Sunday, 24 February 2013

racial issues

in song:

Jets and Sharks:

West Side Story - Prologue - Official Full Number - 50th Anniversary (HD) - YouTube

with subtitles:

West Side Story-Tonight (Ensemble) - YouTube
West Side Story - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Strange Fruit:

Southern trees bear strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

Pastoral scene of the gallant south,
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh,
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh.

Here is fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop.

with lyrics:
Billie Holiday - Strange fruit - YouTube

American folk blues... and beyond...

Lead Belly - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Dark Nights of the Soul in the Kingdom of the Holy Grail

‘Parsifal’ at the Metropolitan Opera: February 2013

‘Parsifal’ at the Metropolitan Opera -

Parsifal and Race
It has become impossible, when discussing his dramas and in particular the last of them,Parsifal, to avoid the topic of Richard Wagner's anti-Semitism and the claim, forcefully advanced by Robert Gutman in 1968, that Wagner was a racist. I do not mean, of course, that these subjects should be ignored. Indeed they deserve to be addressed. What is unfortunate is that discussion of them soon turned into a war of words in which truth was the first casualty.
Given the posthumous association of Wagner and the Bayreuth Festival with Hitler, who was an enthusiast for Wagner's music, and by extension with Nazism it was inevitable that commentators, especially in Germany, would regard Wagner's dramas as tainted by Nazism. In the vanguard of those who attacked Wagner and his heritage in the postwar period was Theodor Adorno. For Adorno, Wagner's dramas were inherently "völkisch". Adorno suggested that some of the characters, such as Mime and Klingsor, were anti-Semitic caricatures. Given Richard Wagner's frequent anti- Semitic remarks, many have found this claim plausible. Recent commentators have built upon Adorno's view of Wagner and his works, some of them (notably Hartmut Zelinsky and Barry Millington) developing ingenious theories about subtly-coded anti-Semitic and racist messages that they allege are cleverly hidden, deep in Wagner's libretti.

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