An Ox on the Roof

Today you can listen to the 10th episode of the programme An Ox on the Roof hosted by Thea Derks.

This programme is loosely based on her book An Ox on the Roof: an introduction to contemporary music composed after 1900 explained in ordinary language.

In the previous episode you listened to the second part of the opera Flammen by the Czech-Jewish composer Erwin Schulhoff (1894-1942). He was one of the many composers whose music was considered ‘entartet’ by the Nazis. He finished his opera Flammen, which was inspired by the Don Juan figure, in 1929. However, the opening performance in Berlin was obstructed and the first performance took place in Prague not until 1932. In today’s programme you will hear the third and final part of this unique opera.

After the Nazis invaded the Netherlands in 1940, restrictions were also imposed on Jewish composers in our country. Artists were obliged to enrol in the so-called ‘Kultuurkamer’ (Chamber of Culture). If you refused, you could kiss your musical career goodbye. The half-Jewish composer and pianist Henriëtte Bosman (1895-1952) refused to compromise herself and was professionally banned in 1942.

After the ban, she performed on the so-called ‘black nights’; underground home concerts that were organised in the utmost secrecy. During one of these concerts she had to flee in a hurry from the house of soprano Jo Vincent because of an unexpected check. Her slightly older colleague Rosy Wertheim (1888-1949), who was 100% Jewish, survived the war in hiding. Others, including Leo Smit and Dick Kattenburg, were less fortunate and died in a concentration camp.

If you buy the book An Ox on the Roof introduction to contemporary music in ordinary language.

Erwin Schulhoff. Part 3 and final part from Flammen:
Don Juan, Kurt Westi. Donna Anna, Jane Eaglen. Der Tod, Iris Vermillion. Der Komthur, Johann-Werner Prein.

Rias-Kammerchor Berlin (choir direction by Marcus Creed).
Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin led by John Mauceri.
Henriëtte Bosmans [photo]. String Quartet.
Utrecht String Quartet
Rosy Wertheim. From ‘Trois morçeaux’: part 2, Pastorale. Eleonore Pameijer, flute. Frans van Ruth, piano.

Editing and presentation by Thea Derks

Produced & presented by: