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Contents

Music in the Late Twentieth Century

BREAKING RANKS

Chapter:
CHAPTER 1 Starting from Scratch
Source:
MUSIC IN THE LATE TWENTIETH CENTURY
Author(s):
Richard Taruskin

One of the most poignant reactions was that of the German composer Stefan Wolpe (1902–72). An ardent Communist in “Weimar” Berlin, he followed the example of Hanns Eisler in renouncing his elite training for the sake of political activism, conducting choruses at demonstrations and rallies, and composing militant mass songs (Kampflieder) and revolutionary cantatas and oratorios. He first became famous in 1931 as the composer of the incidental score for Die Mausefalle (“The mousetrap”), the maiden production of Die Truppe 31, a workers’ theater collective led by the director Gustav von Wangenheim. It was scored for a shoestring cabaret “jazz” ensemble of trumpet, saxophone, piano, and percussion. Wolpe was actively promoted as an activist composer by the Comintern. His Kampflied “Ours Is the Future” (also known as Rote Soldaten or “Red Soldiers”) appeared in the New York Composers Collective's Workers Song Book No. 2 and many other Communist publications of the 1930s.

Citation (MLA):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 1 Starting from Scratch." The Oxford History of Western Music. Oxford University Press. New York, USA. n.d. Web. 23 Oct. 2017. <http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume5/actrade-9780195384857-div1-001005.xml>.
Citation (APA):
Taruskin, R. (n.d.). Chapter 1 Starting from Scratch. In Oxford University Press, Music in the Late Twentieth Century. New York, USA. Retrieved 23 Oct. 2017, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume5/actrade-9780195384857-div1-001005.xml
Citation (Chicago):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 1 Starting from Scratch." In Music in the Late Twentieth Century, Oxford University Press. (New York, USA, n.d.). Retrieved 23 Oct. 2017, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume5/actrade-9780195384857-div1-001005.xml
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