Matching Items (2)
- All Subjects: Twentieth Century
- All Subjects: World War II History
- Creators: Ethington, Charlotte
- Creators: Machander, Sina
- Resource Type: Text
In the sixty-seven years following the end of World War II, West Germany and Japan underwent a remarkable series of economic and social changes that irrevocably altered their respective ways of life. Formerly xenophobic, militaristic and highly socially stratified societies, both emerged from the 20th Century as liberal, prosperous and free. Both made great strides well beyond the expectations of their occupiers, and rebounded from the overwhelming destruction of their national economies within a few short decades. While these changes have yielded dramatic results, the wartime period still looms large in their respective collective memories. Therefore, an ongoing and diverse dialectical process would engage the considerable popular, official, and intellectual energy of their post-war generations. In West Germany, the term Vergangenheitsbewältigung (VGB) emerged to describe a process of coming to terms with the past, while the Japanese chose kako no kokufuku to describe their similar historical sojourns. Although intellectuals of widely varying backgrounds in both nations made great strides toward making Japanese and German citizens cognizant of the roles that their militaries played in gruesome atrocities, popular cinematic productions served to reiterate older, discredited assertions of the fundamental honor and innocence of the average soldier, thereby nurturing a historically revisionist line of reasoning that continues to compete for public attention. All forms of media would play an important role in sustaining this “apologetic narrative,” and cinema, among the most popular and visible of these mediums, was not excluded from this. Indeed, films would play a unique recurring role, like rhetorical time capsules, in offering a sanitized historical image of Japanese and German soldiers that continues to endure in modern times. Nevertheless, even as West Germany and Japan regained their sovereignty and re-examined their pasts with ever greater resolution and insight, their respective film industries continued to “reset” the clock, and accentuated the visibility and relevancy of apologetic forces still in existence within both societies. However, it is important to note that, when speaking of “Germans” and “Japanese,” that they are not meant to be thought of as being uniformly of one mind or another. Rather, the use of these words is meant as convenient shorthand to refer to the dominant forces in Japanese and German civil society at any given time over the course of their respective post- war histories. Furthermore, references to “Germany” during the Cold War period are to be understood to mean the Federal Republic of Germany, rather than their socialist counterpart, the German Democratic Republic, a nation that undertook its own coming to terms with the past in an entirely distinct fashion.
The annual concours, or examens de fin d’année, of the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris (CNSMDP) is a centuries-old tradition that began in 1797. It serves to determine each participating student’s readiness for graduation. For each competition from 1797-1999, specific pieces were assigned for each instrument. Through much of the nineteenth century, conservatory professors wrote these pieces for their students. In the twentieth century, the practice of assigning works previously written by other composers or commissioning new works by (usually) French composers became the norm. Oboists outside of France tend to associate terms such as “conservatory pieces” or “concours pieces” with pieces assigned during the nineteenth century, while generally overlooking twentieth century morceaux de concours. The purpose of this paper is to bring these forgotten pieces to light and provide background information to help oboists determine the suitability of these pieces for their own performance contexts.
Because research regarding the pieces selected during Professor Georges Gillet’s tenure (1882-1919) is already available, this paper focuses on the pieces selected from 1920-1999. A list of required pieces for oboe from 1824-2000, obtained from CNSMDP archive manager Sophie Lévy, made possible the compilation of an annotated bibliography of morceaux de concours for oboe from 1920-1999. (The annotated bibliography ends with the 1999 concours because, since 2000, oboists have been required to select their own programs.) The bibliography lists every piece that was performed, but only gives detailed descriptions of (1) twentieth century pieces that were specifically commissioned for the concours and (2) twentieth century pieces selected, but not specifically commissioned, for the concours, that are not considered to be part of the standard oboe repertoire. A brief description of trends observed within this set of contest pieces follows the bibliography, along with appendices intended to facilitate more productive use of the bibliography.