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Music of Exile: The Untold Story of the Composers who Fled Hitle

Music of Exile: The Untold Story of the Composers who Fled Hitle

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In the 1930s, composers and musicians began to flee Hitler’s Germany to make new lives across the globe. The process of exile was complex: although some of their works were celebrated, these composers had lost their familiar cultures and were forced to navigate xenophobia as well as entirely different creative terrain. Others, far less fortunate, were in a kind of internal exile — composing under a ruthless dictatorship or in concentration camps and ghettos.

Michael Haas sensitively records the experiences of this musical diaspora. Torn between cultures and traditions, these composers produced music that synthesized old and new worlds, some becoming core portions of today’s repertoire, some relegated to the desk drawer. Encompassing the musicians interned as enemy aliens in the United Kingdom, the brilliant Hollywood compositions of Erich Wolfgang Korngold and the Brecht-inspired theater music of Kurt Weill, Haas shows how these musicians shaped the twentieth-century soundscape — and offers a moving record of the incalculable effects of war on culture.

Author: Michael Haas
Format: Hardcover, 416 pages
Publisher: Yale University Press (2023)

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