Shalom Life | January 26, 2015

Israeli Orchestra Plays Hitler's Favourite Composer

An Israeli Orchestra played Wagner at the Beyreuth Festival, a favourite of Adolf Hitler's

By: Nelly Lalany

Published: July 28th, 2011 in News » World

Israeli Orchestra Plays Hitler's Favourite Composer

On Tuesday night, an Israeli orchestra took to the stage to play one of Richard Wagner’s compositions at the renowned Bayreuth Festival in Berlin. Sounds like an enjoyable night at the symphony, until you remember that Wagner was one of Hitler’s favorite composers and “Siegfried Idyll” (the piece being played) was written when Wagner’s second wife, Cosima, gave birth to their son Siegfried in 1869.

Hitler’s great adoration of Wagner’s compositions stemmed from their personal relationship. Hitler was Wagner’s muse, and likewise, Hitler was compelled by the composer’s anti-Semitic tributes claiming that Jews were corrupt.

Interestingly, Wagner founded the Bayreuth Festival in 1876, and Hitler was a major advocate (obviously due to the gratuitous brown nosing) who attended every summer from 1933-1939.

It seems that the issue is not that Wagner’s composition was played, but that it was an Israeli band that played it. After all, he did found the festival. Some people are quite outraged by it, and Elan Steinberg, deputy head of the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants says,

“A disgraceful abandonment of solidarity with those who suffered at the hand of the Nazis.”

Steinberg’s message is understandable, but yet it is the Israeli band that felt justified in not only playing at a festival founded by Wagner, but also playing his music. Perhaps, this is a step forward in solidarity rather than a step back.

It is an overwhelming task to take on especially with the expectation of intense backlash, and deserves some sort of optimism.

Roberto Paternostro, conductor of the Israel Chamber Orchestra, who’s mother was a survivor of the Nazi genocide, defended the performance and said quite shockingly and simply, "Wagner's ideology and anti-Semitism was terrible, but on the other hand he was a great composer.”

The controversy isn’t exactly a new development; other Israeli orchestras have performed Wagner’s music in previous years.

In 2001, Daniel Barenboim decided to conduct a piece called, “Tristan and Isolde” in Israel. A bold move, which lead to many members of the audience leaving the theatre.

UJA’s Working on a Dream Concert Party Rocks Toronto’s Opera House UJA’s Working on a Dream Concert Party Rocks Toronto’s Opera House TrendingPhotos Illustrate the Rise of anti-Semitism in Germany Circa 1935 Photos Illustrate the Rise of anti-Semitism in Germany Circa 1935 TrendingReport: Miss Lebanon Will not Be Stripped of Title After Selfie with Miss Israel Report: Miss Lebanon Will not Be Stripped of Title After Selfie with Miss Israel Trending
 

Bob Dylan Gifts 50,000 CD’s to Senior Citizens

January 26, 2015 | By Ashley Baylen
Bob Dylan Gifts 50,000 CD’s to Senior Citizens

The folk rocker is giving away 50,000 free copies of his latest album to readers of AARP The Magazine.

Read More

Emile Hirsch Being Investigated For Assault Against Female Film Exec

January 26, 2015 | By Ashley Baylen
Emile Hirsch Being Investigated For Assault Against Female Film Exec

The 'Lords of Dogtown' actor allegedly assaulted a woman at Sundance.

Read More

Adam Levine to Perform at Academy Awards

January 26, 2015 | By Ashley Baylen
Adam Levine to Perform at Academy Awards

The Maroon 5 front man will sing 'Lost Stars' from 'Begin Again' at the Oscars next month.

Read More

UJA’s Working on a Dream Concert Party Rocks Toronto’s Opera House

January 26, 2015 | By Dan Horowitz
UJA’s Working on a Dream Concert Party Rocks Toronto’s Opera House

More than 300 arrived for a rocking good time at Toronto's storied Opera House venue on Saturday

Read More

Photos Illustrate the Rise of anti-Semitism in Germany Circa 1935

January 26, 2015 | By Polina Garaev
Photos Illustrate the Rise of anti-Semitism in Germany Circa 1935

Eighty years ago, two Jewish journalists sent a Dutch photographer to document anti-Semitism in Third Reich and expose true face of Nazi party to the world, but international media didn't print photos

Read More

Startup Club: Forewards

January 26, 2015 | By Caitlin Marceau
Startup Club: Forewards

We speak to the CTO of the budding Toronto-based marketing company

Read More

Dutch Jews Want Army Troops Positioned Outside Synagogues

January 23, 2015 | By Daniel Koren
Dutch Jews Want Army Troops Positioned Outside Synagogues

Calls from Jewish leaders come in the wake of Hyper Cacher attack near Paris

Read More

Saudi Arabia Blames Israel for anti-Semitism at First UN Conference on anti-Semitism

January 23, 2015 | By JNS.org
Saudi Arabia Blames Israel for anti-Semitism at First UN Conference on anti-Semitism

Ambassador Abdallah al-Mouallimi cites Israeli "occupation" as reason for the rise in anti-Semitism

Read More

More Headlines