Documentary (52 min)

Music is the language of angels, someone once said, and music is a stenography of emotion. But can music be political? Comparing music to other forms of art, like film or painting, music seems sublime. Yet, already in the 19th century, composers like Wagner and Verdi agitated for a political emancipation, and today, too, many famous musicians get entangled in political affairs, from Daniel Barenboim to Valery Gergiev, from Gabriela Montero to Anna Netrebko to Gidon Kremer. The documentary film is embarking on a search for the political aspects in classical music. We get to know how music got infected by nationalism that made Europe and the world plunge into two world wars. We experience the forces that Furtwaengler in the Third Reich was confronted with. And we see how music again and again has been misused by those in power. But most importantly, we find out why politically active musicians today think they should be heard beyond the music they play.

Produced by Accentus Music/WDR/ARTE