Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Even more responsibility

Here's a article from today's Die Zeit (in German), discussing the current controversy over the performance of works by Hans Pfitzner. The subtitle of the article goes "The composer was a dyed-in-the-wool National Socialist. Even the friends of his music can't wash him clean."

The article is followed by an interview with the conductor Ingo Metzmacher, who cannot be described as "coming from a right corner" and for whom Pfitzner's anti-modernism and anti-semitism are decidedly alien, but nevertheless makes a case for the performance of Pfitzner's music.


Anonymous said...

The Metzmacher interview is very good. It would be quite another thing if Christian Thielemann -- who can be though of as Metzmacher's counterpart on the right -- was advocating Pfitzner.

PWS said...

What do you think of Pfitzner's "Palestrina"? I have a copy but have not listened much to it because I can't find a libretto in English for it.

Daniel Wolf said...

Patrick --

I can't make heads or tails of "Palestrina"; I suspect that it's simply a mess.

JW said...

Having spent many hours with the music, over some years, I think Palestrina is a masterwork. It is highly organized, motivically rich, logical and full of keemly psychologically descriptive music. Definitely not an opera for those who respond to the melodrama of the bel cantists. It's a work well worth the effort.