Music and revolution of Erwin Schulhoff: from Dada to “The Communist Manifesto”

The article concerns the Czech composer and pianist Erwin Schulhoff (1894 – 1942). His fate is typical for the second generation of the representatives of the New music who started their career after the First World War. Unlike the pre-war avant-garde the younger generation wasn’t hiding its left-wing views which were often being associated with the “Musikbolschewismus”.
For many years Schulhoff was nourishing his idea of a “musical revolution” (Musikrevolution). The article clarifies the meaning which was intended by the composer for this term, and follows the basic stages of his evolution, those are — the concerts of the “music of the future” in Dresden, the contacts with expressionists and Dadaists, the fascination with jazz, the declaring himself a follower of communist ideas and the propaganda of those ones (in his oratorio “The Communist Manifesto”, 1932). Schulhoff’s most important discoveries which were appreciated only after decades, are demonstrated with the examples of his provocative Dadaistic works of the 1920s.

Erwin Schulhoff, Dadaism, expressionism, «The Communist Manifesto», Alban Berg, «repressed music».