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 View the original news item
Israeli politicians shun Barenboim alberts322
Wed Jul 25 2001 16:39
Since this is based on Hitler's favorite composer, Richard Wagner, I wonder how many other Hitler favorites are on their no-no list? I understand Hitler was a vegetarian of sorts so are vegetables banned, too. How about Hitler's favorite cake, candy, sport, poet, writer, painter, ad nauseum? How ridiculous! If this behavior were the standard, virtually every known artist, philosopher, writer, or other world famous personality, would never again get a hearing.

I understand that Wagner's music might evoke memories of the horrors of the Holicaust but then, too, so does barbed wire, which is used extensively in Israel. I could go on and on with this nonsense but it won't make a lick of difference to those determined to make a show of their emotions.

Albert Strasser
Edgewater Park NJ
 
re: Israeli politicians shun Barenboim mcdade
Thu Jul 26 2001 16:36
Might also be worth pointing out at this stage that all the other senior Nazis hated Wagner and went along with it only under sufferance.
 
re: Israeli politicians shun Barenboim Serverguy
Thu Jul 26 2001 16:42
This is NUTZ! Hitler ate food. Do Jews not eat because of that?!?!?! He liked his retreat in the mountains. Do Jews not have homes in the mountains because of this?!?!?!

Just because someone did not like a GREAT COMPOSER, this is NO REASON for ANYONE to try to keep his music from being played.

It is WAY PAST TIME that Jews just GOT OVER IT!
 
re: Israeli politicians shun Barenboim KKeuffel
Wed Sep 26 2001 23:44
I quite agree.
 
re: Israeli politicians shun Barenboim KKeuffel
Wed Sep 26 2001 23:44
I quite agree.
 
re: Israeli politicians shun Barenboim BigJim
Thu Jul 26 2001 17:55
It's not the fact Wagner was Adolf's fav composer, but rather Wagner himself was a virulent anti-semite who was extremely anti-Jewish. Wagner was a big believer of Nordic/germanic/Aryan superiority and the inferiority of the Jews. He wasn't just your run-of-the-mill "Jews suck" anti-semites; he was of the "Jews are the devil" variety. This is one of the reason's Hitler loved the man, and not just for his music.
 
re: Israeli politicians shun Barenboim mcdade
Fri Jul 27 2001 14:14
Well said - let me say again the case of Wagner and the Jews cannot ever be just about music/art (whatever that means) and it wasn't just because Hitler happened to like him - Hitler loved Beethoven too but beethoven doesn't throw up the sort of philosophical problems Wagner does.
 
re: Israeli politicians shun Barenboim brahms
Sat Jul 28 2001 05:46
I understand and agree that it is time for Israel to move on, and to stop the now-official near-censorship of Wagner, but at the same time, I can understand the reasoning behind it. This outcry against Wagner in Israel is not the work of a Wagner-hating censor, nor is it simply because Wagner himself was a "virulant" anti-semite. If composers were judged based on the way they lived and the beliefs that they held, the only compsers that we would listen to would be Bach, Chopin and Liszt.
The reason, to my understanding, is the association of Wagner's music with the persecution of Jews. For many survivors, the sound of someone walking in boots is enough to reduce them to tears, or at least frighten the daylights out of them. Sights, smells and sounds were burned indelibly into their minds. So, what to you think that their reaction to the Third Reich's official music would be? The reason that taboo on Wagner's music exists is to respect the horror that the music evokes in the memories of many Israeli citizens. Although, as a musician myself, I believe that art should be inherently apolitical, I also believe that this taboo is just-at least, for another 15 years. That's it for now!

Ben
St. Louis, MO
 
re: Israeli politicians shun Barenboim talespin
Sun Jul 29 2001 04:42
Thanks for pointing out this aspect of the negative response of some Jewish Israelis to Wagner's music. Shunning a work of art because of its association with unimaginably painful experiences is quite different from shunning a work of art because of the political view of its creator or fans. Music, like all types of human expression, always exists in political contexts, is shared or shunned in political contexts. Intellectually, we can all choose whether we are willing to accept the good works of those we despise, but emotionally, we need to create new, positive contexts in order to do that. Perhaps that's what Barenboim is about.
I don't know many Palestinians who are able to appreciate the art in Israeli museums (of course they aren't currently permitted to enter them, for the most part), but if a day comes when Israelis and Palestinians can enter each other's museums, I hope that good work can be recognized as good work regardless of the source. It asks a lot of the human spirit to release emotional associations like these, and I think those who succeed are models of humanity.
 
re: Israeli politicians shun Barenboim Serverguy
Tue Jul 31 2001 16:45
Thanks to all for the additional information. But... he's dead. That ought to be enough. Time to move on.
 
re: Israeli politicians shun Barenboim mcdade
Wed Aug 1 2001 11:54
Hmmm... interesting take. Does being dead exonerate every person? Does this also mean that his art is similarly ossified? I think not!!
 
re: Israeli politicians shun Barenboim putz1
Sun Aug 5 2001 03:05
OVER ONE MILLION PALESTIANIANS HAVE CHOSEN TO BECOME ISRAELI CITIZENS, AND HAVE ALL OF THE RIGHTS OF ANY ISRAELI CITIZENS INCLUDING PASSPORTS AND COLLEGE EDUCATION IF THEY DESIRE.
 
