Personalities | Hanns Eisler | Modern Era | Classical

(Hans Iz’-le) 1898–1962
German composer

A pupil of Schoenberg, but also a committed Communist, Eisler appalled his teacher by writing political music in a popular style derived from cabaret and marches. A refugee in the US during World War II, he was investigated by Senator McCarthy’s House Un-American Activities Committee, and spent the rest of his life in East Germany, writing music for theatre and cinema. In some of his finest works – for example the Deutsche Sinfonie (‘German Symphony’, 1937) – his popularism, Schoenbergian rigour and a nostalgia for the pre-Nazi German past coexist memorably.

Recommended Recording:
Orchestral Music, Deutsches SO, Berlin (cond) Hans Zimmer (Capriccio)

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