Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Carnegie Hall Debut Canceled 
Over Nazi Anthem

The Tyranny of PC Arrives in New York's 
World of Concert Music

By Shaun Tandon

New York (AFP) - A debut at Carnegie Hall meant to showcase a young composer was abruptly canceled after management realized it featured a snippet of a Nazi German anthem.

The New York Youth Symphony was set to premiere the orchestral work on Sunday at the prestigious concert hall but the orchestra's management removed it, saying that such an explosive musical reference required a longer conversation.
No one has suggested any Nazi sympathy by composer Jonas Tarm, a 21-year-old Estonian American, who intended for the work to deplore war including recent bloodshed in Ukraine.
But the controversy raised a broader question -- how explicitly do artists need to state that allusions to history's darkest chapters are meant to condemn rather than condone?
The New York Youth Symphony, which recognizes performers and composers under age 22, said Tarm only informed the management last week that his piece included 45 seconds of "Horst-Wessel-Lied," one of the Nazis' main anthems which is banned in modern Germany and Austria.
The symphony said that the nine-minute piece could have been "an important teaching moment for our students" but that Tarm refused to lay out his reasons for using "Horst-Wessel-Lied."
"Without this information, and given the lack of transparency and lack of parental consent to engage with this music, we could not continue to feature his work on the program," the symphony said in a statement.
"We believe deeply in a free creative process. But along with freedom comes responsibility, even more so when young people are involved," it said.

Tarm had entitled his work "Marsh u Nebuttya," which is Ukrainian for "March to Oblivion," and it also incorporated the anthem of Soviet-ruled Ukraine.
He initially explained his work only with a dedication in the program "to the victims of hunger and fire" and an excerpt from T.S. Eliot's post-World War I poem "The Hollow Men."
"Between the conception and the creation / Between the emotion and the response / Falls the Shadow," runs the verse from Eliot, who is often considered the premier 20th century English-language poet but also faced accusations of anti-Semitism.

- Music speaks for itself? -

After the cancelation, Tarm spoke more at length, saying he was "disappointed and confused" by the rejection of a piece "not meant to provoke, but to evoke."
The piece "is devoted to the victims who have suffered from cruelty and hatred of war, totalitarianism, polarizing nationalism -- in the past and today," he said in a statement.
"The old joke about how do you get to Carnegie Hall -- you practice. Apparently, you also have to self-censor. I'm disappointed that this work will no longer have the ability to speak for itself," he said.
Tarm, who is studying at the New England Conservatory in Boston, said that the orchestra had been practicing the piece for weeks without any complaints.
The controversy has echoes of a furor last year at the Metropolitan Opera which staged John Adams' "The Death of Klinghoffer," about the wheelchair-bound Jewish American Leon Klinghoffer who was killed by Palestinian hijackers of a cruise ship in 1985.
Protesters rallied outside and several disrupted performances in part because Palestinian characters in the opera make anti-Semitic remarks as Adams tries to set the context for the killing.
Ken Jacobson, deputy national director of the Anti-Defamation League, which fights anti-Semitism and racism, said that he could not judge the canceled Carnegie Hall piece without listening to it but urged reflection before banning artwork that cites offensive material.
"I assume that the New York Youth Symphony did what it did out of good motives. But I would also say that in works of art, one has to be thoughtful and careful before one wants to censor," he told AFP.
The orchestra went ahead Sunday with a performance that featured rising violinist Elena Urioste, who performed Beethoven's Violin Concerto and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's "Scheherazade."


  1. Can anyone tell me what the lyrics of the Nazi Anthem consisted of? I tried a Google search, but am not sure that I was reading the words of the Nazi Anthem or the German National Anthem of today. See this link. Does this link provide the words of the Nazi Anthem.

    Thank you.

    1. PS: I read German quite well. Nevertheless, I'm not sure that über alles means exactly what the translation states.

    2. Aha! Maybe these are the word?

      Flag high, ranks closed,
      The S.A. marches with silent solid steps.
      Comrades shot by the red front and reaction
      march in spirit with us in our ranks.

      The street free for the brown battalions,
      The street free for the Storm Troopers.
      Millions, full of hope, look up at the swastika;
      The day breaks for freedom and for bread.

      For the last time the call will now be blown;
      For the struggle now we all stand ready.
      Soon will fly Hitler-flags over every street;
      Slavery will last only a short time longer.

      Flag high, ranks closed,
      The S.A. marches with silent solid steps.
      Comrades shot by the red front and reaction
      march in spirit with us in our ranks.

      Isn't this an anti-Communist song?

    3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horst-Wessel-Lied#Lyrics
      has German alongside English translation.

      The song is anti- anyone who resisted the SA, which includes German communists (the red front) but also more moderate parties, including conservatives (the reactionaries).

