Third Reich (Hardback)

Hardback 344 Pages / Published: 15/11/2016
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This is a groundbreaking study of the prestigious Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics during the Third Reich. Making extensive use of archival material, including some discussed here for the very first time, Fritz Tr mpi offers new insight into the orchestras' place in the larger political constellation. Tr mpi looks first at the decades preceding National Socialist rule, when the competing orchestras, whose rivalry mirrored a larger rivalry between Berlin and Vienna, were called on to represent "superior" Austro-German music and were integrated into the administrative and social structures of their respective cities becoming vulnerable to political manipulation in the process. He then turns to the Nazi period, when the orchestras came to play a major role. As he shows, each philharmonic, in its own unique way, became a tool of soft power by showcasing Germanic culture through the mass media, performances for troops and the general public, and fictional representations in literature and film. Accompanying these propaganda efforts was an increasing radicalization of the orchestras, which ranged from the dismissal of Jewish members to the programming of ideologically appropriate repertory all in the name of racial and cultural purity. Richly documented and refreshingly nuanced, The Political Orchestra is a bold exploration of the ties between music and politics under fascism.

Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226251394
Number of pages: 344
Weight: 567 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 25 mm

"The Political Orchestra takes an important look at the different ways the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics were politicized before and during the Third Reich. Tr mpi, who puts their musical styles and mythologies firmly into historical perspective, has unearthed and published for the first time much archival material, which this welcome English translation now makes available for a wider audience."--Georgina Prodhan, former Vienna correspondent, Reuters
"Apart from a few studies of Entartete Musik (degenerate music), and Verdr ngte Musik (suppressed music), a reticence about the Nazi years among German-speaking historians of music has largely held until very recently. For his part in breaking the silence, Fritz Tr mpi deserves our gratitude."

--Claremont Review of Books
"Given the heavy and heady nature of the subject matter, The Political Orchestra is far from an easy read, but those willing to invest the requisite time and consideration will find that Tr mpi has masterfully shed light on this previously overlooked time in the world of European classical music."--Spectrum Culture
"The Political Orchestra is a product of extensive new research into the hitherto suppressed history of orchestral life in Germany and Austria during the Nazi era, and most importantly, the years leading up to it."--Classical Voice America
"A brilliant survey of the politics that underpin, and differentiate, the Berlin Philharmonic and the Vienna Philharmonic. . . . This extremely valuable and original contribution to the political and musical history of central Europe is must reading. . . . Highly recommended."
"The tale that it tells is both compelling and disturbing, especially to anyone who clings to the belief that high art is ennobling to the spirit."
--Commentary Magazine

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