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A Portrait of Mendelssohn$
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Clive Brown

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780300095395

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300095395.001.0001

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• Das Judenthum in der Musik

• Das Judenthum in der Musik

51 • Das Judenthum in der Musik
A Portrait of Mendelssohn

Clive Brown

Yale University Press

In his 1850 essay Das Judenthum in der Musik, Richard Wagner openly criticized Jews in general and Felix Mendelssohn in particular. In his introduction, Wagner focused on the transformation of the political and social position of the Jews in the first half of the nineteenth century. He then discussed the Jew's characteristics in a manner that showed a repulsive degree of racial loathing and how the Jew expresses himself before arguing that the Jew was constitutionally incapable of true musical creativity. Wagner went on to condemn the music of the synagogue and linked the inevitable artistic impotence of the Jew to Mendelssohn and Giacomo Meyerbeer, two of the most successful musicians of his time.

Keywords:   musical creativity, Das Judenthum in der Musik, Richard Wagner, Jews, music, Giacomo Meyerbeer

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