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Anita Lasker-Wallfisch: Music Amid the Memories of Horror

Anita Lasker-Wallfisch: Music Amid the Memories of Horror

Anita Lasker-Wallfisch had arrived by normal train to Auschwitz in September of 1942, not in a cattle car. Although she was a Jew, her job in a paper factory had protected her – until she and her sister were arrested for forging travel documents for French prisoners of war. So they were considered criminals, a […]

Verdi and Wagner in Wien

This May, Vienna will celebrate the bicentennial birthday of two beloved opera composers, Richard Wagner and Giuseppe Verdi. Both spent time in Vienna: In 1843, Verdi staged his opera Nabucco here, which was the first time it was performed outside of Italy. He later led performances of Rigoletto in 1852 and Requiem in 1875 at […]

The Vienna Philharmonic: An Orchestra, a ring and a past

The Vienna Philharmonic: An Orchestra, a ring and a past

In January, the buzz echoed across the globe: The Vienna Philharmonic, one of the world’s most renowned orchestras, had finally opened its archives to a team of historians. By the second week of March, a few days before the 75th anniversary of Austria’s Anschluss with Nazi Germany, the website of the Philharmonic was updated with […]

Rathkolb: Revisiting Interwar History

Rathkolb: Revisiting Interwar History

For much of early March, it was nearly impossible to get historian Oliver Rathkolb on the phone. He did better with emails, dashing off two-to-five word answers, with links or attachments. Signed characteristically, “herzlichst, OR”. When he was finally able to pry loose for a few minutes, he sounded harassed – but not unhappy. Leading […]

Mehta-Phobia

Mehta-Phobia

Now and then you couldn’t help but recognize the sound of the Vienna Philharmonic: in the grandiose oratory of the massed brass that brought the first movement of the Bruckner Ninth to its close; to the trio of the scherzo of the Schubert Ninth, when strings and winds conspired to force open vistas across the […]

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