BBC Music Magazine

Dvořák dishonoure­d


I had not heard about the Nazi regime trying to use Dvo ák’s centenary for its evil purposes (Tug of War, Oct). It’s well known that during his stay in the US, Dvo ák listened to the music of the native Americans and African Americans, whose value was not widely appreciate­d at the time. There was a racial aspect to it. While Nazi propaganda was talking about ‘establishi­ng a position of peaceful coexistenc­e through shared values’, a generation of Czech composers was struggling to survive in the Theresiens­tadt concentrat­ion camp. Later they were murdered along with other musicians because of their racial ‘inferiorit­y’. One wonders what were the ‘shared values’. Joseph Fodor, Ashford

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