re: Israeli politicians shun Barenboim mcdade
Mon Aug 6 2001 12:36
I hate to be boring but this is meant to be a music forum and not somewhere to discuss Arab/Israeli relations - no disrepect to that topic!
Anyone see the article in the Sat London times about Barenboim's work with a young orchestra part Israeli part Arab? Shows he's not afraid to getting his hands dirty in trying to make things better.
Some interesting comments about Israeli orchestras needing to play Wagner to be able to play things like Schoenberg and Mahler properly - a point I wholly endorse. When the IPO was founded it was staffed by musicians who had cut their teeth on Central European opera - which must have included Wagner - so Wagner is a part of their "sound" as of the VPO or the BPO - in a purely musical way aren't the IPO tunring their back on their own traditions?

 
re: Israeli politicians shun Barenboim putz1
Mon Aug 6 2001 17:24
I agree with you that this forum is about music and Barenboim, and I was responding to "talespin" concerning palestianians about having the right to enter Israels museums etc.
As for your comment on the IPO turning their backs on their tradition of wagner music,you really got yourself tangled up on that because wagner is not part of their sound.Mahler was Jewish
as well was Meyerbeer, for whom helped Wagner, while in Paris,escaping creditors helped him and his family. He became very jealous of his new found friend and eventually came out with an anti-semetic attack on him.
Does the old axiom still hold true that you don't bite the hand that feeds you and Wagner had a short memory on who helped him financially etc.
You previously asked me about my responce to Wagners music, and I must admit that I really enjoy Wagner overtures, but not the monotones of the operas themselves for I am a verdi,puccini ect.admirer My original comment was for the Jewish survivors of the holocaust, not being tricked into listening to Wagner that was previously agreed to be removed from the concert program. My friend recently gave me a few opera albums of which one is Wagners, "Das Rheingold".
 
re: Israeli politicians shun Barenboim royal
Tue Aug 7 2001 21:12
Even a casual reading of Wagner's biography reveals a contemptible, small-minded man. However, I shudder to contemplate the musical landscape if we remove all obnoxious, half-witted composers from the repertoire!
On the other hand, if I had to choose an exception to my personal opposition to censorship, Wagner, the single most over-rated composer in the history of music, certainly takes pride of place.
 
re: Israeli politicians shun Barenboim Andrew
Thu Aug 9 2001 20:33
Honestly folks, let us let people have their opinions and their vices. It is what makes them who they are. If they want to protest, let them protest because they cannot change. If they want to change let it be because they have thoroughly dealt with what they and their countrymen experienced, and have come out on the other side whole.

But whatever happens, let people be people. Let us not crucify a culture once more.

~andrew
new hampshire
 
re: Israeli politicians shun Barenboim-Give me a Break! alberts322
Fri Aug 10 2001 13:24
Gee whiz, what a profound idea: let people be people. Sounds like a Barbra Steisand song.

"Crucify" is an odd term to apply to Israelies. And if we followed this 'argument' to its illogical conclusion, we should let Nazis be Nazis. How about letting Serbs be Serbs? Come to think of it, why critcize anybody? This must be the "Bambi" school of thought: "If you haven't got anything nice to say, don't say anything at all!"

Since when is commenting or remarking on odd behavior or actions "crucifying" those to whom the comments are directed? Give me a break!

Albert Strasser
Edgewater Park NJ
 
re: Israeli politicians shun Barenboim weg9
Tue Aug 7 2001 21:48
Yeah....I understand that Adolph added 2+2 once while resolving his checkbook, and got 4....I guess that means that all Israel mathematicians have to rewright their rules....
I think the problem is because of the simplistic attitudes that have come about during the last 50 years....Do you think maybe the TV has had anything to do with this? My wife read that our goldfish has a 3 second attention span. I said, "Three seconds? - That's about what the TV has. - If the TV shows me something interesting, I have exactly 3 seconds to run over and look at it, or they'll switch to something else, and I'll miss it!"
 
re: Israeli politicians shun Barenboim mcdade
Tue Aug 14 2001 07:17
Jumping back to Putz1's last response I would have to say that Wagner has not been part of the IPO's sound only since this ban was put into effect - sometime round about Kristallnacht I think.
There are a couple of things I would say to challenge this. Firtsly the IPO was made of emigre musicians who came from the Central European Tradition (indeed as many a conductor at the time lamented as Jews left for Israel and the states - they were the mainstay of the Central European tradition).
Secondly, orchestral music after Wagner is unimaginable without him - particularly repertoire like Mahler, Schoenberg and even people like Bartok. To play this repertoire whilst leaving a gaping Wagner-sized hole is surely an artistic mistake (the emphasis on artistic.
Thirdly, IMHO Wagner is one of the greatest artistic genuises who ever lived - both musically, dramatically and because of the scalpel like accuracy with which he dissected the underbelly of the human condition. To ignore that achievement is to be only partially aware of the tradition we loosely term classical.
Fourthly, for those who as yet don't get with Wagner for non-political/emotional/historical reasons - ie those who just don't get the music!! - persevere! I know of no other major artistic figure that yields so many dividends in return for application. Try Act 2 of Karl Bohm's (now there was a Nazi!!) Tristan.
Fifthly, I agree most enthusiastically that Barenboim's was a cheap little stunt - and with a German orchestra too! Ouch!!
 


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