Tuesday, December 06, 2005

In which David Imagines George Bush and Charles Ives

Imagine the U.S. has conquered a foreign country, put its leaders on trial and removed a political party. Iraq? The Baathists?

Imagine that the leaders of this foreign country had a deep interest in serious music which they used for political purposes. Suppose the U.S. wanted to punish a great musician who seemed to have collaborated, but who claimed he was only trying to preserve the music and survive.

Imagine that someone made a movie about this - and even succeeded to the point of presenting both sides of the story without actually taking sides. It's called Taking Sides - (here's a review) - the story of an American Army Major charged with prosecuting Wilhelm Furtwangler after WWII. Good movie.
Twisted MuseMusical life in Nazi Germany interests me. Two fascinatings books by Michael H. Kater "The Twisted Muse: Musicians and Their Music in the Third Reich" about the classical side and "Different Drummers, Jazz in the culture of Nazi Germany." Curiously jazz was stronger than the Nazis. But not classical music.

Imagine if powerful leaders in the US thought classical music was essential to our culture. Imagine George Bush having a favorite Charles Ives or Aaron Copland conductor. Would that be good?

Music Reviews

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