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Hermann Levi From Brahms to Wagner
978-0-8108-8418-2 • Hardback
June 2012 • $65.00 • (£39.95)
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Pages: 296
Size: 6 1/4 x 9 1/4
By Frithjof Haas
Translated by Cynthia Klohr
 
Biography & Autobiography | Composers & Musicians
Scarecrow Press
Jewish conductor Hermann Levi strove for excellence and recognition as a composer and conductor of classical music in 19th-century Germany. He unerringly devoted himself to the orchestral performance of works by the two major figures of the time: Johannes Brahms and Richard Wagner. In spite of the anti-Semitic atmosphere, Levi saw the conducting of Wagner's works as a major calling: one that pinnacled in the premier performance of Parsifal in Bayreuth.

In this biography, newly translated into English by Cynthia Klohr, opera scholar and conductor Fritjof Haas surveys the life and work of this remarkable individual. Born of a long line of rabbis and raised on the ideals of political emancipation of Europe's Jews, Levi sought to break the social constraints and boundaries imposed upon him because of his religious heritage by the power brokers of the classical music scene. Like so many German Jews of his generation, Levi struggled nearly all his life to dissolve the battle between personal lot and social prejudice.

Drawing on the wealth of material from the "Leviana" repository in Munich, Germany, Haas artfully weaves together Levi's personal history with his musical milieu to paint a portrait of this ambitious and ambivalent figure in the world of 19th-century German music. This work will be of special interest to musicologists, musicians, opera fans, classical music listeners, and historians and scholars of Judaic studies.
Frithjof Haas, retired, was kapellmeister and head of studies at Baden's National Theater in Karlsruhe from 1948 to 1987.

Translator
Cynthia Klohr, PhD, teaches philosophy at universities in Karlsruhe, Germany. She has translated several books and essays in philosophy, psychology, the theory and history of science, and music.
 
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