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Symphonic music in occupied Belgium (1940–1944) : the role of ‘German-friendly’ music societies

Eric Derom (UGent)
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Abstract
This chapter describes how the Nazi administration implemented the political exploitation of classical music in occupied Belgium, a country where German and Latin cultures had co-existed for centuries. The main focus is that of concert life in three major cities of Brussels, Antwerp and Ghent where newly established music associations controlled by radical Flemish nationalists and supported by the occupation forces, organised their own seasons of concerts as alternatives to the pre-existing mainly French-orientated music societies. The initial impetus for this development was to promote Flemish composers and thereby reduce the influence of French music upon Belgian musical life. In 1940 and 1941, the main repertoire presented by the ‘German-friendly’ music societies consisted of German and Flemish music, French music being completely marginalised. Yet by 1942, composers rarely played in Belgium, such as Bruckner, Reger and Pfitzner, and new German music approved by the Third Reich and premiered in Germany were increasingly programmed, ironically at the expense of Flemish music. A central focus is the role played by these new musical societies in blindly following Nazi cultural policies and thereby supporting the occupiers’ ultimate goal of incorporating Flanders into the German Reich.

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MLA
Derom, Eric. “Symphonic Music in Occupied Belgium (1940–1944) : The Role of ‘German-Friendly’ Music Societies.” The Routledge Handbook to Music under German Occupation, 1938–1945 : Propaganda, Myth and Reality, edited by David Fanning and Erik Levi, Routledge, 2020, pp. 140–69.
APA
Derom, E. (2020). Symphonic music in occupied Belgium (1940–1944) : the role of “German-friendly” music societies. In D. Fanning & E. Levi (Eds.), The Routledge handbook to music under German occupation, 1938–1945 : propaganda, myth and reality (pp. 140–169). Routledge.
Chicago author-date
Derom, Eric. 2020. “Symphonic Music in Occupied Belgium (1940–1944) : The Role of ‘German-Friendly’ Music Societies.” In The Routledge Handbook to Music under German Occupation, 1938–1945 : Propaganda, Myth and Reality, edited by David Fanning and Erik Levi, 140–69. Routledge.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Derom, Eric. 2020. “Symphonic Music in Occupied Belgium (1940–1944) : The Role of ‘German-Friendly’ Music Societies.” In The Routledge Handbook to Music under German Occupation, 1938–1945 : Propaganda, Myth and Reality, ed by. David Fanning and Erik Levi, 140–169. Routledge.
Vancouver
1.
Derom E. Symphonic music in occupied Belgium (1940–1944) : the role of “German-friendly” music societies. In: Fanning D, Levi E, editors. The Routledge handbook to music under German occupation, 1938–1945 : propaganda, myth and reality. Routledge; 2020. p. 140–69.
IEEE
[1]
E. Derom, “Symphonic music in occupied Belgium (1940–1944) : the role of ‘German-friendly’ music societies,” in The Routledge handbook to music under German occupation, 1938–1945 : propaganda, myth and reality, D. Fanning and E. Levi, Eds. Routledge, 2020, pp. 140–169.
@incollection{8665594,
  abstract     = {This chapter describes how the Nazi administration implemented the political exploitation of classical music in occupied Belgium, a country where German and Latin cultures had co-existed for centuries. The main focus is that of concert life in three major cities of Brussels, Antwerp and Ghent where newly established music associations controlled by radical Flemish nationalists and supported by the occupation forces, organised their own seasons of concerts as alternatives to the pre-existing mainly French-orientated music societies. The initial impetus for this development was to promote Flemish composers and thereby reduce the influence of French music upon Belgian musical life. In 1940 and 1941, the main repertoire presented by the ‘German-friendly’ music societies consisted of German and Flemish music, French music being completely marginalised. Yet by 1942, composers rarely played in Belgium, such as Bruckner, Reger and Pfitzner, and new German music approved by the Third Reich and premiered in Germany were increasingly programmed, ironically at the expense of Flemish music. A central focus is the role played by these new musical societies in blindly following Nazi cultural policies and thereby supporting the occupiers’ ultimate goal of incorporating Flanders into the German Reich.},
  author       = {Derom, Eric},
  booktitle    = {The Routledge handbook to music under German occupation, 1938–1945 : propaganda, myth and reality},
  editor       = {Fanning, David and Levi, Erik},
  isbn         = {9781138713888},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {140--169},
  publisher    = {Routledge},
  title        = {Symphonic music in occupied Belgium (1940–1944) : the role of ‘German-friendly’ music societies},
  year         = {2020},
}