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Reich's Orchestra


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The Reich's Orchestra is Misha Aster's remarkable depiction of the moral ambiguities of living under the Nazis, told through the story of one of the world's great orchestras.

About the Author

Misha Aster is a Canadian producer, director, writer and educator specialising in opera and classical music.


For many decades, the history of the Berlin Philharmonic during the Third Reich was shrouded in mystery - an ethical taboo. Aster has finally broken the silence, navigating this terrible era with clarity, insight and sensitivity. The Philharmonic's experiences during its early years as a co-operative, followed by the period under Goebbels' control, were fundamental to shaping both the orchestra's musical culture and its organisational development ever since; the historic personalities and struggles are instantly familiar to the musicians today. With this book, Aster has made an important contribution to the conscience of our orchestra. -- Sir Simon Rattle * . *
The first comprehensive study of how Germany's musical crown jewel sold out to Nazi patronage and suffered the machinations of self-styled culture supremo, Joseph Goebbels... Aster's book painstakingly lifts the veil. -- Jewish Chronicle * . *
The Berlin Philharmonic is acknowledged as one of the world's great orchestras, but there was a big gap on its written record - from 1933 to 1945. During this period, it provided the Reich with a cultural flagship... Misha tells the story of these lost years for the first time. -- Jewish Telegraph * . *
A jewel of the Nazi regime, a propaganda tool, and a microcosm of Hitler's Germany... Aster does illuminate the startling continuity pre- and post-1933. -- Scotsman * . *
The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra's dark connection with Nazi Germany has always been a mystery but a new book uncovers a hidden history where the orchestra was used by the state as a propaganda tool. -- Sunday Express * . *
A revelatory new book that chronicles the horribly close relationship between the most famous orchestra on the planet and the most evil regime the world has ever known. -- Richard Morrison * The Times *

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