The Devil's Music Master: The Controversial Life and Career of Wilhelm Furtwangler

The Devil's Music Master: The Controversial Life and Career of Wilhelm Furtwangler

Sam H. Shirakawa


From 1922 until eventually his dying in 1954, Wilhelm Furtwängler used to be the major cultural tune determine of the German-speaking international, conductor of either the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic orchestras. yet a cloud nonetheless hangs over his recognition, regardless of his indisputable brilliance as a musician, due to a deadly and tragic choice. Wilhelm Furtwängler remained in Germany while millions of intellectuals and artists fled after the Nazis seized strength in 1933. His determination to stick in the back of earned him lasting condemnation as a Nazi collaborator--"The Devil's track Master." a long time after his loss of life, Furtwängler is still for lots of not just the best but in addition the main debatable musical character of our time.
In The Devil's track Master, Sam H. Shirakawa forges the 1st full-length and finished biography of Furtwängler. He surveys Furtwängler's youth as a tough yet exceptional prodigy, his upward thrust to pre-eminence as Germany's best conductor, and his improvement as a musician, composer, and philosopher. Shirakawa additionally stories the wealthy recorded legacy Furtwängler documented all through his forty-year career--such because the mythical Tristan with Kirsten Flagstad and the recognized performances of Beethoven's 9th Symphony in 1942 and 1951.
both very important, Shirakawa is going behind the scenes and in the back of the strains to discover how the Nazis seized regulate of the humanities and the way Furtwängler single-handedly attempted to avoid evil characters as Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels and Luftwaffe leader Hermann Göring from annihilating Germany's musical lifestyles. He exhibits how Furtwängler, faraway from being a toady to the Nazis, stood up overtly opposed to Hitler and Himmler--at huge, immense own risk--to salvage the musical traditions of Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven. Shirakawa additionally offers relocating and overwhelming facts of Furtwängler's brilliant efforts to save lots of the lives of Jews and different persecuted members trapped in Nazi Germany--only to be proscribed on the finish of the battle and approximately framed as a battle criminal.
yet there has been extra to Furtwängler than his politics, or perhaps his song, and we come to grasp this amazing guy as a reluctant composer, a prolific essayist and diary keeper, a faithful buddy, an impressive enemy whilst crossed, and an incorrigible philanderer. a number of musical luminaries proportion their thoughts of Furtwängler to around out this bright portrait.
according to dozens of interviews and study in different records, letters, and diaries, lots of them formerly unpublished, The Devil's tune Master is an in-depth examine the existence and instances of a distinct character whose deadly flaw lay in his uncompromising trust that track and artwork needs to be stored except politics, a conviction that reworked him right into a tragic determine.

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