Strauss is innocent, OK

By John Nathan, April 18, 2008

A heads up (to use estate-agent vernacular) for the pairing at Chichester Festival of two Ronald Harwood plays. Taking Sides, about the Nazi conductor Wilhelm Furtwangler, is to be revived alongside the world premier of Collaboration, about another musical genius, Richard Strauss, who was also none-too — how can we put it? — empathetic.

Harwood, however, wants to set the record straight. “I come out pretty justly for Strauss,” the Oscar-winning writer tells Notebook. “What people have conveniently forgotten is that he [Strauss] had a Jewish daughter-in-law and Jewish grandchildren — by Nazi law. They said: ‘Do what we tell you or your grandchildren will be in danger.’ You tell me what you’re going to do in those circumstances?”

Last updated: 3:32pm, September 22 2009