Examples of what could be called
Early 20th Century "Fascist music"
- Written by composers, who, whether aligned with the regimes or opposed *, were living within
Showing the repressive influence of absolutism on the musical arts, or the influence of the Fascist ethos as applied by government or people -?.
Mussolini's Italy, Hitler's Germany, and Stalin's Russia.*
(Giacomo Puccini, 'Turandot', 1927)
Sample from CD-NOW on page, from the beginning of the aria, 'Nessun dorma!' (Puccini's opera "Turandot", 1927) - performed by Luciano Pavarotti with the John Alldis Choir - R.A.
Sample from the end of the aria, 'Nessun dorma!' (set Equalizer to slightly emphasize middle frequencies.) - R.A.
(Carl Orff, 'Carmina Burana', 1935)
(the 'O Fortuna', not a bad performance but the recording can't be corrected by Equalizer, it seems to me... click on "Listen to this while you crawl through the darkness" to play the selection.) - R.A.
Samples, of first five numbers of "Carmina Burana", including: 'Veris leta facies', 'Omnia Sol temperat', 'Ecce gratum' (Equalizer: emphasize low and middle frequencies a lot.)
'Ecce gratum' (partial). Look at the bottom of the page for the RealAudio link. (- Equalizer: emphasize middle frequencies heavily, high frequencies less, and bass only a little.) - R.A.
['Chume, chum, geselle min,' and] 'Swaz hie gat umbe' [/ 'Reie']. Also ['Si puer cum puellula', and] 'Veni, veni'. Good performance, by the Göteborg Symphonic Band; Conductor, Lars Benstorp. (- Set Equalizer to emphasize low frequencies a lot, and the middle and high ranges slightly.) - R.A.
'Estuans interius' - really superb performance, well recorded! (- Same comments as for 'Blanziflor' from same page.)
...at times the mood of this piece (it seems to me) matches that of a passage from a poem (written in 1923) by William Butler Yates, 'Meditations in Time of Civil War', "V. The Road at my Door":
"An affable Irregular,
A heavily-built Falstaffian man,
Comes cracking jokes of civil war
As though to die by gunshot were
The finest play under the sun."
http://www-astro.physics.ox.ac.uk/~rejs/carmlyr.html#track11 for the lyrics, with English translation.
'Circa mea pectora' (partial). Good acoustics. (Equalizer emphasize bass and middle range.)
http://web.tiscalinet.it/alburno/ (- this URL is no longer accurate - January 2002 )
'Blanziflor et Helena' - really superb performance*, well recorded.
*-Showing to perfectly chilling effect the creepy and neurotic sublimated eroticism of the composition... what that reflects of Hitler's Germany, I leave it to you to interpret... Mind, I like these compositions, but there is no denying the way the times affected them, and each one, in my opinion, clearly has the shadow of its dictator upon it.
The way the popular basis of Nazism was of genuine evil potential is shown in the odd superb, life-sapping chill, the emotional ice-storm, of this passage . . . of what should be a life-enhancing praise of feminine beauty.
'Blanziflor et Helena', & [final] 'O Fortuna'. Rather slow; Apparently with all the repeats (or maybe an unusual version) of the 'Blanziflor'.
'O Fortuna' (Final). International Internet Choral Concert; Performances by Coro Universitario UNET, San Cristsbal Venezuela. (-Set Equalizer almost to maximum in the bass. - Tip: Noise [audience applauding wildly!] follows performance, so pause or stop performance at about 2:43:)
Note to my interpretations of Carl Orff's 'Carmina Burana':
- For contrast, or in case anyone doesn't believe my interpretations of the 'spirit' or meaning of Orff's setting, there's this (non-Orff) setting of the 'In taberna quando sumus':
(Serge Prokofiev, 'Alexander Nevsky', 1927)
Samples from 'Alexander Nevsky', Op. 78, the incidental music by Serge Prokofiev (1938-'39) to the film of Eisenstein. 5 selections in R.A. or 3 in MPEG - esp illustrative is the clip of "Arise, Ye Russian People" - They sound so virtuous they stink of Stalinism, of micromanagemental censorship by the state.
Priggishness incarnate rules the chorus in a fashion unmatched elsewhere; patriotism is all very well, but these people sound so gawdawful perfect it's unnatural: rather too much like a Romanian propoganda poster from the Nicolae Chaucescu era. However, it needs emphasizing that:
'Prokofiev was strongly against Communism and Stalin in particular. Most scholars even consider Nevsky a protest piece.'
-Thanks to a California music student, for pointing this out. [- from a private communication, October 2001.]
* - I admit Stalin is not usually classed as a Fascist ruler. And admittedly the 'Great Patriotic War', as the Russians call their part of World War II, was a war against an agressor and invader. However, I put Stalin with the other two mentioned on this page because: A) His rule was in a similar time-period of history B) His government committed crimes against humanity consisting of the slaughter of millions
of the fundamentally innocent, and C) His regime was repressive of the free spirit of musical expression in a basically similar way.
- Page created June 3 5 (updated June 11 & 18-19-22[-23 corrected dead URL] ), 2000, and January 1 2001, by Russell Hess, Webmaster <email@example.com> of 'UpSky'.