Music and Power: The Power of Music

Music, War, and Revolution: Volume III

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Anita Lasker-Wallfisch

Simon Wallfisch

Gabriela Montero

Julia Heimerdinger

Program notes

"The word is indirect," says Schopenhauer; "music is direct. It speaks from one soul to another." This quotation illustrates the power of music, its capacity to express what cannot be expressed otherwise. More than perhaps any other language, however, music is subject to interpretation by those who hear it, and in the wrong hands its power can be mobilized toward dangerous ends. Musicians are thus confronted with a difficult choice: to ignore all nonmusical meanings in their art, or to contribute actively and directly to the conversation—for, as pianist Gabriela Montero says, "music reaches the core of who we are as human beings."

How does music move and incite, and how is it affected by political and social powers? Is it more than an artform? How has it been diverted to personal ends—for better or worse—over the centuries? What is the scope and extent of its power? Can music change the world? Engaging with these and other questions, this final volume in a three-part documentary series on music, war, and revolution compares the present-day relationships between music and power to those in place during the time of the World Wars. From Germany to Venezuela and the Middle East, luminaries of the music world like Iván Fischer, Daniel Barenboim, and Anita Lasker-Wallfisch—one of the last surviving members of the Women's Orchestra of Auschwitz—reflect and share their experiences.

This is just one of over a thousand fascinating documentaries available on, the web’s leading classical music streaming platform!

A closer look: composers and works

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