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The Danger of Music and Other Anti-Utopian Essays$
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Richard Taruskin

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780520249776

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520249776.001.0001

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Only Time Will Cover the Taint

Only Time Will Cover the Taint

(p.21) 2 Only Time Will Cover the Taint
The Danger of Music and Other Anti-Utopian Essays

Richard Taruskin

University of California Press

This chapter critically explores the point of view of Israelis who do not want to hear Wagner's music in their concert halls because of his supposedly anti-Semitic views. Richard Wagner's work was exploited by the Nazis to justify their atrocities against Jews. Thus for the Holocaust survivors, their objection to his music is a symbolic act to sanctify the memory of the atrocities. The Israel Philharmonic in deference to the members of its audience has also imposed a self-imposed ban on Wagner's work, because they vocally insist on their right to a Wagner-free existence when other orchestras or musicians perform in front of them. The chapter also refers to the instances of anti-Semitism being associated with various music composers such as Chaikovsky, Stravinsky, and Musorgsky, who are widely listened to in Israel.

Keywords:   Richard Wagner music, Nazis, Israel Philharmonic, Holocaust survivors, anti-Semitism

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