German Wartime Broadcasts
BASF-the record label owned by the giant German chemical combine Badische Anilin-und Sodafabriken-has recently made available on the American market nearly one hundred LP’s containing vocal performances recorded on early magnetic tape and broadcast on German radio during World War II. On the jacket of an introductory record containing excerpts from these wartime transcriptions, the series (which also includes a few broadcasts made before 1939 and a larger number of what one assumes to be studio recordings made after 1945 for commercial release) is described in the following understated and discreet way:
These recordings are more than just recollections. They are a documentation of an epoch of German Music, which was characterized by Great Names and masterful interpretations. And yet, due to chaotic times, they remained relatively unknown.
A release of this size cannot but possess significance, both as historical documentation and as a unique musical statement about a repertory which remains of central importance today. And representing as it does a cultural manifestation of a period and a society with which we have yet to come to terms, its implications cannot be restricted to music or musical history alone.
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