In Germany, the interbellum between the two world wars was one long, and ultimately woefully failed, experiment in democracy. This history played a part in the arts as well. Young composers like Kurt Weill renounced the romantic past and went off in search of new, contemporary audiences. They no longer wrote for the bourgeoisie, but for the common people, not dreamy or sultry but to the point, not about heroes of old but the order of the day, not about magic but about technology, not for the concert hall’s comfy seats but for the radio, not for amusement, but to teach. All these elements flow together in the ‘Lehrstück’ Der Lindbergflug, originally a collaborative effort between Weill, Hindemith and Brecht. Later, Weill composed a version all by himself, the version heard in this film. Even later, he changed the title to Der Ozeanflug (the ocean flight). Why? As it turns out, Lindbergh was a fairl enthusiastic Nazi sympathiser in the 1930s. The line “Meine Name ist Charles Lindbergh” was changed to “Meine Name tut nichts zur Sache” (my name is not important). It’s a little different from knocking over a statue.
“The first great move for the people of this world is to build a People’s World Union (or call it the United States of the World). Under the People’s World Nation there shall be in place of national armies throughout the world, A People’s World Nation Police Force. But there is one thing which the People’s World Nation Army Force shall not do under any conditions – forever and ever – in any way whatsoever – and that is to use aeroplane bombs.” – Charles Ives (A People’s World Nation, written during the two World Wars)
> 18:30 Lecture in Dutch
> 20:30 Lecture in English
Camilla Bork is Professor of musicology at KU Leuven. Her research focuses on music and media, musical virtuosity and gender, and contemporary music theatre. She is the author of two monographs, on Paul Hindemith and modernism and on virtuosity and voice (forthcoming 2020). Currently she is researching the role of music in early German radio (Experimenting with sound: music and politics in German radio culture).