    4. Good morning, AOW. The literal translation of ueber alles would be "above all" or "over all."

      I see two ways to interpret it in the context of the "anthem." Either it means "We Germans should always place our country's interests first and foremost in our hearts" - OR - "Germany should (or must) have dominion over the entire world." i.e. Germany Must Take Charge of the World.

      I'm not certain when or in what context the "anthem" you cited were written, but I'm fairly certain those words have been interpreted both ways by Germans. Obviously, HITLER chose the latter interpretation, and acted accordingly, unless the song was written under his regime in which case its intent would have been to support the policy of German National Socialism's DESTINY to CONQUER and RULE the ENTIRE WORLD.

    5. The word alles is an indefinite pronoun. It could mean several things, among them that Germany should (or must) have dominion over the entire world.

      The word could also mean that Germany is the best of nations -- not an unusual sentiment for any national anthem.

    6. Of course, AOW, but isn't that EXACTLY what I just said, albeit in different words? ;-)

      After scanning the article Jez referenced, its obvious that those words meant Germany Must Rule the World in the context in which they were written (1929). The author, a prominent Nazi Leader assassinated by a Jewish Communist in 1930. Hitler, of course, made him a martyr and used the incident to ignite public fervor in support of Hitler's viciously aggressive agenda.

    7. PS: I neglected to mention the martyred author's name was Horst Wessel.The song, or "anthem," if you prefer, is known as DIE HORST-WESSEL-LIED, and has been banned in Germany since Nuremberg, and throughout Europe.

      It should, of course, be PERFORMED and STUDIED to help understand the tenor of the times in which it was written. It should not be SUPPRESSED.

      "He who cannot remember the past, is condemned to repeat it."

      ~ George Santayana (loosely quoted)

  2. I go along with what Jacobson said:

    Ken Jacobson, deputy national director of the Anti-Defamation League, which fights anti-Semitism and racism, said that he could not judge the canceled Carnegie Hall piece without listening to it but urged reflection before banning artwork that cites offensive material.

    1. I don't see any hint of this work being banned from this article. It's just not being played on this occasion. Not the same thing at all.

      I definitely urge reflection before banning artwork (in fact, I'm pretty much against banning, period) but surely we should allow symphonies, broadcasters and publishers a chance to reflect before releasing controversial material? They have the right to select what they put out, I think.

    2. Jez,

      "but surely we should allow symphonies, broadcasters and publishers a chance to reflect before releasing controversial material?"

      That smacks of state control and coersion. I'm sure you didn't mean that the way I read it???

      Classical composers routinely fold in folk tunes and other song snippets and that seems to be what this young man did, and in context to a higher purpose.

      The people who banned this should be pelted with eggs and rotten vegetables. This is a horror and a travesty.

    3. You're right, I didn't it that way. my tacit assumption is that the symphony, broadcaster or publisher in question is private (which is not always the case of course; institutions like the BBC are in a stickier moral position): all I'm saying is a private paper is under no obligation to publish your article, and pointing out that this is different from censorship.

    4. I'm glad you clarified your earlier statement, Jez. Since I am a strong advocate not only of freedom of expression, but also of the right of individuals and private organizations to exercise their preferences freely, I agree with what you've just said.

      The problem in THIS case, as i see it, however, is the way a certain paranoid, vengeance-prone element among the Jews has made a virtual profession out of ruthlessly tracking, hunting down, exposing and making a public stink about every instance of "anti-Semitism," real or imagined they may find. I think SEVENTY YEARS after WWII ENDED that this practice, which may have bee understandable early on, has transformed itself into a kind of Obsessive-Cmpulsive Disorder.

      Their very own Scripture (and ours by extension) says, "Vengeance belongs to God." An unwillingness to abide by that ancient precept keeps hatred, fear, resentment and incessant dissonance alive. that can't be good for the world, and it's certainly can't be good for the Jews, since hatred reflected in hatred perpetuates itself and grows stronger with age.

    5. Jacobson's statement is laudable, but given what has happened, and the nature of his organization -- and why it happened -- I wonder if he truly means what he said. There's always an awful lot of hypocritical CYA in politics and any kind of public relations. And yes I am as cynical about these people as I am about he Arabs. After all, a Semite is a Semite is a Semite no matter whose banner he parades under or what cause he purports to serve.

      There is a good reason why most Middle Easterners strike most of us as abrasive, aggressive, obnoxious, deceptive and untrustworthy.

  3. Hitler was a virulent anti-Communist as well as a renowned anti-Semite.

    Early in the last century anti-Communism and anti-Semitism were virtually synonymous.

    If anyone would like to make an attempt to explain why, it might be interesting to hear. I haven't the time to go into it, myself, right now.

    Perhaps Waylon might come along and take a stab at it? I think he may understand the situation.

