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Dislocated MemoriesJews, Music, and Postwar German Culture$
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Tina Frühauf and Lily Hirsch

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199367481

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199367481.001.0001

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Where Is the Holocaust in All This?

Where Is the Holocaust in All This?

György Ligeti and the Dialectics of Life and Work

(p.205) 10 Where Is the Holocaust in All This?
Dislocated Memories

Florian Scheding

Oxford University Press

This chapter takes on the complex relationship between a composer and work through exploration of the reception of György Ligeti. It does so by questioning the dialectic nexus of Ligeti’s wartime experience and compositional oeuvre. While Schoenberg famously responded to the Holocaust with A Survivor from Warsaw, many Jewish composers, albeit deeply affected by the Nazi era, chose to avoid the topic altogether in their work. As a prominent example of this latter path, Ligeti serves here as a case in point. Though forthcoming in his autobiographical writings and his political activism as a public persona, Ligeti offers no clear references to the Holocaust in his music. This chasm raises serious questions about any one-dimensional explorations of the link between biography and compositional output by inviting consideration of the methodological pitfalls as well as ethical appropriateness of tracing the Holocaust in composition.

Keywords:   György Ligeti, Holocaust reception, István Anhalt, Requiem, reception

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