Hanns Eisler, a Marxist for our time?

Hanns Eisler is not, yet, a recovered voice. A two-time Oscar nominee for best score, the German composer, who fled the Nazis in 1933, was the first in motion pictures to be called up by the House Committee on Un-American Activities, and the first to be blacklisted in Hollywood. He was deported to East Germany in 1948.

“I leave this country not without bitterness and infuriation,” he said before boarding a TWA flight at La Guardia airport. We have not known quite what to do with him since.

On Saturday, the Villa Aurora in Pacific Palisades, once a hangout for the German émigrés in L.A., devoted a day to Eisler. A round-table discussion in the afternoon with American and German scholars looked at Eisler in general and at a peculiar part of his film work. In the evening, mezzo soprano Kristina Driskill and pianist Mark Robson persuasively performed much of Eisler’s pungent “Hollywood Songbook” from the composer’s L.A. years (1942-48).

Read the full article in the Los Angeles Times here.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s