    Meanwhile, I'll give you three guesses as to who runs the Musical Establishment in New York today and for man decades prior.

    1. Soviet Communists were also virulent anti-semites, so I believe it is cultural. Jews in Europe were learned and successful, so they made easy scapegoats. My Grandpa talked about it.

    2. I'm sorry, Kurt, but your grandpa was mistaken. I haven't time to get into i now, but Communism and Bolshevism were concepts largely dreamt up and brutally administered by JEWS in Russia.

      This might not seem palatable to a fully indoctrinated modern man such as yourself, but it is well-documented, if you want to look for it, but the information -- like most things that dare to criticize or reflect poorly on the Jews -- has been largely suppressed and roundly condemned by the modern Intellectual Establishment that has been largely dominated by -- GUESS WHOM? -- since Nuremberg -- and frankly long before.

      Hitler was not ALL wrong, believe it or not, but he very stupidly chose to fight Evil WITH Evil, and thus destroyed himself, his country, and in the process made "anti-Communism" a dirty word.

      Enter -- and EXIT -- Senator Joseph McCarthy along with all meaningful resistance to the Marxist onslaught against the United State of Americas via the powerfully insidious perversion of her popular culture. If you don't want to believe that, look at what happened posthumously to J. Edgar Hoover and to Richard M. Nixon during his last term in office after winning an historic landslide victory over a fatuous Marxist Shill.

      Hitler may have regarded himself as an "anti-Communist," but in the end he turned out to be the Best Friend that depraved movement ever could have had -- a hideous legacy from which we may never recover.

    3. NO, Freethinke, my Grandpa's eyewitness account was NOT mistaken. Were you there?

      He spoke in neutral terms of the casual but non-violent attitude he and other held of the Jews who lived among them: Sly people who always got the best end of a bargain, etc. That was the milieu.

      It doesn't take a Soviet or Nazi demagogue much effort to mold such attitudes into pogroms and death camps.

      If you take Jewish involvement in bolshevism and conflate that to say that the Soviet Empire was a Jewish Communist empire, you're the kook.

      History documents that Jewish people were indeed involved in Soviet and international communism, but other Jews were targeted by the communist soviet regime, so what do you conclude from this?

      Perhaps you should make time to explain it to the ignorant fools in your midst whose ancestors lied to them.

    4. Have it your way then, but please don't EVER stoop to calling ME names, especially at my own blog. I don't permit anyone else to do it, and it's wrong for me to make an exception, even in your admittedly special case, but I will -- just this once -- for old times' sake.

      I can see you have generalized anger issues you need to deal with. (Don't we all? ;-)

    5. PS: I may have phrased it poorly, but I was NOT trying to call your grandfather a LIAR. I merely said that I thought his interpretation of what he saw was mistaken. The Jewish intellectuals, and political leaders have done a marvelous job of pitting the rest of us against each other, and spreading self-serving confusion since we have only been permitted to learn about history ONLY from THEIR perspective since the end of WWII.

      Just as the era of complete Leftist Domination of the News and Information Business was finally broken thanks largely to efforts of Bill Buckley, Rush Limbaugh, Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes and their creation of Conservative Talk Radio and FOX News, the time has come to break the CHOKEHOLD the Chosen have put on anyone who dares to challenge, analyze, criticize or correct THEIR self-serving view of history and recent events.

      If you think Carnegie Hall would have banned the performance of a symphony that featured avowedly COMMUNIST themes, or material that glorified Fidel Castro or Che Guevara, please think again. This controversy has arisen entirely because of JEWISH CONTROL of New York's musical, and much of its cultural, life.

      Try getting a book, a poem or an article published or a movie produced whose themes don't support and resonate well with the Socialist Agenda, and you'll see exactly what I mean.

      Remember how Mel Gibson was raked over the coals and virtually CRUCIFIED in the press when he had the unmitigated gall to make The Passion of the Christ a few short years ago? Even the august, generally conservative CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER came out foursquare against that, and INSISTED it was fully intended as nothing more or less than BLOOD LIBEL against the JEWS.

      The Jewish Community was up in arms about The Passion of the Christ and would gladly have had the film SUPPRESSED and all copies CONFISCATED and INCINERATED, but --- for once -- they did NOT get their way. Hallelujah!

      I did not like the movie, but saw the whole brouhaha as a sign of progress.

      Sooner or later, "Murder will out," as Chaucer said, and so, thank God, will the TRUTH -- whatever it may turn out to be -- for none of us has ever been permitted to know for sure -- not even our grandfathers.

    6. FreeThinke,
      No hard feelings, but you jumped on my comment without understanding it.

      My Grandpa was essentially a peasant, and his reportage was that of a person on the ground. Jews were viewed as a people apart and distinct, tricky, sly, good with money, all the stereotypes. His observations concord with other contemporaneous accounts of the Eastern Europe of that era. That was my point.

