What If I Like Your Politics but Don’t Like Your Art?
(...) One question I’ve asked in recent years is, If I don’t like your politics can I still like your art? Or put a simpler way, would you want a fantastic painting hanging on your wall that was made by a Nazi? It may sound like a bizarre question, but anyone with Carl Orff, Richard Strauss or Herbert von Karajan CDs in their collection should give it some thought. The throngs lined up around the block to see Karajan conduct the Berlin Philharmonic, as many New Yorkers did on repeated occasions, should have asked themselves this. And if we care about this question, do we need to examine the politics of other composers, like Wagner, whose views we know, along with perhaps Beethoven and Bach, whose views we know less about? (...)
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