Various Artists

The Music Survives! Degenerate Music: Music Suppressed by the Third Reich

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by James Leonard

Nobody could resist Johny Spielt Auf. In the '20s, nobody could resist the bitterly yearning, ironically passionate modernist movement in any of the German-speaking countries. Some of the composers of the music on this disc were the toast of Weimar Germany and their music was performed in the great concert halls and opera houses of Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, the Sudentenland, the Rhine Valley, and Alsace-Lorraine. But after the Nazis seized power, their music was banned as degenerate and the composers were branded as dangerous. Within 15 years, most of them were in exile or forgotten, and many of them were dead. But, as the title of the disc says, The Music Survives! From the brilliantly lyrical Vorspiel to Braunfels' Die Vögel through Death's final Aria in Ullmann's Der Kaiser von Atlantis, which was written in a concentration shortly before the composer and his wife were gassed, every work on this disc is astoundingly good. That music is as extravagantly sensual as the rapturous Aria from Korngold's Das Wunder der Heliane or as profoundly disturbing as the love-death from Schreker's Die Gezeichneten or as ecstatically joyous as the closing scene of Johny Spielt Auf could have been silenced is evidence of the vilest inhumanity. That the music survives is testimony to its transcendent humanity and sublime beauty. And that includes the singing sword and the factory whistle at the absurd climactic chorus of Johny. London's sound is rich, warm, detailed, and just about real.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Die Vögel, opera in 2 acts, Op. 30
1 Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin / Hellen Kwon / Lothar Zagrosek 08:10 Amazon
Between Two Worlds, film score
2 John Mauceri / Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra 04:21 Amazon
Der Kaiser von Atlantis, oder die Tod-verweigerung, opera
3 Christiane Oelze / Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra / Martin Petzold / Iris Vermillion / Lothar Zagrosek 06:50 Amazon
Das Wunder der Heliane, opera, Op. 20
4 John Mauceri / Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra / Anna Tomowa-Sintow 07:15 Amazon
5 Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin / John Mauceri / Berlin RIAS Symphony Orchestra 08:37 Amazon
6 Berthold Goldschmidt / Chantal Juillet / Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra 04:33 Amazon
Die Gezeichneten, opera in 3 acts
7 Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin / Elizabeth Connell Carlotta / Monte Pederson Tamare / Lothar Zagrosek 02:27 Amazon
Deutsche Sinfonie, for soloists, chorus & orchestra, Op. 50
8 Ernst Senff Chor Berlin / Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra / Hendrikje Wangemann / Lothar Zagrosek 07:00 Amazon
Der gewaltige Hahnrei, opera
9 Roberta Alexander / Robert Worle Bruno / Berlin Radio Chorus / Franz-Josef Kapellmann / Michael Kraus / Martin Petzold 10:30 Amazon
String quartet No 2, "Z opicfch hor", Op 7
10 Hawthorne String Quartet 09:32 Amazon
Jonny spielt auf, opera, Op. 45
11 Leipzig Opera Chorus / Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra / Lothar Zagrosek 06:56 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick