Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Brady, Martin, and Carola Nielinger-Vakil. “‘What a Satisfying Task for a Composer!’: Paul Dessau’s Music for The German Story (. . . Du und mancher Kamerad).” In Classical Music in the German Democratic Republic: Production and Reception, ed. Kyle Frackman and Larson Powell, 195-218. Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2015.

Paul Dessau’s score for the pseudo-documentary propaganda film . . . Du und mancher Kamerad employs extensive quotation throughout in order to effectively underscore the themes and emotional content of the film, and to provoke critical reflection in line with his political leanings. For Dessau, quotation was a tool for innovation, as well as a means to generate a sense of historical continuity. In this way, it could be both didactic and creative. The eclectic assemblage of musical quotations employed in the score mirrors the compiled nature of the film, drawn from sources scoured over the course of two years. Aside from two prominent leitmotifs (one of which is an altered quotation of a German folk song), Dessau treats his abundance of quotations—drawn from folk songs, soldiers’ songs, and his own compositions—as musical documents. They are treated in a similar manner as the passing footage fragments, appearing in relation to an image or series of images and never recurring. In some cases, Dessau actively produces critical detachment, or the creation of a musical setting that is incongruous with the musical document it treats or visual images it accompanies in order to engender critical reflection. It is in Dessau’s uncomfortable incongruities that his sense of irony and his penchant for Marxist dialectics is most directly expressed. Through this approach, he is able to both score the film, and to provide his own political commentary alongside it.

Works: Paul Dessau: Score to . . . Du und mancher Kamerad, “Da sind sechs Mörder” from Deutsches Miserere (210).

Sources: Anonymous: Schnitterlied (201-2); Balthasar Gerhard Schumacher (text): Heil dir im Siegerkranz (204); Anonymous: God Save the Queen (204); Max Kegel and Carl Gramm: Sozialistenmarsch (205); Pierre de Geyter and Eugène Pottier: The Internationale (205); Heinrich Anacker, Hans Tieszler, Hans-Wilhelm Kulenkampff (text), and Norbert Schultze (music): Von Finnland bis zum schwarzen Meer (205); Hugo Zuschnied (text): Nun geht’s ans Abschiednehmen (205); Vassili Lebedev-Kumatch (text), Erich Weinert (German text), and Isaak Dunajewski (music): Fatherland, No Enemy Shall Imperil You (206); Hoffmann von Fallersleben: O wie ist es kalt geworden (206); Wilhelm Hauff (text) and Johann C. Günther (music): Morgenrot Morgenrot (206-7): Paul Dessau: Lilo Herrmann (207-8), Sinfonischer Marsch (208-9), Sinfonie in einem Satz (209), Kol Nidre-Sinfonie (209-10); Herrmann Scherchen: Brüder, zur Sonne, zur Freiheit (209); Max Schneckenberger (text) and Karl Wilhelm (music): Die Wacht am Rhein (209); Arno Pardun: Volk ans Gewehr (209); Bertolt Brecht (text) and Paul Dessau (music): Deutsches Miserere (209-10); Chopin: Polonaise in A Major, Op. 40, No. 1 (210); Haydn: Symphony No. 94 in G Major, Hob.I:94 (“Surprise”) (212-13).

Index Classifications: 1900s, Film

Contributed by: Molly Covington

Except where otherwise noted, this website is subject to a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Musical Borrowing and Reworking - - 2024
Creative Commons Attribution License