Wagner's Jews

Wagner's Jews

DVD - 2014
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German composer Richard Wagner was notoriously anti-Semitic, and his writings on Jews were later embraced by Hitler and the Nazis. But there is another, lesser-known side to this story. For years, many of Wagner's closest associates were Jews, young musicians who became personally devoted to him, and provided crucial help to his work and career.
Publisher: [Place of publication not identified] : [Publisher not identified], [2014]
Branch Call Number: DVD 780.92 WAGNER' 1DISC
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (55 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in
video file,DVD video


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Nov 21, 2014

Interesting if frustrating history which states the case that Jews were and still are fascinated with the anti-Semitic persona and writings of German composer Richard Wagner. Author Hilan Warshaw researches the influential Jews as well as the Jewish musicians who worked for and collaborated with Wagner during his lifetime, including Tausig, Rubenstein, and Levi. Where Warshaw fails is finding the root causes of Wagner's hatred of Jews in light of his growing need for the their support and adulation. It's hinted that perhaps Wagner resented the fact that he had to depend on Jews throughout his lifetime and that his anti-Semitism was deep-seated and not rare for the times, but this is ultimately unsatisfying for such an academic exercise. Fine performances of Wagner's music and other contemporaries abound to keep one's interest, but without more depth into Wagner's prejudice, one must keep searching for motives.


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