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Works performed by German Composers


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#1 MichaelBully

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:37 PM

I am re-reading Vera Brittain's 'Testament of Youth ' again a few pages at a time to really go through all the details that are recalled by the writer ; Vera was a VAD nurse at Clerkenwell in the Summer of 1916 and the hospitals were getting ready for expected casualties of the expected 'big push'. Vera's brother Edward Brittain had been sent out to the Western Front. On 1st July 1916, Vera and a fellow VAD nurse attended a performance of Brahms Requiem, and upon leaving the concert hall see the newpaper hoardings and headlines regarding The Somme .
Brahms Requiem was originally written in German.

This has really got me thinking whether works by German composers were subject to any sanction during the Great War , or performed in English where possible? (The performance that Vera Brittain attended was sung in English. )



#2 DavidB

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:55 PM

I would be very surprised if that was the case, music transcends nationality, although there may have been a bit of prejudice. In the opera world most of

the works are sung in Italian - not all admittedly, even G F Handel wrote some things to be sung in German even though he was considered English during

his lifetime even though he was born in German.

#3 David Underdown

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 01:02 PM

There were efforts to take German works off concert programmes. The Proms were then supported by the music publishers, Chappell's (the BBC didn't get involved until later), and they put pressure on Henry Wood to change programmes, though he refused, largely for the reasons given by rgartillery. There are more details in the two main published histories of the Proms, and probably also in Wood's autobiography

#4 MartH

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 11:53 PM

Wigmore Hall was originally Bechstein Hall, check the history out here Click Click

#5 MichaelBully

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 12:52 PM

Thanks for the replies guys. Particularly interested to hear about the Bechstein Hall /Wigmore Hall, and there was also pressure on concer pianists not to use German pianos. Regards, Michael Bully

Wigmore Hall was originally Bechstein Hall, check the history out here Click Click



#6 centurion

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 01:29 PM

Did it go both ways? Were Bizet and Elgar's works still performed in Germany (Elgar was initially very popular in Germany before he was recognised in Britain)?

#7 GC Jack

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 02:54 PM

I know its not WW1 so apologies for that.

The BBC call sign in WW2, recorded on percussion by a famous percussionist of the time Jimmy Blades, was taken from Beethoven's 5th Symphony.

Jack



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