David Mulraney

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Firstly two messages from your scribe: This short book was written by a music-lover, and is non-technical – but could be demanding in the best of ways. Secondly, it is intended to raise funds for one of the country’s most courageous arts festivals in a time of crisis, so please take a risk and give what I have not taken for writing it.

Over the last few decades, whenever the music of the Holocaust is discussed, the focus is usually on five Czech composers, whose work, even that which survived, effectively ‘disappeared’ for years – Pavel Haas, Gideon Klein, Hans Krása, Erwin Schulhoff and Viktor Ullmann. The interwar years were ones of freedom for the new Czech Republic, and artistically throughout much of Europe the birth of ‘modernism’ meant turbulent change, with sometimes crazy experiment and conventional boundaries of every kind all but disappearing. ‘Music’ thus meant not only classical forms, but jazz, dance music, cabaret, popular song. In an open, conversational style David tries to give some idea of how the world seemed to our composers, emphasising the essential international connections. However, the constant grinding ground-bass was the rise and ultimate triumph of fascism, but in his account he hopes you will nevertheless find something uplifting amidst the tragedy and terror.

David worked for much of his life within the art school system as an art historian, but ultimately ran a successful Fine Art department. He also lectured extensively in Adult Education on some more unusual aspects of cultural studies, across the arts and history (e.g. The Courtesan in Western Art). On his retirement he made further use of his purely amateur passion for music, and up until the first lockdown had arranged something like 500 concerts in Oxford and for the Aylesbury Lunchtime and Evening Music series, noted for their very open programming. David was invited to write the programme notes for last year’s Brundibár Festival, which is how this publication came about.

Here are some samples of all 5 composers:

Pavel Haas - Wind Quintet

Gideon Klein - String Trio

Hans Krása - Kammermusiek

Erwin Schulhoff - String Sextet 3rd movement

Viktor Ullmann - Musical works and Poetry

This E-book, in pdf format, will be launched on 25th January at the start of this year's festival.
E-book Purchase: Five Composers Who Disappeared, by David Mulraney: £10.00, through this secure link



After paying, you should click on the Return to Merchant link at the bottom of the PayPal acknowldegement. The pdf file containing the book, can then be downloaded and read with Adobe Acrobat