Bronislaw Huberman, Brief an Furtwängler

Veröffentlicht auf von Dirk Nabering

Bronislaw Huberman, Brief an Furtwängler

Bronislaw Huberman, Brief an Wilhelm Furtwängler vom 10.Juli 1933  
(Huberman beantwortet eine Konzerteinladung, mit der sich Furtwängler an ihn gewendet hatte)

Dear Friend,

Permit me first of all to express my admiration for the fearlessness, determination, tenacity and sense of responsibility with which you have conducted your campaign begun in April for rescuing the concert stage from threatening destruction by racial "purifiers". When I place your action - the only one by the way, that has led to a positive result in Germany of today - alongside that of Toscanini, Paderewski and the Busch brothers, all of which sprang from the same feeling of solidarity and concern for the continuation of our culture, I am seized with a feeling of pride that I, too, may call myself a musician. Precisely these models of high sense of duty, however, must prevent all our colleagues from accepting any compromise that might endanger the final goal. Although the government's declarations, which owe their origin to you, may present the maximum of what may presently be attained, yet, unfortunately, I cannot accept them as sufficient for my reparticipation in German concert life. My attitude is based on the following fundamental objective human and ethical considerations. 
The government deems it necessary to emphasize the selective principle of highest achievement as the decisive one for music, as for every other form of art. This underscoring of something that ought to be self-evident would be meaningless if it did not imply a determination to apply the principle of selection on a racial basis - a principle that it is impossible to understand - to all other realms of culture. Moreover, there is a wide gap between the announcement of the priciple of achievement arbitrarily limited to art and its practical application - a gap that simply cannot be bridged. For included in the general concept of the advancement of art are, first and foremost, the institutions of learning and art collections. As far as the special realm of the furtherance  of the art of music is concerned, municipal and State opera houses are an essential of the intended reinstatement of those museum directors, orchestra conductors and music teachers who were dismissed on account of their Jewish origin, their differing political views or even their lack of interest in politics. In other words, the intention of the relatively narrow and special field of the concert or recital is to be restored to the free competition of those "real artists" who are to fill the concert hall. And as every concert of importance is connected with extensive international publicity, while the research specialist or teacher can only on rare occasions appear before the public with the results of his work, it is quite conceivable that the few foreign or Jewish artists who have been asked to assist at such concerts might be used as arguments that everything is well culturally in Germany. In reality, German thoroughness would continue to find ever-new definitions for racial purity and apply them to the still immature student of art in the schools, laboratories, and so forth.
I am confident, of course, that you, honored friend, would regret such a result quite as much as would the majority of German concertgoers.

There is, however, also a human-ethical side to the problem. I should like a definite rendering of music as a sort of artistic projection of the best and most valuable in man. Can you expect this process of sublimation, which presupposes complete abandonment of one's self to one's art, of the musician who feels his human dignity trodden upon and who is officially degraded to the rank of a pariah? Can you expect it of the musician to whom the guardians of German culture deny, because of his race, the ability to understand "pure German music"? At the same time they deliberately keep silent, on the one hand, concerning the half-jewish origin of Richard Wagner, which has now been proved beyond peradventure of doubt, and, on the other hand, concerning the historic role played by Mendelssohn, Anton Rubinstein, Hermann Levi, Joseph Joachim and so forth.
You try to convince me by writing, "Some one must make the beginning to break down the wall that keeps us apart." Yes, if it were only a wall in the concert hall ! But the question of a more or less than authoritative interpretation of a violin concerto is but one of numerous aspects - and God knows, not the most important one - behind which the real problem is hidden. In reality it is not a question of violin concertos nor even merely of the Jews; the issue is the retention of those things that our fathers achieved by blood and sacrifice, of the elementary preconditions of our European culture, the freedome of personality and it's unconditional self-responsibility unhampered by fetters of caste or race. Whether these achievements shall again be recognized depends not upon the readiness of the individual who is "the first to break through the wall that separates", but, as in the past, upon the urge of the conscience of artists collectively, which, once aroused, will crash through sources of resistance with the impulse of a force of nature, breaking them as it would a paper wall.

I cannot close this letter without expressing to you my deep regret at the conditions that have resulted in my being separated for the moment from Germany. I am especially grieved and pained in my relationship of a friend of my German friends and as an interpreter of German music who very much misses the echo awakened in his German hearers. And nothing could make me happier than to observe a change  also outside the realm of concert life which would liberate me from the compulsing of conscience, striking at my very heartstrings, to renounce Germany.

