Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Twilight of the demagogues


To conclude the unhappy saga of Wagner transported to the 20th century. A helpful Overgrown Path reader pointed out that Wagner died fifty years before Hitler came to power via a comment on the article in Concrete, the official student newspaper of the University of East Anglia. The original Concrete article read:
Nazi sympathiser and Hitler’s preferred composer, Wilhelm Richard Wagner is just one example of someone who was assigned to create operas and music that walked the same path of [sic] the Nazi ideology. This anti-Semetic [sic] composer presented German mythology in his operas in a way that portrayed the Nazi ideals as heroic, all whilst the music of black Jazz artists were [sic] banned on the radio during 1933.
Now, without explanation or acknowledgement of his error or of the correcting comment, the music editor of Concrete Myles Earle has quietly amended his article to read:
Hitler’s preferred composer of the 19th Century, Wilhelm Richard Wagner, is just one example of someone who created operas and music that were twisted through Nazi ideology. This composer presented German mythology in his operas in a way that portrayed German heroic themes, something used later on by Hitler. This led to the grandiose politically-fueled German music taking the spotlight, whilst all music of black Jazz artists were [sic] banned on the radio in 1933
I see that the University of East Anglia offers an MBA in Broadcast Journalism, one module of which covers 'Ethics and Practice'. Need I say more?

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2 comments:

Pliable said...

Perhaps that headline should read: 'Twilight of the pedagogues'.

Mark Berry said...

Perhaps Mr Earle, whose accomplishments as an editor seem roughly comparable to those he might claim as a writer on music, might care to amend his article once again, so as to note that the number of performances of Wagner decreased during the Third Reich, whereas Verdi performances increased in number.