      It is your blog, and you can delete or not whatever you want, but you may want to consider that some people don't like to be called "fully indoctrinated" and have their family members insulted.

      Again, no hard feelings, just letting you know where I am coming from.

    7. " ... Jews were viewed as a people apart and distinct, tricky, sly, good with money, all the stereotypes."

      They were "viewed" that way, because it happened to be the truth. They really ARE different, -- they have very deliberately set themselves apart and often hold attitudes profoundly antithetical to whatever surroundings they find themselves in. In fact they PRIDE themselves on remaining SEPARATE and DISTINCT from everyone else. That may be hard swallow, bit it happens to be the TRUTH. And, as most of us learn sooner or later, the TRUTH is often ugly, unpalatable, and rarely flatters ANYONE.

      As AOW indicates in her Blog Slogan. "THE TRUTH is NOT HATE SPEECH."

      As for being "indoctrinated," you've admitted as much to me, yourself, when you said a long time when I made one of my frequent references to the ill effects of pop culture, you said, "Yes. I've been marinating on it all my life." It's hardly an insult, because virtually every one under the age of 65 today has been similarly immersed, which I believe is why everything seems to be going to Hell in Jet skis.

      And I did NOT insult your grandfather. Please don't be silly. I thought you knew me too well by now ever to even think of attributing any such motive to me. [There! I split an infinitive, just in your honor. I hope that mollifies you. ;-]

    8. Not wanting to insert myself into an internal squabble about insulting anyone's grand parents here, I do believe that Soviet Bolshevism was imposed on the Russian people by powers beyond the borders of Russia.
      Plenty of evidence exists to support this idea since the leaders of the October Revolution, such as Lenin and Trotsky had both been deported from Russia for previous activities to inspire a revolution to overthrow the existing Tsarist regime in Russia. Lenin was given safe passage back to Russia from Switzerland and Trotsky was given safe passage from New York. And it's not wrong to recognize that far more Jews (at least in terms of a percentage of the ethnicity of the Russian population—than any other group) were involved in bringing about the imposition of Bolshevism.

      We've had the benefit of perspective today in looking back and into events that shaped history such as this. Someone living through and witnessing some of the events would have a different perception. But as with most events the first eye witness reports can be skewed by personal experiences and being bombarded by the slant of the media reporting the events. The same could be said of today and some of the biggest events of the current century. Time will allow a more in depth understanding of how the perceptions of today may have been adversely affected by the influence of the media in attempting to be "the journal of record".

      Trotsky lived and worked in New York sponsored by the Jewish financier Jacob Schiff. His passage back to Russia was paid by this American immigrant from Germany.

      This is not the "history" taught to the masses in our public schools. Why is there a discrepancy between the Cole's Notes version of history taught publicly and a second version that seems to be known well by the elite manipulators of the masses? And it seems to be seeping through the cracks so that it's become more widely available to those looking for "something else"?

      The theoreticians of Marxism were mostly Jewish and one of the more obscure, Moses Hess, the mentor of Karl Marx, is recognized and held in a place of honor in Israel today, after his entombed corpse was removed from its original place of burial to 'bring it home' to Israel.

    9. Could you summarize this secret history known only to the elite manipulators? I've seen a few variations on the theme "a lot of early communists were Jews," is there anything more to it?

    10. If you are sincerely interested, Jez, you might want to delve into the work of this man,even though he has been, quite naturally, the target of much abuse by those devoted to perpetuating the self-serving myths leading Jews have constructed about their people and foisted on the world. MacDonald is a serious scholar with excellent credentials not some hate-filled anti-Semitic zealot with a desire to harm and defame Jews with lies and propaganda. In addition you might want to look into the history of one time Washington Post columnist Joseph Sobran.

      Kevin Macdonald
      Born January 24, 1944 (age 71)
      Oshkosh, Wisconsin, U.S.
      Nationality American
      Alma mater - University of Wisconsin–Madison (B.A.)
      University of Connecticut (M.Sc.)
      University of Connecticut (Ph.D)
      Occupation Professor of Psychology at California State University
      Notable work The Culture of Critique series

      The Culture of Critique is an important work in my not-very-humble estimation.

      No matter how it may appear my interest in this admittedly touchy subject does not stem from personal hatred, but from my belief that no one -- absolutely NO ONE -- should be given carte blanche to place himself so high above others that he should be permitted to get away with exempting himself from honest critical analysis or any questioning of his motives and character.

      In the largest sense we are ALL ultimately responsible for our own fate. I feel very strongly it is up to each of us to realize he must adjust to the world as it is, and not take the position that the world must change its ways to accommodate, and then act accordingly. Those unwilling to learn that basic lesson automatically put themselves on a collision course with life.

      Why extremely intelligent individuals often seem to have no common sense and little regard for others is a mystery that has always troubled me. I see it as a form of mental illness born of a notable lack of empathy, and unmitigated egoism.

    11. Jez, Anthony Sutton, wrote several books about the financing of both Nazism and Communism exposing those who supported it if you are interested.

      He was a professor at Stanford but he paid a heavy price being blackballed from his profession for his revelations and came to America from England, I believe.

      A Congressional inquiry, the Reece Committee, took place in the early 1950's into American charitable foundations, who was behind them and how they influence the social and political atmosphere in our world. Although the inquiry was eventually derailed what was found was stunning and never talked about in public.

      NORMAN DODD participated in this inquiry and the insights he left behind are most interesting, at least to the honestly inquiring mind, IMO.

    12. MacDonald's associations with David Duke and Stormfront leadership is troubling, to say the least.

    13. I found this quote from MacDonald (he's replying to a critical letter from Stephen Pinker):

      ... the default assumption is that individuals are pursuing their ethnic interest. Research in the ethnic motivations of people is perfectly respectable. No one would be surprised if Mexican activists advocated the interests of Mexicans in immigration and affirmative action. Nor would we be surprised if Jewish activists promoted the interests of Israel. We shouldn't be surprised if Jewish social scientists were motivated by their ethnic interests. It's an empirical question that can be investigated like any other question in the social sciences, and I think I was able to confirm the hypothesis that Jewish social scientists have been motivated by their ethnic interests by originating and dominating some very influential intellectual and political movements.

      I wonder about that default assumption. I think only a small minority of people are particularly fussed about promoting their ethnic group, (loyalty is to family, neighbourhood, country etc. but not ethnicity, at least not any more) but I admit that the he might get better mileage out of that assumption in the late 19th century.

    14. There's a big difference between national interests of Jews in say Israel and the subject of the blog post of the Jewish influence over American media and culture, which would not exactly be Jewish "national interests", strictly speaking.

      Alan Sobrosky a Jewish ex-CIA agent speaks to some of those issues in an interesting interview conducted by an apparent Muslim lady, who refreshingly allows a guest to speak while remaining mostly in the background.

  4. I guess that no one is allowed to liberate libidinal elements and restore them to a pre-ideological state... once associated with Nazi's... always associated with Nazi's.

    1. The following artists and songs must NEVER again be played in public, lest some perpetually offended person be offended.

    2. I dunno. We still have Wagner. We still have Nietzsche. Not all has been lost.

    3. Yes, Jez, although Nietzsche, apparently, was anything but an anti-Semite, despite Hitler's famed use of selective quotations from Nietzsche's work for propaganda purposes, -- and popular perceptions to the contrary.

      As for Wagner, I've often noted the sublime irony that James Levine, longtime music director of New York's Metropolitan Opera, is one of the greatest interpreters of Wagner's Music Dramas who ever lived. Levine, –– who is notably, undeniably Jewish, –– is sincerely devoted to Wagner's work, and has a deep love and an obvious affinity for it. I've experienced Levine's conducting at the Met innumerable times, and never did he fail to bring whatever he was conducting fully, brilliantly to life.

      Art, Serious Music, Theater Music, and High Culture of all varieties have found no better friend than the Jews -- especially since the latter half of the twentieth century.

    4. Sorry, FJ, but frankly "Rammstein" is as ugly as Naziism, itself. 'Twould be a severe punishment for to be forced to listen to it -- or look at it -- for any appreciable length of time. When it comes to so-called music of certain genres, you and I will have to agree to disagree and let it go at that.

      As for all those supposedly banned and discredited composers and musicians virtually all their music is frequently performed and celebrated among the musical cognoscenti everywhere in the world.

      I do not know everyone on that list, but I am acquainted with most of them, and with the exception of Elly Ney, a very great pianist, whose career WAS ruined in the post-War period, I can think of no one else whose abilities were not celebrated. Elly Ney's splendid performances of selected Beethoven sonatas, and the Chopin E-Minor concerto, performed, I believe, at the Hollywood Bowl, may be heard on YouTube today.

      As for Herbert Von Karajan, he was highly touted, much admired, even VENERATED during a long, highly profitable international career.

      I was surprised not to the name of Elisabeth Schwarzkopf on the list of "despised Nazis." She had a very long, highly acclaimed career as a lieder singer an internationally acclaimed operatic soprano famed for her unforgettably beautiful portrayals of Mozart's heroines and as the Marschallin in Richard Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier, and for leading roles Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos and his Capriccio. She retired from singing, eventually, but kept on giving well-attended masterclasses practically till the day she died not so long ago at the age of eighty-nine.