With warm greetings,
sincerely yours,
Bronislaw Huberman

auch andere Solisten wiesen Furtwänglers Einladung zurück; zu ihnen zählen Menuhin, Thibaud, Fritz Kreisler, Adolf Busch, Casals und Piatigorski. Anmerkung des Veröffentlichers

Huberman als Solist des Berliner Philharmonischen Orchesters:

Bronislaw Hubermans erstes solistisches Auftreten mit dem Berliner Philharmonischen Orchester fand bei einem Reisekonzert (Scheweningen) am 15.August 1893 statt.
Um die Jahrhundertwende bereits waren "alle" großen, wichtigen Geigen-Virtuosen regelmäßig bei dem Orchester zu Gast; viele von ihnen mehrfach in einem Jahr. Es gab also eine sehr starke "Konkurrenz" für das junge Talent. Zu Beginn des Jahrhunderts finden wir

Joseph Joachim, Carl Flesch, Willy Burmester, Henri Marteau, Eugène Ysaye, Pablo de Sarasate, Jenö Hubay, Jan Kubelik, Fritz Kreisler, Mischa Elman, Karl Klingler, Jacques Thibaud und Franz von Vecsey als Solisten des Orchesters - seit den 1910er Jahren ausserdem Adolf Busch, Josef Szigeti, Georges Enescu, Efrem Zimbalist, Jascha Heifetz - seit Beginn der 1920er Jahre dann Georg Kulenkampff, Max Rostal, Stefi Geyer, Boris Kroyt und in der Folge  Szymon (Simon) Goldberg, Yehudi Menuhin und Nathan Milstein.
Nach seinem Debut als Solist bei dem Berliner Philharmonischen Orchester trat Huberman dort ab 1902 sehr regelmäßig auf.
Ohne Anspruch auf Vollständigkeit hier seine solistischen Stationen:

1.02.1902. D: Josef Rebicek. Brahms Konzert, Bach Chaconne
10.02.1902. D: Josef Rebicek. Beethoven Konzert, Romanze G-Dur,
     Tschaikowsky Konzert
4.12.1903. D: Arthur Nikisch. (Reisekonzert: Hamburg)
8.11.1909. Brahms Konzert
6.02.1911. D: H.Wetzler. Beethoven Konzert und Romanze G-Dur, Brahms Konzert und Ungarische Tänze
12.06.1913. D: Willem Mengelberg. Beethoven Konzert
15.01.1914. D: Fritz Steinbach. Brahms Konzert und Doppelkonzert mit Hugo Becker
20.02.1914. D: Max Brode. Bach Konzert E-Dur und Chaconne, Beethoven Konzert
8.01.1917. D: Arthur Nikisch. Brahms Konzert
9.02.1917. D: Arthur Nikisch. (Reisekonzert: Hamburg)
17.01.1918. D: Selmar Meyrowitz. Tschaikowsky Konzert
6.12.1918. D: Selmar Meyrowitz. Konzerte von Bach, Beethoven, Brahms
15.09.1924. D: Selmar Meyrowitz. Beethoven Konzert, Mendelssohn Konzert
7.12.1925. D: Wilhelm Furtwängler. Brahms Konzert
22.11.1926. D: Wilhelm Furtwängler. Beethoven Konzert
16.12.1926. D: Gregor Fitelberg. Mendelssohn Konzert, Szymanowski Konzert, dt. Erstaufführung
20.01.1927. D: Heinz Unger. Brahms Konzert
28.11.1927. D: Wilhelm Furtwängler. Mendelssohn Konzert
20.01.1928. D: Julius Prüwer. Konzerte von Bach (E), Beethoven,Brahms
3.10.1928. D: Julius Prüwer. Mozart Konzert G-Dur, Beethoven Konzert
9.01.1929. D: Wilhelm (William) Steinberg. Brahms Konzert und Doppelkonzert (mit Alexander Schuster)
10.04.1929. D: Ossip Gabrilowitsch. Tschaikowsky Konzert
2.06.1929. D: Wilhelm Furtwängler. (Reisekonzert: Jena) Brahms Konzert
10.11.1930. D: Wilhelm Furtwängler. Tschaikowsky Konzert
7.12.1931. D: Wilhelm Furtwängler. Brahms Konzert
2.01.1932. D: Bruno Walter. Mozart Konzert G-Dur
29.02.1932. D: Richard Lert. Beethoven Konzert, 2 Romanzen,Tripelkonzert mit Siegfried Schulze und Emanuel Feuermann

Bronislaw Huberman, Brief an Furtwängler
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