chapter  4
13 Pages

Gottfried Müller’s Deutsches Heldenrequiem (1934): Nazi Ideology Cloaked in Historic Style

The 18-year-old composer Gottfried Müller joined the Nazi party on 1 May 1933, and was conscripted into military service in 1935. In the meantime, his musical star rose tremendously due to the premiere of his work Deutsches Heldenrequiem (German Heroes’ Requiem) in 1934 at the Wiesbaden Tonkünstlerfest, under the direction of Dresden General Music Director Karl Elmendorff. Müller dedicated this monumental work for tenor soloist, choir and orchestra ‘In die Hände des Führers!’ (Into the hands of the Führer!), and Goebbels noted that Müller’s work (and, likely, the dedication) made a strong impact on Hitler, writing of Müller that he was ‘maybe a really great talent for the future. The Führer is quite taken’ (Goebbels, 2001, 4: 100).1