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Kater, Michael H.

The Twisted Muse: Musicians and Their Music in the Third Reich

In literature, music is the food of love and soothes the savage beast; in politics, it can be perverted by the worst of causes. So claims Michael Kater in his compelling study of music and musicians in the Third Reich, The Twisted Muse. What did it mean to compose music for Hitler and his Nazi regime? Kater asks; can artists working in a climate of oppression and fascist demagoguery dismiss their roles by claiming they created or performed for the sake of art alone? To answer these questions, Kater approaches his subject from two different angles: first, he examines the lives of musicians living under the Nazi regime--from little known musicians struggling in the orchestra pit to the great and famous, including Richard Strauss and Elisabeth Schwarzkopf. Next, he examines the role music played in the Third Reich and the ways in which the Nazis manipulated it as propaganda.

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