Chapter

Only Time Will Cover the Taint

Richard Taruskin

in The Danger of Music and Other Anti-Utopian Essays

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780520249776
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520942790 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520249776.003.0002
Only Time Will Cover the Taint

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This chapter critically explores the point of view of Israelis who do not want to hear Wagner's music in their concert halls because of his supposedly anti-Semitic views. Richard Wagner's work was exploited by the Nazis to justify their atrocities against Jews. Thus for the Holocaust survivors, their objection to his music is a symbolic act to sanctify the memory of the atrocities. The Israel Philharmonic in deference to the members of its audience has also imposed a self-imposed ban on Wagner's work, because they vocally insist on their right to a Wagner-free existence when other orchestras or musicians perform in front of them. The chapter also refers to the instances of anti-Semitism being associated with various music composers such as Chaikovsky, Stravinsky, and Musorgsky, who are widely listened to in Israel.

Keywords: Richard Wagner music; Nazis; Israel Philharmonic; Holocaust survivors; anti-Semitism

Chapter.  1515 words. 

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis

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