Wagner vs. the Jews

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Wagner vs. the Jews

Postby Blackberry » Thu Sep 26, 2002 8:05 am

I heard on NPR that Israeli music stations have been avoiding playing Wagner on the air, but some have recently begun to play him again. If I remember correctly, some stations that play him, not all, announce that they will play a Wagner piece in advance so that listeners can tune out if they wish. Apparently, Wagner hated the Jews with Nazi-style fervor, and many people who survived the Holocaust hate his music because of its close connection with the Nazis.<P>What do you think about modern day stations in Israel playing Wagner? What do you think about how a composer's views influence his music?
"Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves and another among Men." - Aragorn
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Re: Wagner vs. the Jews

Postby tancred » Thu Sep 26, 2002 9:23 am

I don't know. There has always been anti-semetism and perhaps it is best if we try to keep seperate the music and the man. For instance, Mahler was born a Jew but converted to Catholicism. Does that bother the good folks in Israel?<BR>Tanc, rabid Zionist :)
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Re: Wagner vs. the Jews

Postby Nicole Marie » Thu Sep 26, 2002 12:13 pm

I agree that you can't judge the music based on the person. If it's good music and if you enjoy it then you should listen to it. Radio stations in Isreal should play Wagners music. Barenboim has been a great leader in showing that Wagners compositions are about the music not the man. <P>This is a great link that talks about his views on music: <A HREF="http://www.cigaraficionado.com/Cigar/Aficionado/people/fj696.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.cigaraficionado.com/Cigar/Aficionado/people/fj696.html</A>
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Re: Wagner vs. the Jews

Postby DavidEB310 » Thu Sep 26, 2002 12:53 pm

This topic has the sound of a 50's Sci-Fi:<P>Wagner vs. the Jews<P>Earth vs. the Flying Saucers.<P>We all just need to get along...
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Re: Wagner vs. the Jews

Postby audiogirl » Fri Sep 27, 2002 12:04 pm

I don't necessarily think you can judge the music by the composer's political leanings, and they don't have to listen, but I think Israel is understandably upset. Just imagine:<P>"Good morning! It's 7:05 in the Big Apple! Up next, we've got suspected Al Qaeda sympathizer (insert name here)'s 3rd symphony, so stay tuned!"<P>Wouldn't we be upset?
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Re: Wagner vs. the Jews

Postby Nicole Marie » Fri Sep 27, 2002 1:24 pm

Wagner held some pretty low views but you need to separate his personal views from his music. We all have our own biases and prejudices. If we were judged daily on them we'd never leave the house. I hate Brintey Spears and if people could not forgive me for that I'd have packs of 12 years running me down everyday. If there was a member of Al Queda writing music... I am able to separate the person from the music. That is the point with this question.
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Re: Wagner vs. the Jews

Postby audiogirl » Fri Sep 27, 2002 3:16 pm

I was mostly responding to the first question, which I interpreted to be about the appropriateness/sensitivity of playing Wagner's music in a country in which Jews do not want to hear it. I don't blame them. <P>Yes, a horrible person can certainly compose music that is enjoyable. <P>Yes, you can hate Britney Spears all you want, but that is more a matter of taste, rather than racism, don't you think?<P>However, if you chose to affiliate yourself with a group that brought about the slaughter of 6 million innocent Britney Spears fans, 12 million parents might have a problem with listening to your music, brilliant though it may be. <P>I guess what I'm saying is, if Israelis don't want to anything to with Wagner, I can understand why.
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Re: Wagner vs. the Jews

Postby Nicole Marie » Fri Sep 27, 2002 3:29 pm

But all Israelis are not against Wagner and to censor the music for some is absolutely wrong.<P>I am 100% against censorship of any kind of music. If you don't like it... simply turn it off.<p>[ 09-27-2002: Message edited by: Nicole Marie ]
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Re: Wagner vs. the Jews

Postby tancred » Mon Sep 30, 2002 10:20 am

The Nazi's adopted Wagner,he did not adopt them. For instance, they liked the whole Ring Cycle as a kind of testament to German Superiority. On the other hand, Charlie Chaplin's The Great Dictator makes use of things from Lohengrin. Lohengrin's main theme is salvation through selflessness. Both by Wagner but used in diametrically -opposed circumstances. As Shakespeare observed, " The Devil can site scripture for his purposes". :D
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Re: Wagner vs. the Jews

Postby barfle » Mon Sep 30, 2002 11:33 am

I understand that Wagner was a fairly rabid anti-semite, and that's definitely some minus points for him. However, I have to agree with tanc that the Nazis adopted him, so equating Wagner with the Nazis is guilt by association.<P>It's the old "he who is not with us is against us" situation. I recall a news broadcast a few years ago when a Wagner piece was played in Israel. It went OK until a fairly soft passage (in Wagner?) and a member of the audience started spinning a noisemaker. The other members got him to stop, but his point was made.<P>I'm fortunate enough to not be in the middle of that foray, so I really can't comprehend the feelings of Jews who despise his music so much. I'm not all that sure I can respect them, either. Hatred like that keeps the old wounds festering. You can't ignore the holocaust, but it's time for more healing.
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Re: Wagner vs. the Jews

Postby thornhill » Mon Sep 30, 2002 5:38 pm

I'm a little late here...<P>The reason that Wagner's music has always been unofficially censored in Israeli was not because he was an anti-Semite, but because Wagner's music was played in concentration camps, and many Holocaust survivors say that when they hear the music, they are reminded of being in the camps. Since the number of survivors is obviously at an all time low, many people in Israel have been asking how much longer they will have to remain sensitive to these survivors.
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Re: Wagner vs. the Jews

Postby Blackberry » Tue Oct 01, 2002 8:48 am

Good post, Thornhill. That makes the most sense. And Barfle, what you said about the need for healing is right; but the holocaust was a horror that will scar its victims for life. I think we should give survivors the same dignified disgression we give war veterins. We might play Wagner now and then, but we should be gentle with those with horrible memories ground into them. May God bless them with His incomprehensible peace.<P>Now that we've had a good discussion, let me ask why we should be able to separate the composer from the music? Are there standards or values within musical art (or life in general) that allow us to judge a work independent of its intent or the views of its author? Can a work stand alone on its merit as good or bad? If it can, why?
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Re: Wagner vs. the Jews

Postby BenMurphy6 » Tue Oct 01, 2002 10:10 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR> Now that we've had a good discussion, let me ask why we should be able to separate the composer from the music? Are there standards or values within musical art (or life in general) that allow us to judge a work independent of its intent or the views of its author? Can a work stand alone on its merit as good or bad? If it can, why? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>because most great music (note that i said "most") is <B>art for the sake of art</B>. for some reason it seems to be harder for people to separate the composer from the music than it is for, say, the artist from the painting. i think it's the same thing. music is art; it exists for the sake of itself, and i think it's unfair to condemn it based on the characteristics of the artist who created it (who is, first and foremost, an artist. not an anti-semite or a misogynist or whatever. an artist).
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Re: Wagner vs. the Jews

Postby tancred » Tue Oct 01, 2002 12:33 pm

Remember the line from Amadeus: "Forgive me, Majesty. I am a vulgar man- but I can assure you my music is not."<BR>Case and point. :D
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Re: Wagner vs. the Jews

Postby priya978 » Sun Oct 13, 2002 10:49 pm

i believe that the Isrealis have a right to ignore Wagner's music ( I'm personally not very fond of it) he he really was associated with the Nazi's( EVIL!!!!!!!!!!) but still if a isreali likes his music they should listen to him regardless of what other people say or do for. They also have the right to that. :roll:
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