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October 30, 1981 - Image 14

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1981-10-30

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

14 Friday, October 30, 1981

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

The Case of Wagner, Strauss and Mahler

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By JULIUS CHAJES
(Editor's note: Chajes is
conductor of the Jewish
Community Center Sym-
phony Orchestra and ad-
junct assistant professor
of music at Wayne State
University.)
According to recent re-
ports from Israel, Zubin
Mehta had to leave the
stage, where shouts and
fights interrupted his per-
formance of "Love Death"
from "Tristan and Isolde" by
Richard Wagner.
Mehta admitted that
Wagner was not a "nice"
person, but "since his music
is great, let us forget what
kind of a person he was!"
Mehta does not know that
performing Wagner in Is-
rael is a moral and not a
musical issue.
Wagner's music was not
heard in Israel since 1938
for a good reason. During
his lifetime, Wagner wrote
several articles not only
against Jewish musicians,

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Gustav Mahler, the
Jewish Austrian composer
who embraced Catholicism
out of conviction, poses an
entirely different problem.
When appointed general
music director of the Vienna
State Opera at the begin-
ning of this century, he in-
troduced a new law: "No
Jew, whether singer•or
member of the orchestra,
which was and still is the
Vienna Philharmonic, can
be employed by the Vienna
State Opera!"

A wave of baptism fol-
lowed this decision. The
famous Rose Quartet,
which consisted of first
chair musicians of the
Vienna Philharmonic,
had three Jews as mem-
bers, headed by Arnold
Rose. All three became
Christians.

Mahler's student and
friend, Bruno Walter
Schlesinger, under his
teacher's influence, dropped
his family name and be-
came one of the greatest
conductors of this century
under the name of Bruno
Walter.
In January 1938, Bruno

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TEL AVIV (JTA) —
Former Premier Yitzhak
Rabin called last week for a
U.S.-Israeli-Egyptian
summit meeting to be held
early next year to "nail
down" the Camp David
agreements and the
Egyptian-Israeli peace•
treaty.
Addressing the Labor
Party's central committee,
Rabin accused the Reagan
Administration of lack of
interest in the Camp David
accords and said a three-
way summit meeting was
necessary so that President
Reagan and President
Hosni Mubarak of Egypt
could affix their signatures
to the agreements.

bers to the music of Richard
When Hitler entered
Vienna two months later (in
March 1938) Bruno Walter
had to flee Austria and
therefore was unable to par-
ticipate in the Summer Fes-
tival of Salzburg that year.

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Wagner's anti-Semitic
writings became the "bi-
ble" for Adolf Hitler. Dis-
regarding such great
German composers as
Handel, Bach, Beethoven
and Brahms, Hitler de-
clared Wagner as the
greatest composer of all
time.

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ZUBIN MEHTA
Wagner. Therefore, Mehta,
who claims that his
grandmother had Jewish
blood, will have to under-
stand this unique situation
for which there is no prev-
ious example!
Another German com-
poser whose music is not
played in Israel is Richard
Strauss. He accepted the
number one position in
music during the Hitler era
and even wrote the opera
"Der Reichstag," glorifying
Hitler. When Serge Kous-
sevitzky, himself a baptized
Jew, wanted to perform
Strauss' music in Tel Aviv,
riots broke out and the con-
cert had to be called off.
Koussevitzky rehearsed
Strauss' music with Israel's
Philharmonic however. He
maintained that today's or-
chestras have to be familiar
with Strauss' music if they
want to compete with other
outstanding orchestras.

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The Elected Officials of OAK PARK urge you

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Rabin Requests
Three-Nation
Summit in '82

Guest Speaker

Dress Optional
$100 per person for the
Michigan Dormitory Building

JULIUS CHAJES

but against the Jewish
people as a whole! These ar-
ticles contributed greatly to
the hostile spirit of the
German intelligentsia
toward the Jews in general.

Walter asked Toscanini to
come to Salzburg to conduct
a few concerts during the
Summer Festival. Famous
as an anti-fascist, Tosca-
nini, after consulting
Bronislaw Huberman, the
famous violinist and foun-
der of the Israeli Philhar-
monic, declined the invita-
tion. The main reason for
his decision was the general
atmosphere in Austria,
which made possible the in-
clusion of well-known Nazis
in the government.
The survivors of Au-
schwitz and Mauthausen —
most of them live in Israel
— cannot be asked to forget
that their co-religionists
had to march to gas cham-

FROLICH













Mayes Marietta Astfastain
Camcilinan Marshall Illsinse
Comnissineer Denis Aaron
Censmissiermar Alex Perleatt
Donald &Man
Barbara Muer
Marilyn Mandl
Nate Feiss
Inds. Rena
Arnold Ultima
Ti. MINIM
Alse Mrs. Onvld
(Frances) Siephenl

OAK PARK COUNCIL

Vote Tues., Nov. 3

Pd. for by Committee to Elect Arthur Frohlich
21110 Gardner, O.P. 48237

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