Monday, September 07, 2020

Ode to Joy as a Nazi anthem

I heard an extraordinary programme on Radio 3 yesterday. Looking at the history of Beethoven's ninth symphony, it opened with an extract from the performance that Wilhelm Furtwรคngler conducted for Hitler's birthday in March 1942.

Though some have claimed to detect a subtle protest in it, with those added drums it sounds a full-blown Nazi anthem to me.

I have added it above as I don't know how long the radio programme will stay on the BBC site,

The piece it reminds me of is Laibach's reworking of Queen's One Vision to reveal the totalitarian impulse that can be present in unthinking rock.

Elsewhere in the programme you will hear from Nigel Farage and learn that the tune of Ode to Joy was used for the Rhodesian national anthem.

Oh, and Auschwitz had a children's choir used to dupe visitors about the nature of the place, which revealed a new circle of human depravity to me.

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