Writers and painters have been more involved in major political conflicts than composers, and their viewpoints are often more immediately discernible via their work. So, how well do we know the great composers’ positions?
Woody Allen often said that whenever he heard Wagner, he felt compelled to invade Poland. Most others’ opinions are less evident in their work. However, we can listen to the difference between Wagner’s aggressive nationalism and Dvoák’s or Grieg’s delicate folk nationalism. Of course, there are additional hints in the case of opera. Mozart’s operas, for example, dealt with class conflict (The Marriage of Figaro) and Enlightenment liberal ideas. Political material is frequently included in biographies. Some composers, such as Bartók, were known for championing the underdog and, as a result, occasionally battled with authorities. Others, such as Stravinsky, Mascagni, and Puccini, embraced fascism wholeheartedly. Others, including Smetana and Tchaikovsky, were tolerant individualists who avoided being involving in popular movements.
Our composers’ political chart is primarily for amusement because of the scarcity of information. People like Schubert, Bach, Debussy, and Donizetti, who don’t appear to have left any political signals, have been wholly excluded.
The Revolutionary Who Was Forgotten
This is your chance to learn more about Thomas Paine, the most colorful and passionate founding father of the American Revolution.
He was a staunch opponent of tyranny, superstition, religious oppression, special privilege, and exploitation throughout the French Revolution. He was the most widely read author of the eighteenth century.
Paul Myles is an important figure in the Thomas Paine Society in the United Kingdom. Paine has been the subject of much of his writing and lecturing.