1938 Preview – The Munich Crisis

 
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At Centuries of Sound I am making mixes for every year of recorded sound. This is one of the ten chapters in the full version of Centuries of Sound 1938
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One of the worst crimes of the nostalgia business is to transform the worst traumas our civilization has suffered into light entertainment, and for this reason I didn’t feel it appropriate to mix coverage of Hitler’s rise with any sort of jazz. Instead, the events of late 1938 – the invasion of Czechoslovakia, the Munich peace conference, the triumphant hubris of Neville Chamberlain and, it turns out, the British and international media – seem to fit better with the more sombre classical music recorded this year.

For all the creative energy released in 1938, it is ultimately a year remembered for its complacency, not just that of the British government, but from a western world which feels it is through the worst, while a “quarrel in a far away country, between people of whom we know nothing” is not something worth worrying about. Next year we will see that focus being sharply pulled.

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