Righting and Remembering the Nazi Past

"Suppressed Music" in American Concert Performance

Current performance of music denigrated during the Nazi era is remarkably vibrant, wide-ranging, and transnational. To date, however, there has been no in-depth scholarly intervention into any aspect of this work. Given the literature limitations as well as the unwieldy reach of the topic, this article is necessarily a starting point--an initial look--confined to analysis of my collected data regarding the places, dates, and repertoire relevant to this realm of music making in the United States, despite its connections to similar work in other countries. This article also focuses on the impulse to effect constructive change bolstering such performance--the diverse, yet conceptually positive, goals that help explain the depth and breadth of concertizing devoted to music denigrated during the Nazi era. And yet, as I explore, affirmative aims and aspirations are complicated by potential pitfalls, negative ramifications, as well as the ethics of Holocaust representation. By examining this opposition, this article contributes to a small, but growing, body of scholarship exposing the contradictions embedded in efforts to impact society constructively through music. Along these lines, I argue that performances dedicated to music persecuted during the Third Reich can promote a problematic conflation of Nazi-era composition and Jewish music, circumscribing all Holocaust-related music as Jewish music.

Journal Music and Politics
Year 2016
Volume 10
Issue 1
Pages np

Hirsch, Lily E. (2016) Righting and Remembering the Nazi Past: "Suppressed Music" in American Concert Performance. In: Music and Politics, Vol. 10, No. 1, pp. np. Available at https://openmusiclibrary.org/article/160431/.

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