      Schwarzkopf frankly admitted -- smilingly on camera -- that she had been a member of the Nazi party, but dismissed it as meaningless, because, as she said, "We all were, it was necessary for our survival."

      I don't believe Richard Strauss was ever a member of the Nazi party, but, if I remember rightly, he did remain in Germany for the duration of the war.

  5. "We believe deeply in a free creative process. But along with freedom comes responsibility...

    Spot on!

    Tarm ought to have expressed to symphony management the relevance for including the 45 second sound snippet.

    I am not a proponent of censorship, or banning art or any ideas carte blanche, however freedom demands responsible action(s). If we are to remain free from tyranny.

    1. Censorship of ANY kind -- except the banning of Islam, and other forms of seditious, anti-American propaganda, sibtle and otherwise, in my opinion -- IS tyranny, Gandolf.

      Jefferson said something to this effect; "I am unalterably opposed to any form of tyranny over the mind of Man." He probably would not have agreed with what I said above, but he had no idea at the time of the tremendous power manifestly evil philosophers like Karl Marx, vicious activists like the Bolsheviks, and insidious propagandists like the members of the Frankfurt School could amass, nor could he have foreseen the immense harm that could be wrought by sophistry and guile widely disseminated via the power of modern methods of mass communication among a naive, unsophisticated, all-too-human, eminently gullible population.

      "If men are precluded from offering their sentiments on a matter which may involve the most serious and alarming consequences that can invite the consideration of mankind, reason is of no use to us; the freedom of speech may be taken away, dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep, to the slaughter."

      ~ George Washington (1732-1799)

      Washington's use of the language was certainly awkward and cumbersome, but his heart was decidedly in the right place.

      "We can never be sure that the opinion we wish to stifle is a false opinion; and if we were sure, stifling it would be an evil still."

      ~ John Stuart Mill (1806-1873)

      JSM was a great deal more liberal than I, but he too, like Jefferson, had not yet experienced the power of intellectual aggression by those with evil intent, even though one could easily argue the American Revolution probably would not and could not have taken place were it not for the stimulating, inspiring ideas brought by John Locke, Francis Bacon, David Hume, Isaac Newton, Voltaire, Descartes, Emerich Vatel, et al. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_Enlightenment]

      The provocative pamphleteer Thomas Paine had a great deal to do with synthesizing and popularizing ideas brought forth by these important thinkers, and Jefferson, himself, fully acknowledged his debt to all of them in helping him compose the Declaration of Independence.

      SO, let us never underestimate the power of IDEAS -- or the power of evil men to PERVERT them, and thus SUBVERT their SPIRIT and ORIGINAL INTENT.

    2. ... or the power of evil men to PERVERT them, and thus SUBVERT their SPIRIT and ORIGINAL INTENT.

      I, like Smith, am undoubtedly less conservative than you, however on this we are in full agreement. And, evil is not limited to just one ideology.

  6. TO the ABOVE COMMENTS as of 9:00 AM:

    Apparently, composer Jonas Tarm quoted none of the words in the piece in question and used only part of the tune. "Tunes" or "themes" are neutral territory to composers of serious music. Beethoven, for instance, wrote one of his most profoundly significant piano works on a trivial, pointedly banal theme by music publisher Anton Diabelli. Beethoven also wrote a less auspicious set of variations on
    the tune we Americans know as "My Country, 'tis of Thee and the British know as "God Save Our Gracious King [or Queen, whatever the case may be in any given period. ;-] I do not know what association BEETHOVEN made with the tune, but whatever i was did no stop him from using it to write a extended musical composition. Likewise, Mozart wrote a charming set of variations on the tune we know as "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star," or "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep" or "A-B-C-D-E-F-G." MOZART, however, knew none of that, the tune to him was Ah, vous dirais-je, Maman" which I have to admit I have never bothered to translate, even though I performed the piece extensively when I was still giving recitals. I think it literally means "Ah, would I tell you, Mother" which doesn't make much sense. Perhaps someone more conversant in French than I would care to add to our store of knowledge on this?

    The point is that tunes or musical themes are eminently malleable -- in the right hands. To attach innate political significance to a mere succession of musical tones is patently absurd.

    1. Just listened to "Ah, vous dirais-je, Maman" now. Could we persuade you to post a commentary on it? It's all very acrobatic, but I'm not catching anything beyond that.
      Whereas Beethoven's variations are more pleasing to me. Could be that it's a richer theme to begin with, but what I think I'm responding to is the harmonic texture.

    2. Well, Jez, as has oft been said, "there's no accounting for taste," so there's probably nothing I could say that might change your response to the Mozart, but a great deal depends on who you heard perform it.

      Here are two excellent, but very different renditions of Mozart’s Variations on Ah, vous dirais-je, Maman.

