Hitler's Piano Player

Posted by: grotrian grand piano

Hitler's Piano Player - 11/17/12 06:54 PM

I sometimes mention books here, but they're usually specifically about pianos and/or piano-playing. This is a little further afield, about Ernst Hanfstaengl, who became chummy with Hitler mostly due to his piano talents; Hitler used to call him up and ask him to come over and play, and he ended up benefitting in a big way. So if a child who balks at piano lessons says that there's no point...


Hitler's Piano Player: The Rise and Fall of Ernst Hanfstaengl, Confidant of Hitler, Ally of FDR
By Peter Conradi


http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2005/mar/27/biography.features
http://www.powells.com/biblio?inkey=17-9780786716913-0
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: Hitler's Piano Player - 11/18/12 04:17 AM

Originally Posted By: grotrian grand piano
I sometimes mention books here, but they're usually specifically about pianos and/or piano-playing. This is a little further afield, about Ernst Hanfstaengl, who became chummy with Hitler mostly due to his piano talents; Hitler used to call him up and ask him to come over and play, and he ended up benefitting in a big way. So if a child who balks at piano lessons says that there's no point...


So come on, finish the sentence...

So if a child who balks at piano lessons says that there's no point...

...tell them to stick with it and pal up with a fascist dictator with a penchant for genocide and world domination and then reap the personal rewards.

How's that?
Posted by: Jean Claude

Re: Hitler's Piano Player - 11/18/12 04:50 AM

Coo....yes!!!!...you could start by annexing Austria and grabbing a whole load of Bösendorfers!!!!
Posted by: Entheo

Re: Hitler's Piano Player - 11/18/12 08:15 AM

Originally Posted By: EssBrace
Originally Posted By: grotrian grand piano
I sometimes mention books here, but they're usually specifically about pianos and/or piano-playing. This is a little further afield, about Ernst Hanfstaengl, who became chummy with Hitler mostly due to his piano talents; Hitler used to call him up and ask him to come over and play, and he ended up benefitting in a big way. So if a child who balks at piano lessons says that there's no point...


So come on, finish the sentence...

So if a child who balks at piano lessons says that there's no point...

...tell them to stick with it and pal up with a fascist dictator with a penchant for genocide and world domination and then reap the personal rewards.

How's that?


but his story doesn't end there. guess you'll have to read the book (or a hitler biography) to find out how that sentence really ends.
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: Hitler's Piano Player - 11/18/12 08:32 AM

Possibly so. But the way the last line of the OP's post was structured was amusing, unsettling and ambiguous in even measures.
Posted by: David-G

Re: Hitler's Piano Player - 11/18/12 10:01 AM

I don't think that anything to do with Hitler is amusing in the slightest.
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: Hitler's Piano Player - 11/18/12 11:13 AM

Originally Posted By: David-G
I don't think that anything to do with Hitler is amusing in the slightest.


I think you've missed the point. It was the unresolved nature of the sentence that amused me - the possibility that the lesson a reluctant young pianist should learn is that rewards might await following an association with someone like Hitler. I mean there is something ironic there, surely? Unless you've had a complete sense of humour bypass (which I suspect you have) or are so horrified at the very mention of Hitler (or anything else evil or highly controversial) that you feel the need to play the role of moral police. Which is really rather boring to be honest.
Posted by: Rickster

Re: Hitler's Piano Player - 11/18/12 11:34 AM

I see that this thread is generating some deep-seated emotional thoughts and feelings, perhaps in a negative way.

I saw a movie once, “The Pianist”, about a bright and talented pianist in Nazi occupied Europe during World War II. It was a very interesting move.

It may well be that Adolf Hitler was somewhat cultured in his own way and liked music and the fine arts. Chances are, he only used that as another tool in his sinister and monstrous quest to rule the world and annihilate an entire race of human beings, along with everyone else he could not rule with an iron fist.

I doubt that Adolf Hitler would be any kind of positive influence on any young, aspirating pianist, or anyone else for that matter… just my .02.

I was going to lock this thread… but on second thought, and in the interest of freedom of speech, (which is not an absolute guarantee on PW) I’ll leave it for now; but that option remains open.

Rick
Posted by: Dave B

Re: Hitler's Piano Player - 11/18/12 12:14 PM

Looks like an interesting book. Thanks for the heads up.
Posted by: Entheo

Re: Hitler's Piano Player - 11/18/12 12:44 PM

i'll paraphase a famous quote and suggest that those who don't study history are destined to abuse it. unfortunately the invocation of godwin's law is inevitable, but i too appreciate the heads up and have ordered the book.
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Hitler's Piano Player - 11/18/12 02:22 PM

Playing for Hitler makes the red dot issue seem trivial...
Posted by: grotrian grand piano

Re: Hitler's Piano Player - 11/19/12 05:11 PM

Originally Posted By: EssBrace

So come on, finish the sentence...

So if a child who balks at piano lessons says that there's no point...

...tell them to stick with it and pal up with a fascist dictator with a penchant for genocide and world domination and then reap the personal rewards.

How's that?


Sorry, I didn't expect anyone to bridle at that. I was thinking in broader, more neutral terms, that it gave him an entre in his early life, starting during his Harvard years, for instance, and in some ways probably helped him survive later on. One night at Harvard, his buddies were having such fun with his playing that they commandeered a truck, hoisted on a piano, and drove him around town late at night, with him playing. (Hitler's interest in culture was apparently rather limited, coming from what would be termed an uncultured background.)

What I find funny is the anomaly of two posts in this forum at the same time, with "Hitler" in the title.
Posted by: carey

Re: Hitler's Piano Player - 11/19/12 05:36 PM

Originally Posted By: grotrian grand piano

What I find funny is the anomaly of two posts in this forum at the same time, with "Hitler" in the title.


Yep - what a hoot. smokin
Posted by: kurtie

Re: Hitler's Piano Player - 11/20/12 08:33 AM

Originally Posted By: grotrian grand piano

What I find funny is the anomaly of two posts in this forum at the same time, with "Hitler" in the title.


I don't know if can be applied in this case, but Goldwin's law seems related:

"As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_law

Regards,
Kurt.-