Ernst Krenek’s 1926 Der Diktator plainly rejects the lush romanticism of Wagner, the sentimental beauties of Puccini. In their place we find a brevity, a condensed sense of time, and a transparent mix of neo-classical and romantic musical rhetoric articulated with new sonorities in a drama made up of fleeting episodes. (Leon Botstein)
On 19 October the American Symphony Orchestra presents concert versions of two one-act operas with strikingly different reactions to tyranny: Ernst Krenek’s Der Diktator will be performed together with Richard Strauss’s Day of Peace at Carnegie Hall. Leon Botstein conducts the American Symphony Orchestra.
Krenek composed Der Diktator in 1926, three years after Hitler’s unsuccessful putsch in Munich and two years after Mussolini gained a two-thirds majority in the Italian parliament. Der Diktator urgently highlights the dangers of fascism and predicted the tragedy of National Socialist dictatorship.