The doyen of German composers, a political outcast for much of his life, Hans Werner Henze, 86, has spoken out on the ever-inflammatory topic of Richard Wagner’s antisemitism and his influence on the Third Reich.
‘So long as there are people living in Israel who endured the Nazi concentration camps,’ he said, ‘Wagner should not be performed there. I see no pressing reason to play Hitler’s favourite music.’
Speaking ahead of the Dresden production of his anti-capitalist, anti-war opera We Come to the River, Henze added: ‘I have always tried to remove myself as far as possible from (Wagner’s) actions, his ideology and his work.’
That’s telling them.