The sounds of memory : German musical representations of the Holocaust, 1945-1965 / by Amy Wlodarski.
This dissertation considers how memory informed the creation and reception of musical Holocaust representations written by German composers in the twenty years immediately following World War II (1945-1965). In many cases, the works studied constitute a "first-attempt" to depict the Holocaust in their respective genres, and their receptions (both in Germany and abroad) reflected the complex and shifting relationship between political states, their citizens, and the subject of the Holocaust. A study of German composers also reveals the unique political and social pressures that these composers (as either current or former German citizens) faced while writing the promoting their Holocaust works.In order to resist the tendency to ignore works by non-canonical composers, I include pieces by more obscure composers in order to facilitate a fuller understanding of German Holocaust representation during those two decades. This may allow us to understand how these memorials informed one another, as was sometimes the case, and to trace the development of early musicological criticism regarding musical Holocaust memorials. In response to the current tendency to focus primarily on each work's reception history, the case studies include analyses of musical language and consider how structure and style contribute to the portrayal of memory in each work.The result is a constructivist approach to the phenomenon of Holocaust representation that seeks to contribute to the emerging dialogue between musicology and memory studies through an examination of three musical memorials that belong to the early tradition of German Holocaust commemoration: Arnold Schoenberg's A Survivor from Warsaw (1947); Hanns Eisler's film score for Nuit et Brouillard [Night and Fog] (1955); and the collaborative Holocaust cantata, Jüdische Chronik (1960/61), composed by Boris Blacher, Paul Dessau, Karl Amadeus Hartmann, Hans Werner Henze, and Rudolf Wagner-Régeny. A study of how these composers approached the representational dilemma addresses the question of early Holocaust commemoration while also revealing the specific political and musical challenges of each piece. Additionally, this dissertation seeks to locate where "memory" resides within these works and how it (as a musical, psychological, theoretical, or political concept) influenced the compositional genesis, musical language, and reception history of each work.
Record last modified: 2018-05-18 16:19:00
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