      First we have Clara Haskil’s classically chaste version, which I discovered in the late 1950's and was completely besotted with. It served as the Ideal Role Model when I learned the piece, but I wound up playing it very differently even so. If you're any good at all as an interpreter and performer, different ways of phrasing, pacing, tempo and dynamic gradation naturally occur to you, and once you know the piece throughly, you start to experiment. Results vary, of course, but as long as you work within certain agreed upon parameters, the possibilities for subtly varied interpretation of a given work are endless. Other than a feeble display of out-and-out ineptitude, nothing could be worse than a sterile rendition that merely imitates slavishly what another artist did with the work.

      Mozart, himself, improvised freely on the repeat sections of his own compositions -- a hangover from the Baroque Era when such was standard practice in public performance. Beethoven was famous for his spontaneous public improvisations on themes given to him by members of the audience. I have read too that Chopin never played any of his works the same way twice, but I, Alas! was not there to witness it.


      Here is Lang Lang’s more personal, deeply expressive, but sometimes rather boisterous, almost flamboyant interpretation.


      I hope this helps you to enjoy the work more. It was never intended to provide a profound, soul-searching experience, but rather the unabashed enjoyment of a youthful romp through sun-drenched fields with a moment's pause for reflection in the shade of a nearby tree before the merry chase begins again. It's mood is innocent and child-like, but never child-ish -- two very different things.

      Music was not created to be analyzed and criticized. It has always been meant for us to enjoy.

    3. I'm starting to like it better now, especially by the time I got to Lang Lang's recording, partly due to the higher fidelity recording, and the drier-sounding room (less reverb is more to my taste); or it could be his bombast is well suited to Mozart's silly romps; or it might be I'm becoming more familiar with the piece.
      Anyway, thanks. I appreciate that you chose two performances, they certainly give very different perspectives, don't they?

      I found this the other day, I'm still waiting for a suitable moment to pay attention to it properly:


      Have you seen it? It's Glenn Gould playing fugues and analyzing them somewhat with a sidekick (dunno who). Anyway, I love it. I have a strong impulse to analyze music that interests me. I'm less interested in performing than I am in just knowing how it works.

    4. Discovering how stunning Clara Haskil is with other works. :)

    5. Hi, Jez,

      I am delighted to see you are getting turned on by Clara Haskil. I've been one of her greatest admirers for more than fifty years, and she provided me with a magnificent role model to emulate and an ideal toward which to strive. She played a huge chunk of the piano literature, but I've always felt her Mozart and her Schumann were extraordinary in a field overcrowded with highly competent virtuosi.

      Glenn Gould was like The Girl With the Curl "right in the middle of her forehead. When he was good, he was very very good, but when he was bad he was horrid." I was alive and well when GG first rose to prominence with a televised broadcast of the Bach D-Minor Concerto for Harpsichord and Orchestra. He played it on the piano, of course, which –– thanks to Wanda Landowska and the Harpsichord Revival and Baroque Renaissance she brought about almost single-handedly –– was practically a no-no. At any rate Gould, did such remarkably beautiful things with tempo, phrasing, touch and dynamics even a peasant could realize he was in the presence of something extraordinary.

      Gould's performance of that concerto was a revelation. He broke new ground and set new standards. After that he recorded The Goldberg Variations, a work originally commissioned to help put a wealthy man to sleep, 'tis said, and turned what-had-been considered a rather dull scholarly experience serious students of music felt obliged to endure into a spectacular demonstration of such scintillating brilliance and penetrating insight no earnest student of keyboard music has ever been prone to avoid it since. It's been about fifty-five years since Gould made that historic recording of the Goldbergs and to this day, I don't believe his achievement has ever been surpassed, although the afore-mentioned Landowska's historic recording made in the early 1930's on the unique Pleyel harpsichord she designed specially for herself is equally brilliant and compelling, but recognized for what it is only among the musical cognoscenti. It was Gould, however, who made the thorny, highly extended work as close to being "popular" as it ever has been in it's more-than 250-year existence. [NOTE: A recent recording by the elegant, uncommonly sensitive pianist, Simona Dinnerstein, gives Gould a run for his money, albeit with an entirely different approach, but Dinnerstein gives GG full credit for being her greatest inspiration.]

      On the other hand Gould ––- a consummate musical and pianistic genius who could do anything he happened to feel like doing at the keyboard with no trouble whatsoever –– often displayed a cynical contempt for his audience by giving notably perverse -- even demented sounding -- renditions of many of Beethoven's greatest piano works and of the Brahms D-Minor concerto in particular. When he was "bad," it felt as though he were mentally thumbing his nose at both the composer and at his audience.

      HOWEVER, his recording of the Beethoven G-Major Concerto, Opus 58, better known as "The Beethoven 4th," is by far my favorite recorded performance of a work for which most of us have a special affection.

      I still feel the shock of Gould's sudden death at the age of 52. I'm sure he still had a great deal to say with his incredible ability. I've always felt deprived that he left us so early.

      Most of his work from the sublime to the ridiculous is available on YouTube, thank God. So is much of Landowska's recorded legacy. Something to savor and learn from for the rest of our born days.

  7. This is sickening. This young man's work cannot be compared to the Klinghoffer play.

    This all reminds me of Dmitri Shostakovich and the tightrope that composer walked as he lived and made music in the Soviet Union.

    I recently attended a performance of his 5th Symphony, and I was moved throughout the tapestry of mournfulness, dictatorial militaristic domination, but yet with history, folk culture, and eternal hope springing up. The finale, complete with booming drums, is chilling.

    1. BRAVO! You are exposing hidden depths you normally seem to want to conceal for some odd reason. If you are able to get that much stimulation and understanding from a performance of any work by Shostakovitch, you have great potential as a devotee of serious music -- a capacity you have often denied. Good for you!


    2. Someone explained it to me beforehand, and I read the historical background to it all, so I can't claim any credit. It is a beautiful work.

    3. If you honestly FELT the beauty of Shostakovitch's work, and were not merely quoting others to convey "canned" information, you most certainly DO deserve credit for developing greater sensitivity and expanding you musical horizons. One doesn't have to BE "original" in order to appreciate the wonder of creative genius at work. Developing a love for the great achievements of others is possibly the essence of what it may mean to be "educated."

      They don't call it "culture" for nothing. The implies CULTIVATION -- as opposed to just letting oneself grow wild "like Topsy." ;-)

      Please give yourself credit for the profound intellectual curiosity you possess. It is as much a Gift from God as anything else -- something to be nurtured and cherished.

  8. I recently watched an interesting discussion and meltdown by the redoubtable "compassionate conservative", Joe Scarborough, on the subject of anti-Semitism in America, specifically on the campus of UCLA.

    There is plenty of irony in the segment that seems to be lost on Scarborough who must be completely oblivious to the ownership of the esteemed network that pays him and his like-minded cohorts, also the shaking of the pages of "the newspaper of record" by another stiff on the set. Are they that clueless to the domination of the Western media today by "Jewish interests" who must be rolling on the floors of their offices in Rockefeller Center at their trained pit bulls attacking their perceived campus anti-semitism while these larded parasites pouring their pop-cult sewage into the living rooms of America 24/7/365.

  9. I always understood why orchestras did not perform music that was closely related to Nazi Germany in Israel, but I never understood the point in America. Most Americans wouldn't even know the references, and the context of the performance isn't going to be some Springtime for Hitler thing anyway. Some of the music is very good, and hardly any of it was a product of the regime in any way, but most all co-opted works already widely popular.


    1. That's exactly right, Jersey. Thank you. Let's just say that there are always "some people" who love to make an "issue" out of anything they can grab, and beat it to death in public. I've never understood why, but maybe it goes this way: If you can't compose a symphony, complain about someone who can or denigrate their work, instead.

      And then there's always an element that, apparently, lives just to call attention to itself. To them there is no such thing as bad publicity as long as they're getting noticed. We see it all the time on the blogs, don't we? ;-)

      I've known more than one perfectly respectable church woman who thought "getting her name in the paper" was the Ultimate End and Prime Motivation for any of the good works she regularly performed -- all for show. I don't think those women really gave a damn about anybody but themselves, yet they DID perform helpful tasks for others all the time.

      Human beings are a strange lot, aren't we?

    2. JMJ,
      I strong agree with your comment @ March 11, 2015 at 1:26 AM.

      Playing the songs at Holocaust museums anywhere would be wrong, of course. But Carnegie Hall isn't a Holocaust museum, is it?

  10. FT,
    The song, or "anthem," if you prefer, is known as DIE HORST-WESSEL-LIED, and has been banned in Germany since Nuremberg, and throughout Europe.

    It should, of course, be PERFORMED and STUDIED to help understand the tenor of the times in which it was written. It should not be SUPPRESSED.

    I agree.

    I have to wonder how many people today even recognize the song as "offensive" -- particularly if the words are not sung.

    Elie Wiesel, a still-living Holocaust survivor, might. But who else?

    Besides, the composer included only a snippet of the song and apparently for the purpose of drawing important parallels with other heinous events.

    1. I'm offended by this anthem, and I don't even know how it goes. You don't have to have been personally targeted by the Nazis for their propaganda material to make your skin crawl.
      However, I'm not against being offended if it's to good artistic purpose.
      This piece might well qualify, but it looks like the symphony's position is that he didn't make himself available to explain it to them. If that's a fair representation of what's happened, this will hopefully teach him valuable lessons about the business he's hoping to enter, and scored some hot publicity. Cucumber sandwiches all round?



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