Music, Poetry, Propaganda: Constructing French Cultural by Claire Launchbury

By Claire Launchbury

Supplying new views at the position of broadcasting within the development of cultural reminiscence, this booklet analyses chosen cases on the subject of questions of French identification on the BBC throughout the moment global conflict. The effect of coverage and beliefs at the musical and the poetic is addressed by way of drawing on theoretical frameworks of the archive, reminiscence, trauma and testimony. Case experiences examine cultural stories developed via 3 contrasting soundscapes. the 1st makes a speciality of the interpretation of ‘Frenchness’ to the BBC’s household audiences; the second one examines using slogans at the margins of propaganda declares. within the 3rd, the consequences of the wedding of poetry and song within the BBC’s 1945 most desirable of Francis Poulenc’s cantata surroundings of resistance poems through the surrealist poet Paul Éluard in determine humaine are assessed. focusing on the position of the archive as either narrative resource and theoretical body, this learn deals a brand new method of the knowledge of soundscapes and demonstrates the techniques fascinated about the production of sonic cultural reminiscence within the context of worldwide clash.

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Extra info for Music, Poetry, Propaganda: Constructing French Cultural Soundscapes at the BBC during the Second World War (Modern French Identities)

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38 36 37 38 Esteban Buch, Le neuvième de Beethoven: Une histoire politique (Paris: Gallimard, 1999), 13. See Walter Benjamin, ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’ (1936). BBC WAC R9/1/1: Audience Research Bulletins 1–68. There was both a weekly barometer, which measured listening figures, and a weekly thermometer, which measured listener satisfaction. 32 Chapter 2 So at the BBC, the principal determinant in repertoire choice was to be found somewhere between a desire to shape tastes and responding to listener demand in the years before World War Two, although the necessity for programmes to lead by example and ahead of supposed listener was paramount: Programme policy on the larger issues has from the outset been determined by the conviction that listeners would come to appreciate that which at first might appear uninteresting or even alarming.

Marc Pincherle, ‘La Propagande Allemande et la Musique’, Contrepoints 1 ( Jan. 1946), 82–97. 11 Pincherle also bears witness to the well-publicised exchanges between French and German musicians during the occupation – Cortot’s visit to Berlin, a performance by the Berlin Philharmonic in a suburban factory outside Paris, the performance of Pfitzner’s Palestrina at the Opéra Garnier and the arrival of Gieseking in Paris to play Debussy’s Préludes. 13 Music was used as a cover to disguise the torture being committed out of sight: 10 11 12 13 It was published with an introductory disclaimer that stated: ‘bien des choses ont changé depuis un an, bien des opinions se sont modifiées, contredites par le déroulement des faits, ou plus simplement embuées par la resignation, le désir d’apaisement, l’oubli.

Thatcher (Deputy Director of Music)] [ July 1940]. K. S. Thatcher (DDM (Bristol)) ‘Copyright Music by Alien Composers’ (24 July 1940). S. Thatcher (DDM Bristol) ‘Music by Alien Composers’ (24 July 1940). Sounding the Nations 41 Although we agree it is better by far To exclude from our programmes the works Lehar, We view, with distaste, the obvious haste In which you set up such a permanent ‘bar’. We have, for example, done many a mouldier Tune than the Waltz from ‘The Chocolate Soldier’ Which it seems you exclude – not because it is rude, But because it was written by an enemy ‘dude’.

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